Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the difference between Microsoft VPN and Cisco VPN? Are they just separate implementations of the same protocol?

I seem to remember hearing somewhere that they were not compatible with each other, and I have never seen any one connect to a given network with both clients...

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Microsoft VPN is usually PPTP, Cisco uses IPSEC. These are completely different protocols so a client won't typically support both.

Microsoft also support L2TP and more recent versions do support IPSEC, although the implementation is a bit clumsy (imho).

PPTP has had several bad security problems in the past, but the latest version is reasonably secure and is easier to set up than IPSEC.

IPSEC is more of an industry standard and is very secure when configured properly.

share|improve this answer
In your experience, is there a speed difference? – Nazadus Jul 14 '09 at 15:43
How about a little light on these points... "Microsoft VPN is usually PPTP" - No sorry. Microsoft supports PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP tunnels based on the RFC standard. "...the implementation is a bit clumsy (imho)" - Microsoft's implementation is completely integrated with the Windows platform with full support for Group Policy configuration, certificate auto-enrollment (for L2TP), and Network Access Protection (included & integrated with Windows XP SP2 and above clients). – Dscoduc Jan 26 '10 at 21:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.