Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a protocol (set of communication rules) that allows corporations to extend their own corporate network through private "tunnels" over the public Internet. Effectively, a corporation uses a wide-area network as a single large local area network. A company no longer needs to lease its own lines for wide-area communication but can securely use the public networks. This kind of interconnection is known as a virtual private network (VPN).

PPTP, a proposed standard sponsored by Microsoft and other companies, and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, proposed by Cisco Systems, are among the most likely proposals as the basis for a new Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard. With PPTP, which is an extension of the Internet's Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), any user of a PC with PPP client support is able to use an independent service provider (ISP) to connect securely to a server elsewhere in the user's company.

This was last updated in September 2005

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