SoftEther VPN (from “Software Ethernet”) is a relatively new VPN protocol and it is considered the optimum OpenVPN alternative. This post explains what SoftEther is and how you can benefit from its advantages.
What is SoftEther VPN?
SoftEther VPN was developed as part of a thesis research at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. It consists of two parts: a new VPN protocol and a VPN server capable of establishing VPN connections using multiple VPN protocols, including L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN.
The SoftEther VPN protocol is an alternative to OpenVPN and other VPN protocols. It is free, open source and runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD and Solaris. Take a look below to see its main benefits.
The SoftEther VPN server is able to communicate with various devices using not only the SoftEther protocol but also L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN. Moreover, the Microsoft’s SSTP is accepted, even if the VPN server is installed on Linux. By the way, the SoftEther VPN server can be installed on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Mac OS X. You may read more details regarding the SoftEther server architecture on the SoftEther official web page.
SoftEther VPN protocol benefits
Here are some of the most important benefits the SoftEther protocol brings to its users:
- It is free and open source. Thus, any potential security flaws can be easily detected and fixed by the community.
- It is fast!
- Due to its SSL-VPN Tunneling on HTTPS, it is able to “penetrate” highly-restricted firewalls.
- It uses high-level encryption: AES 256-bit and RSA 4096-bit.
SoftEther VPN vs OpenVPN
SoftEther is often compared to OpenVPN, a standard when it comes to VPN protocols. Let’s take a look to several differences between these two protocols and VPN servers:
- According to some tests, SoftEther protocol is the fastest. Also the SoftEther server is faster on all protocols including OpenVPN.
- The fact that SoftEther VPN server is able to support multiple protocols is also a big plus compared to OpenVPN.
- All operating system which supports OpenVPN (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X, Linux, UNIX, iPhone and Android) can connect to SoftEther VPN server.
- SoftEther VPN Server has easier configuration than OpenVPN server.
To sum up the comparison, SoftEther is better then OpenVPN in more than one aspect. The future will tell if SoftEther will be adopted on large scale and replace OpenVPN.
SoftEther VPN providers
Even if the SoftEther VPN protocol is very fast it has not (yet) been adopted by most of the VPN providers. However, I was able to find a couple of VPN providers that offer access to it: ibVPN and HideIPVPN.
How to use SoftEther apps
In order to be able to use the SoftEther protocol you need to install a SoftEther client app. Once installed, create a new VPN connections and fill in the necessary info. Take a look below to the example provided by ibVPN.
To sum up, SoftEther looks very promising. The protocol is very fast, secure and stable. The server side is able to communicate on different protocols and runs on different server configurations (including Linux and Windows). Keep an eye on SoftEther! It may soon become a VPN standard!
What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!