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I use a vpn server (supporting pptp and openvpn) built in to my router at home to make a secure connection back to my home network. I currently use OpenVPN with certificate authentication, but since my router only distributes the keys in the form of a .ovpn file and not with individual files, it is difficult to use with Linux laptops that can't properly read the ovpn file.

So anyway, for convenience I was thinking about moving to username and password authentication instead. I'm not concerned with anyone making a serious effort to see what I'm doing - my intention is simply to hide my traffic while on publicly accessible networks, while at the same time being able to access resources on my home network. If my VPN thwarts the average script kiddie sitting on the same network as me, I'm satisfied with its security.

So, given that I use a strong password and the router has properly implemented its VPN server, will my traffic be secure enough for my needs?

  • PPTP is unsafe, no matter whether you use a password or certificate (can pptp actually use one?) – user42178 Apr 29 '15 at 6:28
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Short answer: Is not unsafe.

Long answer:

The option of using a certificate or password to authenticate the client does not change the traffic encryption. It's only used in the first stage of the VPN connection. The server and client will negotiate the session keys only after authenticating the user, independent of the use of certificate or password.

If your password is strong enough, the average script kiddie will be not able to snoop on your traffic. Maybe it can even resist some advanced ones.

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