Stands for "Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol." PPTP is a networking standard for connecting to virtual private networks, or VPNs. VPNs are secure networks that can be accessed over the Internet, allowing users to access a network from a remote location. This is useful for people who need to connect to an office network from home or access their home computer from another location.
The "point-to-point" part of the term refers the connection created by PPTP. It allows one point (the user's computer) to access another specific point (a remote network) over the Internet. The "tunneling" part of the term refers to the way one protocol is encapsulated within another protocol. In PPTP, the point-to-point protocol (PPP) is wrapped inside the TCP/IP protocol, which provides the Internet connection. Therefore, even though the connection is created over the Internet, the PPTP connection mimics a direct link between the two locations, allowing for a secure connection.