Selecting a VPN for speed and security

Posted on 2016-07-27
Last Modified: 2016-08-10
I am trying to setup a VPN so I can work on the office network from home and also smart phone. On the office network I have an LRT224 right now.

My options are PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP. From my research on the Internet it seems OpenVPN with UDP is the best choice. My main concern is security and SPEED. I have setup OpenVPN it works but seems a bit slow. Is OpenVPN a good option? Is there a faster solution? I also think that the Bitdefender software I use is slowing me down but I can not be sure, is there a way to check if something like a software is slowing things down?
Question by:ido90
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Accepted Solution

Eric C earned 250 total points
ID: 41731221
I'd recommend OpenVPN if you're looking for something easy, compatible and secure.

PPTP is very old and is weak (vulnerable). It should never be an option for VPN.

L2TP is not inherently secure and so that's why it's coupled with IPSec, but this configuration is sometimes difficult to configure. That being said it is also quite popular so I would expect that in most cases, this complexity has been addressed.

Sonicwall uses SSL but also a proprietary GlobalVPN client (which I use). Not sure where that fits into the picture.

As far as speed ... temporarily disable your endpoint protection and see if it makes a difference. Any time you use a VPN you are in a sense slowing things down, due to the encryption.

Expert Comment

ID: 41731353
OpenVPN is the best option.  You also have to keep in mind that a VPN tunnel operates at a significantly slower speed than your local LAN and WAN connections.

Eric C - Sonicwall's SSLVPN uses NetExtender; GlobalVPN is for standard VPN Connection.

Author Comment

ID: 41731376
Is there a way to check how much the OpenVPN is slowing me down?
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Expert Comment

ID: 41731402
You can't think of it as "OpenVPN is slowing me down" because it doesn't matter what VPN product/protocol you use, there will be a slowdown due to encrypting and decrypting of traffic.

If you have a physical workstation at your office, I would enable RDP on it, connect through OpenVPN from home and then do an RDP session to your local workstation.

Author Comment

ID: 41731423
I am using Radmin but its very slow over OpenVPN.. Im not sure if its the Radmin or I should use a different software

Expert Comment

ID: 41731432
What is the internet speed at your work and home?  If you have a small pipe the decrease in speed will be more noticeable.

I would still try and RDP into a local workstation and than use Radmin from there.

Author Comment

ID: 41731472
Maybe Im not understanding what do you mean by RDP? I have 100Down/2Up at home and office 10Down/10Up

Assisted Solution

Mike earned 250 total points
ID: 41731481
RDP = Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol.

Connect to the VPN, then use Remote Desktop to connect to a workstation that is physically located at your office.  That's the best way to curb the VPN lag.

Expert Comment

by:Eric C
ID: 41731653
Remember, a connection between two locations is only as fast as your SLOWEST link. So in this scenario it really doesn't matter if you had a 10, 20, 50 or 150 meg connection at work. The theoretical fastest your connection would ever be is 2.  (But of course, subtract from that the normal overhead of the connection and the overhead of an encrypted connection).

If you're using a VPN connection to access files, your computer has to upload and download those files across the <2 meg connection the entire time. As shadowless mentioned, if you can connect to the vpn and THEN connect to an rdp session, then at that point you are only sending keystrokes across the internet. This is a much faster experience.  In order to implement this, you'll need a computer at your office that has Remote Connection enabled, and is always on. You'd also need to set up security on your firewall to allow your vpn user account to have access to that computer. (Another note: simply turning on Remote Connection in Windows is not enough. You ALSO have to add the user to the 'Remote Desktop Users' group. Otherwise your user account won't be able to connect even though Remote Desktop is enabled).

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