VPNs use a number of VPN protocols, the most prominent of which are OpenVPN and WireGuard. However, IPsec, or Internet Protocol Security, is another frequently used protocol. It is often used with L2TP or IKEv2, two tunneling protocols that provide a secure connection between your device and the VPN server. However, L2TP and IKEV2 do not provide encryption, which is where IPsec comes into play, since it authenticates and encrypts data packets.
Uncertain about what a VPN does? A VPN encrypts and directs your internet traffic over a secure tunnel to a VPN server (in this case, an L2TP or IKEv2 tunnel). IPsec is used to encrypt data, protecting it from hackers and snoopers. When you connect to a VPN server, you get a new, temporary IP address. Not only is this advantageous for privacy (since your IP address is not associated with your actual location), but it also enables you to circumvent content limitations.
While an increasing number of VPNs are adopting newer protocols such as WireGuard and discontinuing support for L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec, there are still plenty of solutions available. To determine the best IPsec VPN, we searched for those that met the following criteria (which we will discuss in further detail later):
- Multiple protocols are supported, including IPsec.
- Servers located across the globe.
- Connections that are unrestricted in speed.
- Numerous security features (such as a kill switch).
- There are no user-identifiable logs.
- With a money-back guarantee, there is no risk.
Best IPsec VPN
NordVPN is a well-established VPN service that supports IKEv2/IPsec connections to its servers. Indeed, it boasts a network of over 5,000 servers, making it simple to access a broad variety of geo-restricted websites and services. For instance, streaming services such as Netflix. NordVPN’s high speeds provide lag-free streaming. This VPN also includes specialized servers, such as those intended for peer-to-peer file sharing.
NordVPN’s security features are unmatched, including military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. It adheres to a rigorous no-log policy and even provides Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers for an added degree of security. Additionally, NordVPN allows you to secure multiple devices simultaneously, and live chat assistance is available 24 hours a day.
You may use NordVPN applications for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux to connect to IKEv2/IPsec. However, there are also applications for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. Manual setup is required for use with routers.
How to set up and utilize an IPsec VPN
The good news is that the best IPsec VPN make getting started simple and fast. All you have to do is follow the simple steps below:
- Join the VPN service mentioned above. We suggest NordVPN in particular.
- Install one of the VPN’s desktop or mobile applications that supports the L2TP/IPsec or IKEv2/IPsec protocols.
- Adhere to the VPN’s manual configuration instructions. Keep in mind that you may always contact your VPN’s customer service if you need assistance.
- Once configured and linked to a server, your internet traffic is encrypted, and you may use a spoofing service to access geo-restricted content.
Our process for determining the best IPsec VPN
Not every VPN supports IPsec, and even fewer provide adequate performance and security. Below, we detail some of the important factors we used to determine if a VPN should be featured.
- Multiple protocols: Naturally, the first thing we checked was if each VPN supported IPsec through L2TP or IKEv2 (or both). Top VPNs provide a variety of VPN protocols, and most now include the newer WireGuard protocols.
- Servers located in dozens of countries: The top VPNs allow access to servers located in dozens of countries. This simplifies the process of locating a fast server near your current location. Additionally, it enables you to access additional region-locked content when traveling overseas.
- Speed: Only the fastest VPNs are suitable for streaming and torrenting, which is why we tested each one. One aspect that each VPN choice has in common is limitless bandwidth, which means there are no limits on what you can do online.
- Unblocking: Regrettably, some VPNs have significant difficulty circumventing limits, notably those imposed by popular streaming providers. To determine a VPN’s reliability in this regard, we examine how well it operates against a diverse set of websites and services.
- Security: We check for 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak prevention, and a kill switch for each VPN we suggest. However, the majority of the top IPsec VPNs provide much more, such as automatic wifi protection and dual VPN servers.
- Privacy: Additionally, it is critical that the VPN you use has a no-logs policy to ensure your privacy is maintained. We’ve examined 140 VPN logging policies to save you time. In this manner, you can stay clear of people that may monitor and sell your browsing activity.
- Ease of use: The VPN mentioned here have user-friendly applications. Additionally, they give setup instructions, which simplifies the process of implementing IPsec. If you run into any difficulties, live chat and email help are available in all circumstances.
- Value for money: An IPsec VPN should not be prohibitively expensive. Frequently, the best VPNs will have special discounts, and you can save even more money by utilizing our VPN discount codes. Additionally, each VPN has a risk-free money-back guarantee.
Numerous VPNs advertise their ability to provide fast connections or a specific degree of security. Rather than just checking for the above, we actively test each VPN to determine the veracity of these promises. Indeed, our VPN testing technique enables us to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date VPN evaluations.
IPsec VPNs: FAQs
Is it possible to utilize a free IPsec VPN?
While some free IPsec VPNs exist, they are best avoided for a variety of reasons. To begin with, free VPNs often provide fewer servers and IP addresses. Due to the high number of users on each server, speeds are poor and you’re more than likely to experience bandwidth limiting. Due to the tiny network of servers, it might be difficult to access geo-restricted content. For instance, free VPNs nearly never function with Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
Additionally, it should be noted that many free IPsec VPNs lack basic security measures. Some may fail to encrypt your data, while others may leak potentially sensitive data. For instance, a 2020 research found that roughly 40% of free VPNs examined exposed some sort of personally identifying information, such as an IP address or email address. We scan each VPN for leaks and verify that it maintains a no-logs policy, allowing you to surf anonymously.
Why would I want to utilize IPsec?
IPsec adds a layer of security to your network through encryption and authentication. When used in conjunction with L2TP or IKEv2, your data may be transported securely via a tunnel. Few VPN providers provide L2TP/IPsec owing to its lack of security and slower speeds (due to double encapsulation), despite the fact that it is a very simple protocol to configure and is widely supported by most systems.
IPsec/IKEv2 continues to be widely used. It enables fast speeds, stable connections, and a high degree of security. It is especially beneficial for mobile users since it is robust to network changes due to its support for the Mobility and Multihoming (MOBIKE) protocol. This enables smooth connection switching between wifi and mobile networks.
What are the IPsec alternatives?
The VPN we’ve discussed so far supports a variety of encryption protocols. The following are the most often encountered:
Each of these VPN protocols offers a number of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re searching for the fastest connection possible, WireGuard is probably your best pick, while OpenVPN is a popular alternative for individuals who prioritize security. In comparison, several protocols have lost favor owing to a lack of security (PPTP) or slower speeds (SSTP).