Windows 7 / Networking

Comparing the Different Tunneling Protocols

Table below compares the four different tunneling protocols that are available in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Comparison of VPN Tunneling Protocols Supported by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

ProtocolProvides data confidentialityProvides data integrityProvides data AuthenticationRequires a Public Key InfrastructureSupported Versions
IKEv2YesYesYesYesWindows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and later versions
SSTPYesYesYesYes for issuing computer certificatesWindows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, and later versions
L2TP/IPsecYesYesYesRecommended for issuing computer certificates; an alternative is using a pre-shared keyMicrosoft Windows 2000 and later versions
PPTPYesNoNoNoWindows 2000 and later versions

Microsoft recommendations for choosing the right tunneling protocol for providing VPN access to your corporate network are as follows:

  • For client computers running Windows 7 and VPN servers running Windows Server 2008 R2, implement IKEv2 as your tunneling protocol. In addition to providing data confidentiality, data integrity, and data origin authentication (to confirm that the data was sent by the authorized user), IKEv2 provides resiliency to VPN connections using MOBIKE, which enables VPN connections to be maintained when the underlying Layer 2 network connectivity changes.
  • For client computers running Windows 7 and VPN servers running Windows Server 2008 RTM or SP2, use SSTP as a fallback tunneling protocol. This way, whenever an IKEv2 tunnel connection is blocked due to a firewall configuration or some other issue, the client can use SSTP to achieve VPN connectivity to the corporate network. For more information about the order in which different tunneling protocols are used during a VPN connection attempt, see the section titled "Understanding the VPN Connection Negotiation Process" later in this tutorial.
  • For client computers running Windows 7 that need to connect to VPN servers running older versions of Windows, use L2TP/IPsec if a PKI is available; otherwise use PPTP.

Note Microsoft may remove support for L2TP/IPsec and PP TP in future versions of Windows, so enterprises deploying Windows 7 should implement IKEv2 with SSTP fallback as their VPN solution wherever possible.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Connecting Remote Users and Networks
  2. Enhancements for Connecting Remote Users and Networks in Windows 7
  3. Understanding IKEv2
  4. Understanding MOBIKE
  5. Understanding VPN Reconnect
  6. Protocols and Features of VPN Reconnect
  7. How VPN Reconnect Works
  8. Understanding DirectAccess
  9. Benefits of DirectAccess
  10. How DirectAccess Works
  11. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  12. Ipv6
  13. IPsec
  14. Perimeter Firewall Exceptions
  15. Implementing DirectAccess
  16. Understanding BranchCache
  17. Benefits of BranchCache
  18. How BranchCache Works
  19. Protocols Supported by BranchCache
  20. Implementing BranchCache
  21. Supported Connection Types
  22. Outgoing Connection Types
  23. Incoming Connection Types
  24. Deprecated Connection Types
  25. Supported Tunneling Protocols
  26. Comparing the Different Tunneling Protocols
  27. Understanding Cryptographic Enhancements
  28. Support for AES
  29. Weak Cryptography Removal from PP TP/L2TP
  30. Supported Authentication Protocols
  31. Understanding the VPN Connection Negotiation Process
  32. Creating and Configuring VPN Connection
  33. Creating a VPN Connection
  34. Initiating a Connection
  35. Terminating a Connection
  36. Viewing Connection Details
  37. Configuring a VPN Connection
  38. Configuring Security Settings for a VPN Connection
  39. Configuring the Tunneling Protocol (s) Used
  40. Configuring Advanced Connection Settings
  41. Configuring the Data Encryption Level
  42. Configuring the Authentication Method Used
  43. Configuring Authentication for IKEv2 connections
  44. Configuring Mobility for IKEv2 Connections
  45. Configuring Dial-Up Connections
  46. Creating a Dial-Up Connection
  47. Advanced Connection Settings
  48. Configuring Incoming Connections
  49. Managing Connections Using Group Policy
  50. Using Remote Desktop
  51. Understanding Remote Desktop
  52. Versions of RDP
  53. RDP 6.1 Features and Enhancements
  54. RDP 7.0 new features and enhancements
  55. RemoteApp and Desktop Connection
  56. Understanding RDC
  57. Understanding Remote Desktop Services Terminology
  58. Configuring and Using Remote Desktop
  59. Enabling Remote Desktop and Authorizing Users on a Single Computer
  60. Enabling Remote Desktop Using Group Policy
  61. Configuring and Deploying Remote Desktop Connection
  62. Configuring Remote Desktop Connection from the Command Line
  63. Configuring Remote Desktop Connection Using Notepad
  64. Configuring Remote Desktop Using Group Policy
  65. Establishing a Remote Desktop Session
  66. Improving Remote Desktop Performance
  67. Troubleshooting Remote Desktop Sessions
  68. Configuring and Using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection