What is L2TP used for? Is L2TP VPN safe? Is L2TP obsolete? If you have never heard of this word, then this article will give you refreshed information and spur some new ideas. New examples and the difference from other VPN protocols will be introduced in this post on MiniTool.

Layer Two Tunneling Protocol

This is an Internet world where data security has been put in the first place and your privacy can get exposed at any time. As cyber-attacks are on the rise, people will be more inclined to safeguard their data and in this way, you, more or less, will use VPN protocols.

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What is L2TP?

L2TP (Layer Two Tunneling Protocol) is one of the VPN protocols. It won’t provide any encryption or protection from the connection traffic so it is usually used with IPsec.

This kind of tunneling protocol plays a part to guide your data safely to the destination. It can support VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

L2TP is developed from the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to enable VPN connections.

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It just gathers user data via private transportation and sends it over public networks and only with the support of IPsec, L2TP can do the VPN functionality with confidentiality and encryption.

To accomplish that, L2 traffic is allowed to transport via an IP network or Layer Three (L3) network and the process requires an L2TP tunnel to be established between the protocol’s two endpoints, which can help facilitate a PPP link layer that is enabled, encapsulated, and transferred across the Internet.

Besides, there are two primary components of L2TP:

LAC (L2TP Access Concentrator) – It can receive packets from remote clients and transfer them to an L2TP network server (LNS) on a remote network. In L2TP protocol, it can physically terminate the call.

L2TP Network Server (LNS) – It is used to terminate L2TP tunnels and provide PPP and network termination. It is the logical termination point of a PPP session tunneled by the LAC.

You can also learn the components of the L2TP VPN protocol from another aspect and divide the L2TP configuration into a tunnel and a session.

Tunnel – It is used to ensure secured transportation between the L2TP endpoints so that only control packets are allowed to send and receive.

Session – One or more sessions can exit in a tunnel, in which user data travels through the tunnel and is separated by session identifier numbers.

Pros and Cons of L2TP

Pros of L2TP

  1. L2TP alone won’t provide any encryption, which makes it lightweight and highly customizable. It will be easy to set up in combination with IPsec and available to be applied to other encryption protocols.
  2. With the preinstalled L2TP on a system, only simple easy steps can set up the connection.
  3. Although lacks security and encryption, the L2TP VPN protocol still can provide a strong level of security with the help of IPsec and it is easy to implement.

Cons of L2TP

  1. Many people think the L2TP protocol has been obsolete as more and more flexible and strong VPN protocols with high encryption or authentication emerge. Many people hold doubts about its security.
  2. It is widely doubtful that L2TP might be compromised by the NSA (National Security Agency) which has weakened this protocol with backdoors, side-channel keys, or zero-day exploits, but there’s no substantial evidence to support that.
  3. Because of the double encapsulation feature that can hide or restrict the direct access of data twice, that will make the process slower than other protocols and increase the toll on device resources.
  4. L2TP is easy to be blocked by firewalls and hard to circumvent network restrictions.


Because Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is an extension of the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), they have many similarities to share but in this part, we will focus on the differences.

For more information about Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), you can read this article: An Introduction to PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol).

Their major difference lies in their speed and security level.

It is widely admitted that L2TP/IPsec provides a much more secure and reliable connection than PPTP but has slower speeds. Besides, PPTP VPN is easy to set up and use. And in PPTP, control and data streams are separated while L2TP transports both streams in combination.

Even though you have used a high-level Internet security protocol, rising cyber-attacks still can find their way to break your protective shiled; so it is advised to back up your important data in case of resulting data loss. You can use MiniTool ShadowMaker – an one-in-all backup program to perform the task.

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Bottom Line:

This article has given you a detailed explanation of L2TP and your concerns can be resolved. If you have any other questions about L2TP, you can leave your message below the Comments section.

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