SSTP VPN Protocol

What is SSTP?

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is a type of VPN tunnel that utilizes SSL 3.0 to create a connection between the host and the server. Once the connection is established, either PPP or L2TP can be used for the transport of packets between the host and the server. SSTP was developed by Microsoft to provide an easy method allowing the creation of a PPP connection over SSL. SSTP protocol is considered to be the most secure VPN protocol. TCP Port 443 is used for relaying SSTP traffic. User authentication is encrypted with 2048 bit SSL/TLS certificate and traffic itself is encrypted with 256 bit SSL key. This makes practically impossible to break it’s security.

When would you want to use SSTP?

  • There is a firewall policy in place that restricts other types of tunnels such as PPTP or IPSec. By utilizing the same protocol as HTTPS (secure web connections), firewall rules will typically allow the traffic. This is often useful for users accessing the Internet from a company-provided network connection.
  • Your Internet provider is blocking or limiting speeds for certain types of Internet traffic. Once the traffic is contained within an SSTP connection, your Internet provider will not be easily able to limit the speed or access of any service.
  • You live in one country, but want to access a service that is ordinarily restricted to residents of another country. In connecting with a VPN server located in another country, your Internet traffic will appear as though you are located in the country of the VPN server. This will allow you to connect with services that are limited to users in the country of the VPN server. This is commonly used to connect with video services that limit viewership to users in the US, UK, or Europe. Also this will hide IP and you will surf anonymously.
  • You are using an unsecured connection (such as a public wireless access point) and want to ensure that others with access to your connection are unable to view what you are doing. The SSL 3.0 connection utilizes encryption that would make it impossible for others around you or your Internet provider to view your Internet activities.

What are the limitations of SSTP VPN?

  • Performance will suffer greatly if you or your VPN provider do not have sufficient bandwidth. Creation of a tunnel does not expand your available bandwidth, therefore all types of tunnels will be limited to the speed of your connection; however, SSTP tunnels will especially suffer when there is limited bandwidth as a result of elements of the protocol’s design.
  • The protocol is only available for use in a client-server configuration. This will not present an issue for a home user wanting to connect to a VPN provider; however, it makes the protocol unsuitable for users wishing to create a dedicated tunnel between two networks.

How can I use SSTP?

The SSTP protocol is supported on all major modern operating systems. But it is best if you are a Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 user. Although there is possibility to make it work on MacOS and Linux it’s not working very good on them. Your VPN provider will also need to support the SSTP protocol. CactusVPN fully supports SSTP as a method to connect with our VPN services located in the US server and plans to add SSTP servers in all supported countries.

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Posted on August 31st, 2012 in About VPN