PPTP stands for Point-to-Point Tunnelling protocol, a VPN protocol developed by Microsoft and first introduced as far back as 1999, when it was bundled with Windows 95 OSR2. Originally designed to support VPN over dial-up networks, thanks to its support from what was at the time the undisputed leader of the digital world, PPTP has become the de facto standard VPN protocol. It is now incorporated into just about every internet capable OS and device on the market, and remains massively popular in the business world, where it is still the most commonly used protocol for corporate VPN networks.

Unfortunately the years have not been kind to this aging protocol, and a number of security vulnerabilities have been discovered. The most famous of these is an exploit using encapsulated MS-Chap v2 Authentication, the most common authentication method used with PPTP (PPTP itself is solely a VPN protocol, and relies on other authentication methods to achieve security), which has allowed PPTP to be cracked with 2 days. Microsoft has patched this flaw (using PEAP rather than MS-CHAP v2 authentication), but has itself issued a recommendation that it be replaced with the more secure L2TP/IPsec or SSTP protocols instead (those interested can view the Advisory notice here).

We will stress this once again: PPTP is not a safe protocol.

Most* personal VPN providers now use the secure OpenVPN protocol as standard instead. However, nearly all still support PPTP because:

  • Pretty much every device and OS supports PPTP natively – until recently this was particularly noticeable in the mobile device space, as neither iOS nor Android OpenVPN solutions have been available until very recently (around the beginning of 2013). There are still no generic Android OpenVPN solutions for versions of the OS lower than 4.0, although dedicated OpenVPN clients from Kepard and Private Internet Access do support earlier iterations of Android. DD-WRT routers are also another important area where OpenVPN is not generally available
  • PPTP is easy to set up – with native support on every platform, and requiring the input of just a few settings, PPTP remains a great ‘quick and dirty’ way to set up a VPN. For those just needing a bit of security when connecting to a public WiFi network, PPTP provides more than enough protection, and doesn’t need any third party downloads
  • PPTP uses less resources – built into the platform, using PPTP does not use any extra processing power to implement. This is particularly important for mobile devices, as OpenVPN apps will drain battery power much faster.

It should be noted that most of the advantages PPTP offers also apply to the much more secure L2TP/IPsec VPN protocol/encryption method. However:

  • Thanks to the need for a complex pre-shared encryption key, L2TP/IPsec is more fiddly to set up (especially on mobile devices where the key needs to be entered manually)
  • Many VPN providers do not support L2TP/IPsec – almost certainly because they do not want to devote company resources to supporting a protocol for which there is very limited demand.

Another point to note is that some companies (such as StrongVPN) offer ‘PPTP only’ services for a reduced tariff. However, as none we have yet reviewed either meet our strict privacy standards, or offer ‘PPTP only’ at a price that justifies choosing it over a similarly priced OpenVPN plan from one of its (superior) competitors, none have made into our top 5 list of PPTP VPN providers.

*One of our favourite VPN providers, AirVPN, does not support PPTP for the following stated reasons,

“Air is based entirely on OpenVPN. PPTP has never been supported and we have currently no plans to support it. PPTP suffers of several issues which made us discard it since the beginning of the Air project. Under a security point of view PPTP should be always avoided or at least used only with EAP-TLS authentication.”

Best VPN for PPTP Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price Grade Link

1

IPVanish Logo $6.49/mo

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2

ExpressVPN_Logo $8.32/mo

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3

logo $9.95/mo

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4

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 18.38.21 $9.95/mo

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5

Mullvad logo $7.00/mo

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Winner

IPVanish

4,95/5

best VPN PPTP

  • PROS
  • Great security
  • No logs
  • Excellent speeds
  • Easy to use
  • CONS
  • US based
  • Very simple software

Similarly to ExpressVPN, IPVanish has over 15 years of experience in the networking industry and run some of the best Tier 1 level networks – amazing speeds in simple terms. They have servers in a whopping 59 countries and with their recent security updates they keep absolutely no logs, have shared IPs and even accept Bitcoin!

Unfortunately their software doesn’t have some advanced settings that technology enthusiasts like to see, but it’s completely fine for the average user. Combined with their 7 day money back guarantee there is hardly a reason not to start using them today.

Try out the best PPTP VPN today!

Visit IPVanish »

30 day moneyback guarantee

2nd place

ExpressVPN

4,85/5

ExpressVPN_Logo

  • PROS
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Excellent speeds
  • Good customer service
  • CONS
  • Bit pricey
  • But worth it for the features

With apps across all platforms and software that blows the competition away, ExpressVPN secures our vote as the best VPN for PPTP. The download speeds are impressive and the software is straightforward to use. We really love some of the features like automatic protocol selection and server location recommendations.

ExpressVPN boasts round-the-clock customer support and an ultra reliable VPN network spanning 78 countries and hundreds of servers. They are also adding new locations all the time. These guys have done a pretty awesome job in building what we believe to be the best VPN service out there.

