Is L2TP paired with IPSec?

L2TP/IPsec is a popular VPN protocol that offers a high level of security and privacy. It uses the industry standard IPsec protocol for encryption and employs strong algorithms to ensure data integrity. L2TP also adds an extra layer of security by using the UDP datagrams instead of the usual TCP packets. This makes it more difficult for packet sniffers to intercept and read data.

IPsec and L2TP are two different types of VPN protocols. IPsec is a more secure protocol, while L2TP is easier to set up and is more compatible with older devices. Here’s a more detailed look at the two protocols:


IPsec is a standards-based VPN protocol that uses strong security features to protect data in transit. IPsec encrypts data using encryption algorithms and authentication mechanisms that are approved by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force).

Encryption: IPsec uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys for data confidentiality. Data integrity is ensured through the use of HMACSHA256 or GCM-AES256 message authentication codes.

What does this mean for you? AES256 provides very strong data protection, making it ideal for protecting sensitive information. The downside is that it can be slower than other protocols due to the added overhead of encryption/authentication.

Authentication: Keyed message digest algorithm 5(HMACMD5) or Galois/Counter Mode Advanced Encryption Standard (GCMAES) can be used for user authentication.

What does this mean for you? User authentication ensures that only authorized users have access to the VPN network. This adds an extra layer of security, but can also add complexity depending on how many users need to be authenticated.

Worth knowing

L2TP is not a SSL VPN. SSL is a protocol that uses IPSec encryption.

Worth knowing

L2TP VPN is a highly secure option when used in conjunction with IPSec. It is highly compatible, working on operating systems like Windows and macOS by default. L2TP (and L2TP/IPSec) are relatively easy to set up due to their high compatibility. More firewall-friendly as it runs over UDP protocol.

Worth knowing

If you’re looking for a VPN that supports L2TP, you won’t find it with ExpressVPN. The company no longer offers manual configurations for PPTP and L2TP because they provide minimal protection and are vulnerable to malicious attacks. However, there are other setup methods or protocols you can use to connect to ExpressVPN on your specific device.

Thank your for reading!