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L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling
Protocol) is another protocol supporting the use of VPNs
by creating a communications tunnel via PPP. L2TP is basically
a combination of PPTP and another protocol, L2F (the
Layer 2 Forwarding protocol), which allows for implementing VPNs
over SLIP as well as PPP. While in Microsoft implementations, L2TP
must run over TCP/IP, other server vendors run it at lower levels, over
frame relay, X.25 and ATM wire protocols. Its often
used to provide encryption between network devices like routers, as
well as for secure remote access.
Both PPTP and L2TP are frequently
used when connecting back to remote corporate LANs over public
dial-up (phone) lines, to guard against eavesdropping on the communications
between the offsite user and the corporate LAN.
IPSec is the newest tunneling protocol. Standards-based, it is set to take over the functionality currently provided by PPTP and L2TP. It improves on the features of those protocols by providing certificate-based authentication and public-key encryption, which well discuss in more detail in the Security chapter. It can optionally use the very strong RSA encryption protocols, which are difficult to break, or a null encryption algorithm that allows it to provide communication authentication and integrity without confidentiality of data. Before this protocol can take hold, implementations of it in popular products need to mature somewhat, improving their cross-platform compatibility and ease of use.
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CertiGuide for Network+ (http://www.CertiGuide.com/netplus/) on CertiGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: November 7, 2004
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