L2TP VPN: An Overview

by michael on October 26, 2011

in VPN By Protocols

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a latest development in the field of networking technology. You can now access the Internet in a much secure way by connecting to the Internet through a VPN connection. A VPN makes a virtual line or a virtually dedicated ip for your use. There are many protocols being run to support a VPN operation. Some of them are PPTP, Cisco IPSec, L2TP and L2TP over IPSec to name a few. This post will be discussing the pros and cons of the L2TP protocol and later discuss which service providers provide them.


L2TP Protocol

L2TP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is a tunneling protocol to support a VPN. L2TP was established in 1999 and was originally used by the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP): Cisco’s Layer 2 Forwarding Protocol (L2F) and US Robotics Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). It basically works 4 sub protocols that are

I. voluntary tunnel

II. compulsory tunnel — incoming call

III. compulsory tunnel — remote dial

IV. L2TP multi-hop connection

L2TP VPN Pros and Cons

We won’t go further into technical details rather we now discuss the pros and cons of L2TP protocols in VPNs.


L2TP can be used to transport multiprotocol traffic such as IP, IPX, and AppleTalk (over PPP) which is neither supported by neither IPSec nor SSL. PPP, which is tunneled over L2TP, allows flexible negotiation of options such as user authentication protocols, compression, and IP addresses. Windows VISTA, XP, and 2000, and Mac OS X include a built-in L2TP/IPSec client. L2TP VPN client software is also available for other operating systems.


L2TP’s native security is weak, and consists simply of control connection/tunnel authentication and hidden attribute-value pairs (AVP). L2TP/IPSec can add considerable overhead to encapsulated PPP packets and so the overall efficiency of the network may decrease.

VPN Service Providers Supporting L2TP VPN

There may be many service providers supporting L2TP VPN but if you want the real flavor of L2TP VPN then we suggest that you should go for any of the 5 service providers listed below because these service providers are the best in this field.

Rank Provider Starting Price Visit Provider Site
1 ExpressVPN $6.67 /Month Visit Provider Site
2 Hidemyass $11.52 /Month Visit Provider Site
3 IPvanish $10.00/Month Visit Provider Site
4 StrongVPN $21/ 3 Months Visit Provider Site
5 VyprVPN $14.95/Month Visit Provider Site
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