The pricing is not the cheapest, but you do get what you pay for. ExpressVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth and supports your mobile device (Android/iOS) for no extra charge.

Visit ExpressVPN »


2nd place

CyberGhost

best VPN PPTP

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Speedy
  • Great free service (OpenVPN only)
  • Groovy VPN client
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • VPN client is Windows only (although PPTP setup guides are provided for other platforms)
  • Does not accept Bitcoin
  • PPTP only available on premium plans

As with all the VPNs in this roundup, CyberGhost is primarily invested in OpenVPN, although it also supports PPTP for those who need it. CyberGhost offers a very good free service, but PPTP is only available for the Premium and Premium Plus packages (as is L2TP/IPsec), and step-by-step guides with screenshots are available for Windows, OSX and Linux. In other respects, we like CyberGhost a lot for its robust ‘no logs’ policy, feature-filled OpenVPN client (with an ‘internet kill switch’), and pleasing performance speed-wise. Definitely one of the best VPN for PPTP.

 

» Visit CyberGhost


3th place

BTGuard

4,75/5

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Very ‘no frills’

BTGuard is a solid Canada based VPN provider that keeps no logs, and accepts anonymous Bitcoin payments. Recommended by internet freedom and torrent activist organisation TorrentFreak, we were a little surprised to find BTGuard’s service a little on the basic side, as it uses the ‘classic’ OpenVPN client with no extra fancy features. We also felt that while satisfactory, the speedtest.net results could have been better. In addition to this, contrary to what is recommended on BTGuards website, we strongly advise using the OpenVPN rather than the PPTP method, unless you have a good reason for wanting to use PPTP (see above). PPTP guides are provided for Windows, OSX and iOS.

 

» Visit BTGuard


4th place

TorGuard

4,65/5

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Fast speeds
  • Accepts bitcoin
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • Nothing major (some minor niggles)

TorGuard in many ways provides a better service than BTGuard, as it is much faster (in fact it is one of the fastest VNP services we have yet tested) and provides a much more fully featured OpenVPN client (with built in DNS leak protection). It is a ‘no logs’ service and it accepts anonymous payment via Bitcoin, so so-far, so-good. Unfortunately TorGuard annoyed us by asking for lots of personal information during the sign-up process, which in its ToS it says may be used for advertising. We also suffered some worrying errors when connecting its service, although once up and running we were very happy with it. The TorGuard website features a lengthy article on OpenVPN vs. PPTP, but we are not very happy with its conclusions. As we noted above, PPTP is simply not secure, and in our view should only be used when other options are not available, or there is a clearly defined reason for using it. In addition to the usual suspects (Windows, OSX, iOS and Android), TorGuard provides PPTP setup instructions (with screenshots) for Boxee Box and DD-WRT routers.

 

» Visit TorGuard


5th place

Mullvad

4,6/5

  • PROS
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • No logs
  • Good speeds
  • Cheap
  • Client features internet kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • P2P: yes
  • CONS
  • A number of things didn’t work. PPTP guide very basic (just settings)

Rounding out our list of the best PPTP VPN is Mullvad. We like Mullvad because it is a small Swedish company who is clearly dedicated to the principles of net neutrality, internet freedom and personal on-line anonymity. It also provides a great, feature filled OpenVPN client with an ‘internet kill switch’ and DNS leak protection, and it accepts anonymous payment though Bitcoin (or even cash sent through the post!). Unfortunately, the service still has a few bugs to iron out before we can wholeheartedly recommend it, such as the fact that we could only connect to its server in Germany (which was fast), and that the links to the OpenVPN config files were dead so we could not try its OpenVPN service on a portable device.It comes as no surprise to us then, that there are no PPTP setup guides available on the website, although the necessary PPTP settings are listed for those who can figure things out for themselves.

 

» Visit Mullvad


Best PPTP VPN Conclusion

Most VPN companies still support PPTP because it continues to have its uses. In general it is therefore good that most companies do still support it, though we must admit a grudging respect for AirVPN’s principled refusal to do so. We like all of the above companies (with the occasional caveat), and don’t think you can go too far wrong with choosing any of them.


And here’s the summary once more:

Best VPN PPTP Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price Grade Link

1

IPVanish Logo $6.49/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN_Logo $8.32/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

3

logo $9.95/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

4

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 18.38.21 $9.95/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

5

Mullvad logo $7.00/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

Pete runs Best VPN and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+

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2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for PPTP

  1. Hi. Any opinion on vpn unlimited?

    Do you know which of these mobile clients dont drain battery on mobile (android). Thanks for a great article

    Laura

    1. Hi laura,

      PPTP uses Android’s built-in VPN client, so battery drain should be minimal. It really is not secure, though. I use OpenVPN for Android, and don’t really notice the impact it has on the battery life of my Note 4…

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