What is IKEv2 VPN Protocol

As we mentioned, IKEv2 can’t work without IPsec. It sets up a security association that is used to negotiate security keys used by both the VPN client and the VPN server.

IKEv2 VPN Protocol Explained | What Is IKEv2? & Is It Secure?

VPN protocols are important to safeguard your cyber security in case of any data tracking or breaking. As time goes by, people will put more attention to their online privacy since nobody wants to be spied on. VPN protocols can play that role. So, about IKEv2, what is it and is it secure? MiniTool will tell you that.

What Is IKEv2 VPN Protocol?

What is IKEv2? First of all, IKE means Internet Key Exchange and v2 means version 2. It is a protocol used in the IPsec protocol suite to set up a security association (SA). That’s why we always bundle these two nouns together – IKEv2/ IPsec.

Besides, IPsec is regarded as a model of security and reliability while IKEv2 stands for speed and stability, so that would be one of the best VPN protocols to combine these two to offset their disadvantages.

Because IKEv2 is never implemented without the IPsec encryption layer, it is generally shortened to just IKEv2.

So is IKEv2 secure? Yes, it is. IKEv2 VPN protocol has no known vulnerabilities and uses first-class 256 encryptions and a series of cryptographic algorithms.

How Does IKEv2 Work?

As we mentioned, IKEv2 can’t work without IPsec. It sets up a security association that is used to negotiate security keys used by both the VPN client and the VPN server.

Once the validation by IKEv2 has been successful, the communication between two peers will be encrypted. It will generate the same encryption keys used to encrypt and decrypt all the data that flows through the VPN tunnel.

There is some news about IKEv2 you might be interested in.

  • IKEv2/IPsec uses VPN encryption ciphers such as AES, ChaCha20, and Camellia.
  • It uses the famous Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange algorithm.
  • It supports Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for data integrity and privacy.
  • It uses X.509 certificates for authentication.
  • It works well with open-source software.
  • It uses UDP packets as well as port 500.

IKEv1 vs. IKEv2

IKEv1 and IKEv2 are two different versions, so what’s the difference between them?

IKEv2 protocol is a kind of upgraded version of IKEv1 so it can provide more experience and functions to users.

  1. More encryption algorithms are supported.
  2. The VPN connection will be more stable and consistent with the support of MOBIKE (Mobility and Multi-Homing Protocol).
  3. The built-in NAT traversal in IKEv2 helps establish a connection much faster.
  4. Fewer bandwidth data is required.

Pros and Cons of IKEv2

Even though IKEv2 has many benefits, people may want to compare it to other VPN protocols to choose the best one. We provide a comprehensive analysis of its benefits and downsides below.

  1. One of the fastest VPN protocols, even faster than L2TP and PPTP.
  2. High-security level with multiple advanced ciphers for maximum protection.
  3. A strong and stable connection with the seamless auto-reconnect feature.
  1. Because of UDP Port 500, it may be blocked by firewalls and admins.
  2. It is a closed source, which may trigger some security issues.
  3. IKEv2 can be exploited.

IKEv2 VPN Protocol FAQ

Is IKEv2 compatible with my device?

IKEv2 supports all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers, especially fast on macOS. The protocol is also compatible with smart devices like Smart TVs and some streaming devices.

What is IKEv2 for iPhone?

IPhone allows you to use IKEv2. You can choose IKEv2 and select Always On VPN if you want to configure a payload so that iPhone and iPad devices must have an active VPN connection in order to connect to any network.

How about IKEv2 vs. L2TP/IPsec?

The security level of them also is quite the same because both of them work around IPsec but IKEv2 is supported by fewer systems and software.

Is IKEv2 good for gaming?

Yes, because of its fast speeds, stability, and high security, IKEv2 can be a better choice for gaming players. It can help lower the latency levels to make your game more fluent and improve the gaming experience.

Is IKEv2 better than other VPN protocols?

That depends on your situation. In most cases, the IKEv2 VPN protocols will be better compared to others due to performance and efficiency, especially on mobile devices. Fewer CPU resources will be wasted and better performance will be met.


IKEv2 is a high security level protocol. To further protect your data, you can choose to back up your data with MiniTool ShadowMaker in case of any data loss.

Bottom Line:

After reading this article, you may have some understanding of IKEv2 VPN Protocols. If you still have similar questions about that, please leave a message.

