Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol

What Does Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol Mean?

Point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) is a set of communication rules that govern the secure implementation of virtual private networks (VPN), which allow organizations a method of extending their own private networks over the public Internet via "tunnels."


By using PPTP, a large organization with distributed offices can create a large local area network (LAN ) – essentially a VPN – by using the infrastructure of a wide area network (WAN), like the network of a public Internet service provider (ISP) or telecom. This is more cost effective than laying out a network infrastructure over such distances.

Techopedia Explains Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol

PPTP enables the creation of a secure route of transfer of data from a remote client to a server in a private enterprise network through the creation of a VPN over TCP/IP-based networks, such as the Internet. It allows remote users to securely access corporate networks over the Internet, as if the client is physically present in the corporate network.

PPTP is an extension of the point-to-point protocol already used on the Internet, and Microsoft and its partners proposed it as a standard. Along with Cisco’s proposal of the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, these proposals may become the basis for the next Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard.

PPTP offers the following advantages:

  • Lower transmission costs: No additional service used, other than the Internet.
  • Lower hardware costs: Allows ISDN cards and modems to be separated from RAS servers, which results in fewer devices to purchase and manage.
  • Low administrative overhead: Administrators only manage the remote access server (RAS) and user accounts, rather than managing different hardware configurations.
  • Enhanced security: PPTP connection is encrypted and secured over the Internet and works with other networking protocols, like IP, Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) and NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI).

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…