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How to choose the right VPN protocol for my server?

Published on 13 June 2022 Last updated on 12 August 2022

Our dedicated VPN servers use only open-source VPN protocols. However, each one is different and more suitable for some users than others.

If you are unsure about which protocol you select for your private VPN server, we can help you make the choice.

Ease Of Connection

The following graphic illustrates how easy it is to connect to your VPN server for all of our supported protocols.

comparison between the ease of connection between the different vpn protocols

SoftEther

  • Generally speaking, connecting to your server through SoftEther can be challenging for some users, especially if they do not have any previous experience with the protocol.
  • An additional user client needs to be downloaded.
  • Mobile connections need to be allowed first through the SoftEther admin client, which also needs to be downloaded and configured.
  • Does not have a mobile client, uses your device’s built-in L2TP configuration to connect.

OpenVPN & WireGuard

  • Connecting to your OpenVPN or WireGuard server is easier in comparison to SoftEther as your user profile configuration files are automatically generated, meaning that you just need to drag and drop them.
  • Both protocols require an additional user client to be downloaded and installed.
  • Establishing a mobile connection is also easy as the applications are available for free in the App/Play store.

L2TP

  • Easy to connect for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS and other operating systems that are equipped with a built-in, default VPN.
  • You just need to copy and paste your user profile information into your device’s built-in VPN.

User Management

This next image depicts how difficult it is to manage users for each VPN protocol.

comparison in user management of the different vpn protocols

SoftEther

  • To manage users you need to download the SoftEther admin client and log into your server through it.
  • Hubs can be confusing for some users.
  • There are a couple of steps you need to take prior to making new users.
  • Abundance of fields and information can be overwhelming to some users.

OpenVPN & WireGuard

  • Managing users happens by logging into your VPS server through your web browser.
  • Have a graphical interface.
  • No additional clients needed.
  • Creating and deleting users is really simple - just add a username and a password to the corresponding fields.

L2TP

  • In order to manage users you need to log into your server through SSH for which you need additional software.
  • Does not have a graphical interface.
  • Navigating directories and inputting the commands can be confusing for some users.

Is previous experience beneficial?

This comparison diagram illustrates whether having previous experience with any of the protocols can be beneficial.

comparison between the different vpn protocols in terms of whether previous experience is beneficial

As with anything else, having already operated with a given VPN protocol would mean that you will be introduced to its working principles.

Generally speaking, however, if we have to compare them, we would advise complete beginners to go for either OpenVPN or WireGuard as they are much easier to use and require little to no experience in order to be picked up fast.

L2TP is also easy to operate, but user management can prove to be a hassle for some, especially inexperienced users.

SoftEther, on the other hand, is by far the most challenging VPN protocol out of the bunch and it is advised for you to have some prior experience before choosing it.


You can find tutorials for how to connect to your server for each VPN protocol as well as for how to manage your private server’s users in our dedicated VPN documentation.

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