An Introduction to SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) [MiniTool Wiki]

What Is SSTP?

What is SSTP? SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) is a VPN protocol developed by Microsoft and introduced in Windows Vista. Since then, newer Windows versions have provided native support for the SSTP VPN protocol.

This protocol is designed to protect online data and traffic. For Windows users, it is considered a more secure choice than PPTP or L2TP/IPSec. Now, you can continue to read this post from MiniTool to get more details of SSTP.

Pros and Cons of SSTP

Pros

  • SSTP encryption provides a considerable degree of security, almost equivalent to OpenVPN.
  • SSTP is easy to configure on its built-in platform.
  • The SSTP VPN protocol is difficult to block because it uses TCP port 443 (the same port used by HTTPS).
  • If you have enough bandwidth, SSTP can provide good speed.

Cons

  • SSTP is a closed source code and is wholly owned by Microsoft, which is a well-known company that cooperates with the NSA.
  • The SSTP protocol can be used on a limited number of platforms-Windows, Linux, Android, and routers.
  • If the network administrator discovers the SSTP header (this is possible because the protocol does not support authenticated web proxies), the SSTP connection may be disconnected.
  • Since SSTP is only applicable to TCP, it is susceptible to the "TCP Meltdown" problem.

How Does SSTP Work?

SSTP works by establishing a secure connection between the VPN client and the VPN server. The protocol creates a secure "tunnel" between the client and the server, and all data and traffic passing through the tunnel are encrypted.

Like PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), SSTP transmits PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) traffic, but unlike PPTP, it is transmitted through an SSL/TLS channel. Therefore, SSTP provides higher security than PPTP because SSL/TLS provides traffic integrity checking, secure key negotiation, and encryption.

Due to the use of SSL/TLS, the SSTP server must be authenticated when establishing a connection. You can also choose to authenticate the SSTP client.

How to Connect to SSTP VPN?

Here is how to connect to SSTP VPN.

Step 1. Press Win + I keys to open the Settings window.

Step 2. Navigate to Network & Internet section, and then click VPN on the left pane and click the Add a VPN connection on the right pane.

Step 3. In the pop-up window, click the drop-down menu below VPN provider and select the Windows (built-in).

Step 4. Click the Connection name area, and enter the name of the VPN connection. Similarly, type the Server address that you can find in your VPN account.

Step 5. Then click the drop-down menu below VPN type and choose a connection protocol based on your needs.

Step 6. Click the drop-down menu below the Type of sign-in info and click the sign-in method that depends on your VPN provider.

Step 7. After finishing the above steps, click on the Save button.

Step 8. In the VPN section, double-click the VPN that you just set up and click Connect.

Also see: How to Set Up a VPN on Your Windows 10 PC [Full Guide]

SSTP vs PPTP

The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPTP) is older and used by older VPN providers, but the newer SSTP option has several advantages and disadvantages. PPTP is still safe and easy to set up. Because it is an older protocol, it is more reliable and stable than newer protocols such as SSTP.

The main benefit of PPTP is that it is widely supported. If you need to choose from a wide range of VPN providers, any device that supports PPTP will have no problem connecting to the selected VPN server. Because it is an older protocol, PPTP developers have enough time to optimize it and find ways to make it efficient, so it is good for speed.

The most significant disadvantage of PPTP is that Internet service providers or workplace administrators can prevent it. However, SSTP uses port 443, which is the SSL/TLS port used in web applications. Since SSTP uses the same port 443, it is usually not blocked on any network, including workplace environments. You can use SSTP VPN on any network without worrying about the administrator restricting it.

For users who like SSTP, the main disadvantage is that Microsoft owns it, so there is little transparency. It can be easily integrated into any current version of the Windows operating system, but this advantage only applies to Windows devices. Linux users do not have this benefit. If they can only choose between SSTP and PPTP, they usually prefer PPTP.

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