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About The Author

Anna is an editor of the MiniTool Team. She worked in this big family since her graduation. Her articles mainly focus on data backup and recovery, disk cloning, and file syncing, committed to resolving the data loss issues users may encounter on their PCs. Besides, more related computer articles are shared here. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading and watching movies. Travel can also be a good choice for her.

What is IKEv2 VPN Protocol

IKEv2 is one of the widely used protocols for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s a robust VPN protocol that is reliable for certain cases. Protocols are a fundamental part of a VPN as they provide authentication and encryption between the client and the VPN server. There are several other VPN protocols in use, but IKEv2 is preferred for many reasons. We’ll explore those as we explain what is IKEv2.

What is a ikev2 VPN

The workings of a VPN protocol are generally technical and may overwhelm the average user, but we’ll simplify things in an effort to give a good understanding of how IKEv2 works.

What is IKEv2 VPN Protocol and How Does it Work?

A protocol defines a set of rules that two parties must agree upon to communicate. In the computing world, where there are so many different devices with different software architectures, protocols are meant to simplify things by creating a standard. It prevents conflicts when two or more devices communicate with each other.

Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEv2) was developed by Cisco and Microsoft and established by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The second version was released back in 2005, more than 15 years ago. It has native support in Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems.

IKEv2 provides tunneling and a secure link to exchange keys, hence the name “Key Exchange). It uses Diffie-Hellman key exchange to establish a secure connection to share the session keys that will be used to encrypt data later on. For encryption, IKEv2 is paired with IPsec, which provides authentication and confidentiality in the form of encryption and data integrity by using hashing algorithms. IKEv2/iPsec uses X.509 certificates for authentication, which is how the client verifies the identity of the VPN server.

IPsec makes IKEv2 complete by giving access to a range of cipher suites.

When the client first tries to establish a connection, the VPN server will prove its identity by sending a digitally signed certificate. It will establish what’s called an IKE security association (IKE) that predefined how the keys will be exchanged.

It supports multiple encryption standards such as AES and blowfish. IKEv2 in AES 256-bit mode provides very strong security that is more than enough for secure data transmission. FastestVPN also uses AES 256-bit for encrypting internet communication between the client and the VPN server.

When Should I Use IKEv2?

IKEv2 checks all the boxes for a reliable VPN protocol. It has a low CPU overhead, making it less resource-hungry and having native support in major operating systems. Its primary competitor is OpenVPN, which has its own unique attributes, but it is difficult to implement without native support.

It features MOBIKE (Mobility and Multi-homing Protocol), which makes it reliable under changing networks. It makes IKEv2 particularly suited for cellphones, where switching between networks is common while on the move.

For various reasons, IKEv2 is the default VPN protocol in all FastestVPN apps. Though, you can choose your preferred protocol at any time from settings. FastestVPN features PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN UDP and TCP.

IKEv2 uses UDP port 500 to communicate. Ports are virtual gateways that all inbound and outbound traffic use. Your ISP may block traffic from that port to block VPN traffic. It’s one situation where OpenVPN will prove to work. OpenVPN can operate over port 443, which is the port that’s used by HTTPS web traffic.

Is IKEv2 Secure?

For the most part, IKEv2 is considered secure. It uses strong ciphers for encryption and uses the Diffe-Hellman algorithm for secure key exchange. It also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFA), which is important for long-term data protection. PFA allows the client and VPN server to negotiate new keys for each session. Meaning that if the keys were compromised somehow, they cannot be used to decrypt data other than from the session they belong to.

There have been concerns around whether IKEv2 lives up to its reputation after leaked documents showed that NSA had cracked it. Technologies like SSL/TLS encryption prevent third-party intervention. Lawmakers have argued that the government should be allowed by companies to intercept and decrypt encrypted traffic.

So there’s little doubt that an intelligence-gathering agency like the NSA has not spent its considerable resources to find vulnerabilities in technologies that allow them to monitor digital communication.

Final Words

As a FastestVPN user, you have the freedom to use the VPN protocol of your choice. Each VPN protocol delivers some functionality that could prove to be useful. For example, PPTP is the fastest, but it’s not recommended due to several weaknesses. However, IKEv2 has proved itself as a reliable VPN protocol that also has open-source implementations as well such as StrongSwan.