Point-to-Point Tunneling protocol or PPTP, is a VPN protocol created by Microsoft and originally introduced back in 1999, when it was built-in Windows 95 OSR2. At the start, PPTP was set to support VPN over dial-up networks and due to the fact that it supported the most important platform at that time, it became and still is a widely available VPN protocol. It is possible to find PPTP in pretty much any internet enabled device available and many companies still use it for their corporate VPN networks. However, the security of PPTP has been questioned as multiple weaknesses have been identified.
The main vulnerability of PPTP is an exploit that uses encapsulated MS-Chap v2 Authentication, which is the most popular authentication option used along PPTP to provide its security. This flaw means that PPTP can be broken within just 2 days and while Microsoft addressed the issue (implementing PEAP instead of MS-CHAP v2 authentication), it also advised users to move onto more secure options such as SSTP and L2TP/IPsec. While most VPN services are still supporting PPTP, they also advise against it and offer OpenVPN as the standard solution, due to its superior security.
You may be wondering why is PPTP still being supported, even though Microsoft itself issued a recommendation prompting users to choose other alternatives. There are different reasons that explain this, you will find a list below.
PPTP can be set up easily thanks again to the fact that it enjoy native support on every platform. It only requires a few settings and it still is the easiest and fastest way to set up a VPN. If you need additional security when you are connecting from a public WiFi hotspot, PPTP would be a convenient solution that doesn’t require third-party software.
Since PPTP requires less resources and it is built-into most platforms, there is not additional processing power needed to implement it. This is specially important when it comes to mobile devices since OpenVPN apps then to consume more battery and drain the power faster.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of advantages available with PPTP are also offered by L2TP/IPsec, which is a far more secure option. However, it is important to keep in mind that L2TP/IPsec is more difficult to set up (particularly on mobile devices( due to the complex pre-shared encryption key required. Additionally, there are many providers that don’t offer support for L2TP/IPsec.
In the end, if there are no other options available, PPTP is better than having no protection at all but if OpenVPN is available, make sure that you choose this protocol instead. The below VPN providers offer support for PPTP and offer good quality overall.
ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable solutions available and the high quality of its software makes it a great choice for both new and experienced VPN users. Speed is one of the strongest point of this provider and features like automatic protocol selection will allow you to enjoy a seamless and secure online experience. Another advantage of using ExpressVPN is that they offer excellent customer support and since there 87 server locations to choose from, you can expect great versatility. Although for security, ExpressVPN focuses on OpenVPN, it also supports PPTP.
CyberGhost offers more than just innovative marketing and a practical free VPN service. Their paid service includes security-focused features like internet kill switch, as well as fast performance. While OpenVPN is the main option for security concerned users, CyberGhost also supports PPTP for users who need this protocol. Their no logs policy and the fact that they are based in Romania, where data retention laws were declared unconstitutional, are enough reasons to consider them as a way to protect your privacy.
IPVanish is a provider with an extensive experience in the VPN industry and since it runs its own network of servers, it is able to offer reliability and fantastic speeds. They have servers in 60 countries so no matter where you are connecting from, you will find an option that works well for you. Their software is rather simple, but unless you are looking for advanced options, this VPN provider would be a good choice. They support shared IPs, which is another good measure to defend your privacy.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access offers straightforward VPN solution and conveniently priced plans that will enable you to browse, stream and download content securely. They have servers in 24 countries and while that seems limited when compared to other providers, it will be more than enough to allow you to bypass geo-location restrictions. The service also features kill switch, support for multiple protocols, including of course PPTP and they don’t keep logs of your online activity.
Mullvad is a provider based in Sweden, one of the countries where data retention laws have never been applied to VPNs. They have a solid approach to privacy, which is why they promise not to keep any logs. Additionally, they support payment options like Bitcoin and even cash by post to help you keep your identity protected. Mullvad supports PPTP as well as OpenVPN and it offers guides that will help you to set up the service on different platforms. The service is affordable and supports kill switch for added security for your connection.