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What is IKEv2 & How Does It Work?

Among the many internet security procedures, one stands out for its efficiency and robustness – IKEv2. Born out of a collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco, IKEv2 plays a vital role in facilitating a secure and encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection.

What is IKEv2?

Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) is a protocol that facilitates the establishment of a secure and encrypted VPN connection. A product of a Microsoft and Cisco collaboration, IKEv2 ensures an uninterrupted VPN connection even when there is a switch in networks or a temporary loss of connectivity.

How does IKEv2 work?

IKEv2 operates in two phases. In the first phase, the client and server authenticate each other and establish a secure channel. The second phase involves the creation of the actual VPN tunnel where data is encrypted and decrypted. This process is made possible through a series of security associations and key exchanges.

Why is IKEv2 paired with IPsec?

The pairing of IKEv2 with Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is not a random occurrence. IKEv2 is responsible for establishing secure tunnels, while IPsec ensures that the data transmitted through these tunnels remains secure and confidential. Together, they form a formidable duo in the world of internet security.

Is IKEv2 better than IKEv1?

Just as progress is part of any technological evolution, IKEv2 surpasses IKEv1 in several ways:

Efficiency: IKEv2 is more streamlined and efficient than its predecessor.

MOBIKE protocol: IKEv2 supports the MOBIKE protocol, which IKEv1 lacks.

Stability: IKEv2 offers improved stability in changing network environments.

Pros and cons of IKEv2/IPsec

As with any technology, IKEv2/IPsec has its share of advantages and disadvantages.


  • Stability: The ability to maintain VPN connections in unstable networks is a significant advantage.
  • Speed: IKEv2/IPsec offers faster connection speeds due to its efficient design.
  • Security: The combination of IKEv2 and IPsec provides robust security for data transmission.


  • Compatibility: IKEv2/IPsec may not be compatible with all devices or operating systems.
  • Complexity: The complexity of setup and configuration can be challenging for inexperienced users.


IKEv2, in combination with IPsec, presents a reliable solution for secure data transmission. Despite some drawbacks, its benefits of stability, speed, and robust security make it a worthy choice in the realm of internet security protocols.

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