Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol, PPTP for short, was developed by Microsoft with the purpose in mind of creating VPNs over dialup networks. It has long been a standard protocol for internal business VPNs. It is a VPN protocol only. It relies on various authentication methods to provide security, MS-CHAP v2 being the most common.
Today it is available as standard on nearly every single VPN capable platform and device. Because of its popularity it can it can be setup without needing to install any additional software.
It is still a common choice for businesses and nearly all VPN providers offer it as an option. Along with its ease of use, it also remains popular because of its speed.
How Does PPTP Work?
In 1999, PPTP was first bundled with Windows ’95. Since that time a number of security vulnerabilities have come to light, the most serious of which is the possibility of unencapsulated MS-CHAP v2 Authentication.
This exploit has allowed PPTP to be cracked in as little as 2 days. Microsoft has patched this flaw, but they themselves recommend that VPN users should use L2TP/IPsec or SSTP and avoid utilizing PPTP.
The advantage you find with PPTP is that it is built-in to just about all platforms, it is easy to setup, and it is fast. The downside is that it is not at all secure.
If you are using a VPN to keep your information private and secure from prying eyes, PPTP is not a viable option and should be avoided. If you are looking to use a VPN simply for something like accessing geo-blocked content, PPTP is usually a less expensive way to go and might make sense in that situation.