This guide explains all about SSTP VPNs as well as how to setup a VPN based on SSTP protocol on any device or operating system. We will also discuss the top 5 VPN services with SSTP protocols.
What is SSTP?
SSTP is a protocol technology through which PPP or L2TP packets can be sent over an SSL channel – more specifically over SSL 3.0. PPP packet encapsulation through the SSTP protocol takes place using HTTP for data encapsulation purposes. SSTP saw limelight with Windows 2008 and Windows Vista.
That is why you need to have at least Windows Vista (or higher) installed in order to run SSTP. SSTP is much more secure than Microsoft’s pioneering PPTP protocol.
The fact that Microsoft invented SSTP means that you might run into a bit of trouble finding it for other platforms. However, the tweaks and techniques needed to run SSTP on different platforms are now easy to find online.
How Does SSTP Work?
When it comes to using SSTP protocol, you should understand its working first. By doing so, you may use the said tunneling protocol accordingly. A user’s system is connected to a server with the help of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).
Likewise, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) avails the 443 port to connect to the server however, you will need o go through user authentication process. Furthermore, the protocol uses server certificate for authentication purpose.
How to Select a VPN Based on SSTP Protocol?
The task of selecting SSTP based VPN is a detailed one. In case you are a newbie in the field of online privacy, chances are that you may find it difficult to perform. For your ease, I have compiled a list of VPN services that offer SSTP protocol in their armory.
Here is the list of SSTP VPNs that includes:
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Pros and Cons
Here is the list of different benefits along with some cons that includes:
- SSTP offers next level firewalls bypassing feature
- Microsoft supports SSTP protocol in true letter and spirit
- It is considered as one of the most secured protocols
- Users may face speed issues at times
- Compatible with Windows platform only
How Can I Setup VPN with SSTP?
The process of setting UP with SSTP protocol is simple and does not need any rocket science. Here is the list of steps you should follow:
- You should right click “Lan /Wi-Fi icon” through system and choose “Open Network and Sharing Center”
- Click on “Setup a new connection or network”
- Opt “Connect to workplace”>click ‘Next’
- Choose “use my internet connection (VPN)”
- Provide required server or IP address, destination name and choose “Allow other people to use this connection”
- You should also select “Do not connect now, just set it up so I can connect later” and click ‘Next’
- Write username and password as offered by your VPN service
- Check “Remember this password” and press “Create”, click ‘Close’
- Click “change adapter settings”, right click on recently developed VPN connection and go to “properties”
- Click ‘Security tab’ and choose ‘Secure socket tunneling protocol (SSTP)’
- Through ‘Data encryption” choose your preferred encryption
- Click “networking” >uncheck “Internet protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) along with “File and Printer sharing for Microsoft”, click ‘OK’
- You may right click VPN connection, click ‘Connect’ or you can double click “VPN Connection”
- Check “save this username and password for the following users and select “Me only” or “Anyone who uses this computer”
- Mention your VPN service password again, click “Connect”
- Once you are done with username and password verification, VPN connection will be developed
- Select “Network Type as Public”>Close and here you go
Since SSTP has the same roots as PPTP, you do not have to worry about the server count cutting down because of varying protocol availability across different VPN servers. PureVPN offers 2000+ servers spread out across 141 countries. PureVPN offers SSTP for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista users.
- Offers SSTP protocol that is compatible with Windows operating system
- Delivers SSTP client for Android platform
- Users may anticipate slow speed issues while using SSTP protocol
2. Express VPN
ExpressVPN has 148 servers spread out across 90+ countries. The famous British Virgin Island privacy brand is an efficient and advanced provider with SSTP feature. Furthermore, you can avail a massive 30 days money back guarantee that allows you to check the performance of SSTP on your Windows devices.
- Delivers SSTP protocol to users
- SSTP protocol is compatible with Windows platform
- Does not offer a free trial feature
SwitchVPN offers SSTP support on its 220+ VPN servers across 38+ countries around the world. This way, you are able to secure your desired Windows devices from anywhere straightaway. Similarly, the brand allows you to avail an eye-catching 30 days money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service’s performance.
- Provides an impressive SSTP protocol to its users
- Offers 30 days money back guarantee
- Delivers a comprehensive list of online payment options
- Follows DMCA rules appropriately
PerfectVPN is another VPN service in the market offering SSTP protocol facility to its users. As a result, you can protect your digital whereabouts on your Windows devices by opting SSTP protocol accordingly. Likewise, you can claim for the refund after availing 7 days money back guarantee if you do not like the service.
- Offers SSTP protocol to its users
- Delivers free trial feature to its subscribers
- Does not offer a multitude of servers
CactusVPN is another decent service that offers an excellent free trial feature along with Smart DNS advantage. Similarly, you can attain its generous 30 days money back guarantee in case you do not want to use the service anymore.
- Offers SSTP protocol to its users
- Delivers a free trial benefit that lasts up to 24 hours
- Does not have a huge server network
The fact that SSTP uses port 443 (same as HTTPS) makes it easy for SSTP to get through your firewall. This might not sound like much to people who aren’t familiar with ports, but people who have a bit of experience with VPNs and/or ports will tell you that publicly accessible internet services usually block port 1723 to prevent outbound traffic.
In comparison, port 443 is one of the few commonly used ports and is therefore usually left unblocked. You probably do not know this, but if you have ever made a purchase over the internet, your Credit Card data was secured by using HTTP over SSL through port 443.
A port number is really the name of a specific gateway. You probably know that any communication that takes place between two computer systems is essentially taking place between two IP addresses.
The port is like the gateway on top of which your IP address is painted in big lettering. It is the data sending/receiving point (not physically of course because it is a software construct) for which all data transmissions are destined.
Different data transmissions take place over different ports. However, in order for a data sending/receiving session to complete, the name of the ports at both end-points needs to be the same. For instance, Port 1234 won’t accept data sent by Port 567; it will only be processed by Port 1234.
The PPTP protocol does not use any certificates and carries out authentication before data traffic encryption begins for a VPN connection.
In comparison, L2TP/IPSec carries out encryption after the IPSec session has been established – with certificates on the VPN client as well as VPN server side.
Somewhat similarly, SSTP uses the VPN server certificate and the VPN client’s root certificate to carry out user authentication after the SSL session has been established.
Undoubtedly, SSTP protocol is an impressive addition to the VPN toolkit. This is because it allows users to connect to the corporate network remotely and anonymously.
Likewise, you can overcome remote access blocking and NAT issues through SSTP protocol appropriately. Practically, SSTP encapsulates PPP data traffic over the HTTPS protocol’s SSL channel. The involvement of PPP enables strong authentication methods to be used on SSTP.
Using HTTPS allows traffic to flow through TCP port 443, which allows getting across PPTP and L2TP/IPSec traffic blocks. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides transport level security.
Want to add something, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.