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Which protocol should I choose?

Here at NordVPN, we support a number of different security protocols to provide our VPN service. We encourage you to take a closer look and explore the strengths and weaknesses of each and every one of them. The security levels and purposes of these protocols are different, but so are the needs of our customers. We want you to be able to choose freely, but also advise you of what might suit you best.

1. OpenVPN – (Recommended by NordVPN and used by default in most of our apps)

 OpenVPN is a mature and robust piece of open source software which enables us to provide a reliable and secure VPN service. It is a versatile protocol and can be used on both TCP and UDP ports. It supports a great number of strong encryption algorithms and ciphers – to ensure the protection of your data we use AES-256-CBC with a 2048bit DH key. OpenVPN is currently used by default in NordVPN apps. We recommend it for the most security-conscious.

2. IKEv2/IPsec – (Highly recommended)

The latest addition to NordVPN security protocol family, which is also protected by IPsec, just as L2TP often is, however IKEv2/IPsec significantly increases security and privacy of the user by employing very strong cryptographic algorithms and keys. NordVPN uses NGE (Next Generation Encryption) in IKEv2/IPsec. The ciphers used to generate Phase1 keys are AES-256-GCM for encryption, coupled with SHA2-384 to ensure integrity, combined with PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) using 3072-bit Diffie Hellmann keys. IPsec then secures the tunnel between the client and server using the strong AES256. This is the protocol, which provides the user with peace of mind security, stability and speed. For these reasons, it is highly recommended by NordVPN and has been adopted as a default in the NordVPN apps for iOS and Mac OS.

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