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what is the difference between VPN & GRE Tunnel ?

also if GRE tunnel isn't secure by itself, why don't we use port forwarding instead of GRE tunnel ?

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Hello,

There multiple different VPN protocols, each meant for specific purpose.

GRE Tunnel is one of them. GRE was designed to connect two networks together, but not for encryption.

If you want to encrypt your data traffic, you could use OpenVPN or IPsec VPN tunnel.