Everything You Should Know About VPN Passthrough

VPN passthrough
Heard about VPN Passthrough, but not sure what it is? Well, we’re going to teach you all you need to know about it in this quick article - what it actually is, how it works, and how router VPN Passthrough is different from regular router VPN functionality.

What Is VPN Passthrough?

VPN Passthrough is a feature on a router that pretty much allows any device connected to said router to establish an outbound VPN connection.

So, for example, if you want to run a VPN client on your laptop and connect to a VPN server, the VPN Passthrough feature on your router would allow you to do that.

How Does VPN Passthrough Work?

Simply put, VPN Passthrough means your router will allow data packets that come from a VPN client to pass through it to reach a VPN server.

You see, routers generally use NAT (Network Address Translation), a feature that allows all the devices that are connected to a network to use the same online connection and IP address.

However, VPN protocols like PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP don’t normally work with NAT.

Router VPN Passthrough technology usually allows those specific protocols to work with NAT. Users can normally easily enable and disable PPTP/L2TP/IPSec Passthrough through their router’s interface.

What About Other VPN Protocols?

Normally, if you use VPN protocols like OpenVPN, SoftEther, and SSTP, you don’t need to worry about VPN Passthrough being enabled or not. With IKEv2, though, you might have to turn on PPTP/L2TP/IPSec Passthrough the allow VPN traffic through.

PPTP Passthrough – Enable or Disable?

We’ve had users specifically asking us about PPTP Passthrough, and whether they should enable or disable it.

Well, the answer is pretty simple. If you are 100% sure you want to use a PPTP VPN connection to access the web at fast speeds, and aren’t worried about your online data and traffic potentially being in danger, you should enable PPTP Passthrough.

However, if you want to make sure a PPTP connection doesn’t accidentally go through the router (like if you forget to switch VPN protocols before connecting to a server, for example), you should disable PPTP Passthrough. After all, PPTP barely offers any security, so if you want to make sure your connections are properly encrypted, you should avoid it.

VPN vs. VPN Passthrough on a Router – What’s the Difference?

It’s pretty easy to get router VPN and router VPN Passthrough functionalities mixed up due to their name.

On the one hand, you have VPN Passthrough which is a router feature that allows you to connect to a VPN server through it (so, essentially the outbound connection has the permission to “pass through” the router).

router vpn passthrough

VPN functionality on a router, on the other hand, allows you to configure a VPN to run on said router. In that case, any device that access the web through the router will be using a VPN connection.

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Conclusion

VPN Passthrough is a router feature that allows you to establish an outbound VPN connection. It normally has to be enabled if you are using the PPTP, L2TP, or IPSec protocols (and sometimes the IKEv2 protocol too).

VPN Passthrough shouldn’t be confused with VPN functionality. Like the name implies, the feature allows VPN traffic to “pass through” the VPN, whereas VPN functionality means you can configure a VPN on your router.

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Tim has been writing content and copy for a living for over 4 years, and has been covering VPN, Internet privacy, and cybersecurity topics for more than 2 years. He enjoys staying up-to-date with the latest in Internet privacy news, and helping people find new ways to secure their online rights.
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