PPTP is an acronym for Point to Point Tunneling Protocol. It’s an extension of PPP or Point to Point Protocol that specifically enables the remote users of a corporate local area network or LAN to access the internal network through tunneling. This is an alternative to more expensive private network types.
Technipages Explains PPTP
For private and secure communication purposes, companies often choose to use private networks. These aren’t free, of course, and providers often charge a premium. An alternative way to establish secure connections is the use of VPNs, and that’s where PPTP comes in. Although it is now obsolete, it used to be a cheap and relatively easy way of establishing peer to peer and user to user connections via a network.
Due to security issues with the protocol, PPTP is now no longer in use – though VPNs still are, they are now built with different protocols supporting them. PPTP uses a second protocol called PPP in order to establish its security measures – it’s this second protocol that is the problem as it doesn’t hold up to modern security threats.
During its heyday, PPTP worked by using TCP port 1723 in order to send and receive communication signals to and from other machines on a network. It was limited in that it only allowed one-to-one communications, rather than one-to-many as other types of secure networks allow. PPTP was first established and published in 1999.
Common Uses of PPTP
- The known vulnerabilities with PPTP relate to the underlying PPP authentication protocols used.
- PPTP or point to point tunnelling protocol used to be secure, however now it’s encryptions can be cracked in as little as 23 hours, through the use of free online services.
- PPTP is only useful for applications in which speed is paramount these days, and where security is non-essential; Such as audio or video streaming and on older, slower devices with more limited processors.
Common Misuses of PPTP
- PPTP is an outdated version of IP and allows users to connect to the Internet.