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IKEv2/IPsec: Definition and features

IKEv2/IPsec is a VPN protocol that keeps users safe behind the scenes. But what is IKEv2/IPsec exactly, and why do VPN service providers support it?

IKEv2/IPsec: Definition and features

What is a VPN protocol?

A VPN protocol is the system that establishes the secure connection between your device and the VPN’s server. This is done first by verifying the authenticity of the user’s device and the VPN server and then generating an encryption key that can be used by both.

This system allows data to be encrypted, sent between the device and the server, and then decrypted safely. No matter how good a VPN provider is, it can’t provide genuine security if it doesn’t use a strong protocol.

What is IKEv2/IPsec?

Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) is a tunneling protocol, based on IPsec, that establishes a secure VPN communication between VPN devices and defines negotiation and authentication processes for IPsec security associations (SAs).

Various VPN providers refer to this combination as IKEv2/IPsec, or IKEv2 VPN. IKEv2/IPsec is a mix of a key management protocol (IKEv2) and a tunneling and data-transporting tunnel (IPsec).

How good is IKEv2/IPsec?

The IKEv2/IPsec protocol is fast and stable, it offers an auto-reconnect feature that provides security and ease of use. This means that this protocol will automatically resume your VPN’s connection, even when your device switches from one internet source to another.

For the technically minded, IKEv2/IPsec uses the AES-256-GCM cipher for encryption, coupled with SHA2-384 for integrity. In addition, IKEv2/IPsec uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) with 3072-bit Diffie-Hellman keys.

The benefits of IKEv2/IPSec

  • Auto-reconnect: IKEv2/IPsec offers an efficient reconnect function when your VPN connection is interrupted.
  • Encryption algorithms: IKEv2/IPSec encrypts with ciphers for strong protection.
  • Supported across multiple devices: IKEv2/IPsec is supported across a wide variety of devices, including smartphones, connected homeware, and a range of routers.
  • Stability: IKEv2/IPsec provides a stable connection and allows users to switch between internet connections without losing their protection.
  • Speed: IKEv2/IPSec offers speedy data transfer and makes browsing with a VPN an enjoyable experience.

Which is better, IPSec or IKEv2?

IKEv2 and IPsec are often used together because they complement each other’s capabilities. In fact, IPSec’s authentication suite already uses IKEv2 within its own collection of protocols.

IPSec is a popular system for a reason: it’s secure and reliable, and its operations are invisible to third-parties. Likewise, IKEv2 is a good basis for stability, rapid data-flow, and connection hopping.

Seeing the strength of this privacy partnership, numerous VPN service providers use the IKEv2 VPN protocol to offer a safer and more streamlined experience.

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