The function of the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is to create a secure transmission tunnel between two points on a network. The tunneling functionality that PPTP provides forms the basis for creating multi-protocol virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to access remote networks through a secure connection. PPTP works in conjunction with PPP and, as such, uses PPP authentication methods including PAP, CHAP, and MS-CHAP.

To establish a PPTP session between a client and server, a TCP connection known as a PPTP control connection is required to create and maintain the communication tunnel. The PPTP control connection exists between the IP address of the PPTP client and the IP address of the PPTP server, using TCP port 1723 on the server and a dynamically assigned port on the client. It is the function of the PPTP control connection to pass the PPTP control and management messages used to maintain the PPTP communication tunnel between the remote system and the server. Once the PPTP connection is made, it provides a secure channel, or tunnel, using the original PPP connection between the devices.


SLIP was designed to allow data to be transmitted via Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) over serial connections in a UNIX environment. SLIP did an excellent job, but time proved to be its enemy. SLIP was developed in an atmosphere in which security was not an overriding concern; consequently, SLIP does not support encryption or authentication. It transmits all the data used to establish a connection (username and password) in clear text, which is, of course, dangerous in today's insecure world.

In addition to its inadequate security, SLIP also does not provide error checking or packet addressing, so it can be used only in serial communications. It supports only TCP/IP, and log in is accomplished through a terminal window.

Many operating systems still provide at least minimal SLIP support for backward capability to older environments, but SLIP has been replaced by a newer and more secure alternative: PPP. SLIP is still used by some government agencies and large corporations in UNIX remote access applications, so you might come across it from time to time.