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...

1 Answer 1


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.

  • In your experience, is there a speed difference?
    – Nazadus
    Jul 14, 2009 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, 2010 at 21:41

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