PPTP stands for point-to-point tunneling protocol and is one of several methods to implement virtual private networks (VPN). PPTP uses a control channel rather than transmission control protocol (TCP) or generic routing encapsulation (GRE) tunnel essentials to encapsulate point-to-point (PPP) packets.
The security functionality relies on the PPP protocol, as the PPTP function does not encrypt or authenticate the necessary features to provide security. PPTP was the first protocol to be supported by dial-up networking by Microsoft. All Windows releases are now bundled with PPTP but limited to 2 concurrent outbound connections. Beginning with Windows Mobile 2003, PPTP is supported by various mobile devices.
PPTP is a popular network protocol and often the choice of many and is especially popular with Windows and operates at Layer 2 of the OSI model. PPTP is best used for remote access applications. PPTP works on the client-server model and is included in the Microsoft Windows default for Linux and Mac.
The PPTP is ideal for the small home office network system or logging onto the Internet through a public, unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot. Setting up PPTP is not tricky but includes several steps. The setup is menu-driven and consists of a step-by-step guide.
One of the most significant advantages of using PPTP is that there is no requirement to use critical public infrastructure as the authentication protocol. Utilizing EAP authentication increases the security of PPTP virtual private networks, and there can never be enough security.
Many firewall applications and enterprise-level firewalls support PPTP VPNs. PPTP servers can be launched without installing client software if the PPTP is built into the Windows VPN platform. PPTP has proven to have high reliability even though it seems simplistic in design.
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About the Author
Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.More from Rebecca James
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