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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to Network+
 9  Chapter 0111: Wide Area Networking
      9  IV  TCP/IP Encapsulation Protocols

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L2TP

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) is another protocol supporting the use of VPN’s 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 VPN’s 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. It’s 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 LAN’s over public dial-up (phone) lines, to guard against eavesdropping on the communications between the offsite user and the corporate LAN.

[spacer]IPSec

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 we’ll 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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