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There are many available VPN apps for Android devices, but VPN Android protocol compatibility is something to consider. Even for those who are not that well-versed in VPN technology, knowing a little about the best protocols for VPN Android compatibility will help. Then you can get the best VPN connection security and avoid device compatibility issues.
Each VPN protocol has different capabilities and matches different devices. First, check which protocols are supported by your device. Then check what protocol can give you the combination of speed and security that you need on your device. Check your network as well as some protocols may be blocked.
VPN Android Compatible Protocols
PPTP is a very light protocol that allows faster speeds. It is compatible with almost all mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers. Security with PPTP is very basic to allow fast speeds, and it is blocked by many networks. It is also supported and build into most operating systems – Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android and DD-WRT. Encryption is limited to 128-bit, but it is stable and accepted by most WiFi hotspots.
L2TP/IPSec is a secure VPN protocol that is a combination of Layer 2 Tunneling and IP Security. It is built into most desktop and mobile devices and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. L2TP offers 168-bit encryption with the 3DES encryption algorithm. It uses UDP port 500 by default, which is easily blocked by NAT firewalls, but port forwarding is an easy fix. L2TP/IPSec offers 256-bit encryption, double data encapsulation, and data integrity checking. It also provides authentication of origin verification that prevents unauthorized parties from being able to capture and/or replay the L2TP data that is sent. The higher overhead can slow things down a bit, but this is a necessary result of the higher security. There is some configuration needed for L2TP/IPSec, but many VPN Android apps provide an easy setup package.
SSTP is an SSL VPN protocol. It uses 2048-bit authentication certificates and 256-bit encryption, It is not widely compatible, and is inherently supported by only Windows 7 OS, and works on some Linux devices. SSTP uses TCP port 443, which makes it indistinguishable from normal SHTTP traffic and thus allows it to work in network environments where other VPN protocols are blocked. This is very useful in environments that do not allow VPN. Additionally, this generic port is never blocked by firewalls. SSTP is also fast and reliable.
OpenVPN is the most advanced VPN protocol available today. It was designed for modern broadband networks and provides the highest security. Unfortunately, it is not yet supported by all mobile devices and tablets. Android users are in luck, however, as OpenVPN is compatible with the newer Androids. Older phones may not be, however, and these users will have to choose the next best protocol, L2TP/IPSec. This is the best VPN protocol for other devices that you want to secure through a VPN. OpenVPN provides up to 256-bit encryption, depending on your security needs versus speed. OpenVPN is also unblockable, making it the most reliable VPN protocol. It uses the OpenSSL library and SSLv3/TLSv1 protocols, plus a combination of other technologies to provide a strong and reliable VPN solution. One major OpenVPN strength is that it is highly configurable. It runs best on a UDP port, but it can be set to run on any port, including TCP port 443 to get around firewalls. This also makes OpenVPN traffic impossible to distinguish from standard HHTP over SSL traffic and so it cannot be easily blocked.
OpenVPN has no known security vulnerabilities and it authenticates data on both ends of the connection through digital certificates. It is the only protocol that uses this SSL authentication procedure by default. It is extremely stable and fast despite the heavy encryption load, even over unreliable networks, behind wireless routers or at WiFi hotspots, and over long distances and high latency connections. It also requires less CPU usage than L2TP/IPsec. It is supported by most desktops and operating systems – Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. OpenVPN aps make the setup very fast and easy as well.
ExpressVPN offers a comprehensive array of VPN solutions for almost any device on the market. Including all of the above protocols and features, ExpressVPN is one of the most versatile of VPN apps. It was designed to secure almost any device a single user might have. ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN by default because it is the most secure, but switching protocols is possible at a single click once the app is installed. Visit the ExpressVPN website for more details on their packages, or to view the setup guides.