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Encryption Protocols

Windows Server 2003 uses two encryption protocols for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP) and IP Security Protocol (IPSec). L2TP does not have a built in data encryption, so it relies on IPSec to accomplish this, while L2TP is left to set up the secure connection between the nodes. The following table compares L2TP and PPTP:

L2TP PPTP
Standards-based Specific to Microsoft
Has header compression Has no header compression
DES / 3DES compression built-in Microsoft proprietary compression
Supports Windows 2000, Linux, Solaris and others Supports Windows only
Requires only packet-based connectivity (includes X.25, Frame Relay and ATM) Requires IP-based internetwork
Uses IPSec encryption Uses PPP encryption
Not fully compatible with NAT Compatible with NAT


Next: Securing Data Transmission Between Client Computers