5 Advantages and Disadvantages of L2TP | Drawbacks & Benefits of L2TP

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9.03.2020

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of L2TP | Drawbacks & Benefits of L2TP


5 Advantages and Disadvantages of L2TP | Drawbacks & Benefits of L2TP
The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is a kind of tunneling protocol that creates a VPN tunnel which allows data traffic to pass through. L2TP generally has 2 protocols combined, that is the Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer 2 Forwarding. It is commonly used to support VPN services. Apart from VPN providers, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) take use of L2TP for their operations. 
 
Usually L2TP is combined with IPSec for the data encryption process, it alone cannot do encryption. That is the reason why it is called as L2TP/IPSec. L2TP has very strong level of encryption, in fact is considered to be one of the most secure protocol models. Al though L2TP has many advantages in terms of security there are certain drawbacks that cannot be ignored. It is necessary to understand the benefits and drawbacks of L2TP before choosing a VPN provider.

 
In this article, I will be illustrating about 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of L2TP | Drawbacks & Benefits of L2TP. Through this post, you will know the pros and cons of using L2TP.
 
Let's get started,
 

Advantages of L2TP

 
1. Security
 
L2TP is considered to be extremely secure since it doesn't contain any major vulnerabilities. It uses 256 bit key encryption standard for offering the best security. However this encryption cannot be delivered by L2TP on its own, it is usually paired with IPSec. In addition to that all the data that is sent from sender to receiver is taken care from altered. If the user is more security conscious, then L2TP will be the best option.
 
 
2. Compatibility
 
Similar to PPTP, L2TP too is widely available to various platforms such as Windows, Linux and Mac since they are built onto them. They can be supported by other operating systems too.
 
 
3. Configurations
 
Whether it can be computer or a mobile device, configuration and setup is made easy in L2TP protocol. This is because most platforms natively support L2TP protocol. And also configurations with firewall can be done easily since L2TP uses UDP for the data encapsulation process.
 
 
4. Stability
 
When it comes to establishing unstable connection, L2TP is considered to be very stable and reliable. Especially this makes it recommended to establishing connections in remote locations. However if the device is connected to a NAT router, there can be issues with stability as well.
 
 
5. MiM Prevention
 
As mentioned earlier data are prevented from being altered in L2TP. Due to this Man-In-The-Middle attacks are possibly prevented too.

Disadvantages of L2TP

 
1. Speed
 
Al though encapsulating data twice can be advantageous in terms of security, it is certainly not for speed. The speed of transmission is significantly affected such that the rate of data traffic is negatively impacted. Usually if the L2TP protocol is paired with OpenVPN this speed difference is barely noticeable.
 
 
2. Security Keys Mismatch
 
L2TP uses Pre-shared keys for the process of authentication. These type of keys require alternation at both ends of the tunnel. If there is a mismatch between them, the L2TP will stop working.
 
 
3. Port Support
 
Similar to PPTP, L2TP protocol too supports limited number of ports. If these protocols are used behind a NAT firewall they can be easily blocked because they are limited in numbers. 
 
 
4. Eavesdropping
 
As you all know L2TP uses Pre-shared keys which at most of the times can be taken over by the provider's website. Hence, this can lead to hackers eavesdropping on your VPN servers resulting in Identity theft and Malware planting.
 
 
5. Cracking
 
There are theories suggesting that L2TP can be deliberately weakened and cracked by the NSA. This can open the door for security vulnerabilities in the L2TP/IPsec protocol.

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