L2TP/IPsec is a tunneling protocol used by VPN providers to offer encryption. Though it is very secure method, it is generally not the preferred protocol to use if OpenVPN is available. However, it can be widely used by almost anything that is connected to the internet, but may be easily blocked because it must use the UDP port. Because it is built in, it does not neccessarily require 3rd party software. In constrast, OpenVPN may use UDP or TCP ports, but has no native platform.
The name represents 2 protocols that work in conjunction with each other, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, and IPsecure. That is because L2TP has no encryption by nature, but it passes the data through the IPsec portion to provide security. It was originally proposed in 1999 by the internet society, and was designed to be the predecessor of 2 older protocols, those being Microsoft’s PPTP, and Cisco Systems’ L2F. Since then, there have been a few versions, including the most recent one called L2TPv3. Developed in 2005, that version offered increased security, and the ability to carry data via ethernet. In other words, it provided the building blocks that are used in encryption standards today.
As we mentioned, the L2TP protocol may be used without 3rd party software. Setup however, may be a bit tricky if you do not know exactly what you are doing. That said, we have several reccomendations if you are running a device that is a bit older. Until recently, mobile operating systems did not support the OpenVPN protocol, but our choices in the list above support OpenVPN as well as L2TP. Setup and operation is easy with their software, so once you install, you are on your way.
Let’s take a look at why you would want to use a VPN. Of course, the first reason is for security. Whether you decide to use L2TP/IPsec or OpenVPN, using one will provide you with a layer of protection. There are other standard protocols, but at this point, these two are the most secure. Even on an older device, you do not want to leave yourself unprotected, so using a VPN just makes sense. The last thing you need is to have your sensitive data compromised becuase you were not using a VPN.
The next reason to use a VPN is for it’s unblocking potential. Though L2TP/IPsec may be blocked in some cicumstances, it may not be blocked in others. A VPN will help you get around geo-restrictions. That is a technology that determines where you are located based on your IP address, and if you are not in the targeted area, you would be restricted from viewing that site . As an example, if you are a citizen of the UK and you travel abroad, watching familiar TV to you online would yield a message stating it was not available in your area. By choosing a server in the UK, the technology thinks you are there, and you would be able to view any content, just as if you were. The same could be said for anyone living outside of the UK, or any other country you wanted to connect to.
Lastly, if you are working from a location that is not where the office is, you would need to use a VPN. Some documents and programs may only be viewed or used on company servers. You would not have access to those items without using a VPN, because that allow you to connect remotely require them.
You should be able to see the benefits associated with using the L2TP/IPsec protocol, as well as VPNs in general. No matter if you need to protect your privacy on older device, or if you want to unblock content, a VPN will help you meet your goals. Going back to the providers we mentioned, all of them have good reputations, and are well known in the privacy space. We chose them based on the criteria of security, price, ease of use, speed, and server locations. We are confident that you will do well with any of the ones in the table. If you are using an older device or a newer one, you should not use them without using a VPN.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the best VPNs to use for L2TP/IPSec connections.
1. Best VPN for L2TP/IPsec: ExpressVPN
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One of the great things you can do with ExpressVPN is unblock content if you are outside the country. Whether you are from the UK or just enjoy the great programming from the British Broadcasting Corporation, you already know it is only available in the UK. When you connect to ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service, you will be able to access your favorite BBC content, from the US or other countries around the world. You also gain a speed advantage over connecting to a VPN server.
If you are worried about having issues getting things set up on your favorite devices, ExpressVPN can put your mind at ease. Along with extensive video setup guides, they offer several other resources as well. Those include a troubleshooting section and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. You can send an email, file a support ticket, or speak with someone directly through the live chat feature available on their website as part of their 24/7 customer support. That will help ensure you get the best possible results and have a great user experience.
ExpressVPN is the #1 rated VPN on our site. We have had the opportunity to compare hundreds of VPN services over the years and ExpressvPN is our favorite. Whether you want to protect your privacy on WiFi networks or unblock streaming services in other countries, ExpressVPN is a good choice. Best of all, you can sign up for 12 months of unlimited VPN access and get 3 months free during our current promotion. The ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time to test the service.
2. Best VPN for L2TP/IPsec: NordVPN
If you are looking for a VPN service that will help you unblock some of the top streaming services in the world, NordVPN has you covered. As you probably know, some services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have different libraries, depending on the country you are accessing. Additionally, certain services are specific and only available in some countries. Whether you are traveling abroad or just want to check out the libraries from other regions, you can do that by connecting to a NordVPN server.
If you are in the market for a VPN provider that is easy to operate, NordVPN is an excellent option to choose. Gone are the days when you had to be computer savvy to be able to connect to a VPN. Once you sign up, you simply need to download the version you want to use. The NordVPN client is available for Android, Windows. Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also has browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
3. Best VPN for L2TP/IPsec: PIA
If you are looking to protect your entire family with a VPN, you can’t go wrong with Private Internet Access. Unlike some of its competitors, it offers its users the ability to connect on an unlimited number of devices. That is excellent news for families that want to protect everything. If that sounds like a high number, just remember that the figure takes into account all of the mobile devices, laptops, and possibly routers no matter where they are. As you can see, Private Internet Access has you covered.
If you are one of the many people that like to stream sports on your favorite mobile device, connecting to a VPN server from Private Internet Access may be useful to you. More and more providers are allowing their users to watch some sports for free. Great examples of that include baseball and American football in the US. However, if you are traveling abroad or are otherwise outside of your home area, you would miss out on those games. By connecting to a VPN server you should be able to regain the access you wish.
4. Best VPN for L2TP/IPsec: CyberGhost
For everyone that keeps a sharp eye on privacy, you will be glad to know that CyberGhost does, too. One of the ways they do that is by using 256-bit military-grade AES encryption as your chief option. Keep in mind that in many countries, ISPs have a legal obligation to store logs on their customers for as much as two years. Because of that, keeping yourself safe with a VPN should be as big of a priority to you as it is to them.
For everyone that lives in larger cities and has cut the cord, watching your favorite team sports online can cause a problem unless you connect to a VPN server via CyberGhost. If your favorite team is in the city you live in, licensing rights may stop you from seeing it online. The trick is to connect to a VPN server in another region. By doing so, the blocking software will let you view your favorite sports online no matter what city you visit or call home.
5. Best VPN for L2TP/IPsec: IPVanish
If you stream a lot of content, you may encounter what is known as library fatigue. That is when you have seen virtually all that you want to on a particular service. Since international services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have different libraries based on location, you will want to connect to a VPN server from IPVanish. That way, if you are bored with the current content available, you only have to change the VPN server region to be able to access others. Then, watch all you want.
Some of the most valuable sports teams in the world have international followings. Those include sports organizations like the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) in the US, the New York Yankees (MLB) in the US, Real Madrid (Soccer), and more. If you are outside their home country, though, you can only watch them if you connect to a VPN server in the home country from IPVanish. Of course, you would also need to have a subscription to one of the sports apps, depending on what you want to watch.