Choosing the Right VPN

VPN in the company: open source or Windows?

Choosing the Right VPN

m is the best way to enable mobile users connect to the internal corporate network, a VPN server. In this area, there are many solutions – free of charge as open source. There are also hardware appliances and standard Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.

To establish a VPN, companies are various options available. Many firewall solutions and appliances also offer VPN tools. In this area, there are devices for small, medium and large companies. It is worth to compare which VPN solution is the best for the company themselves so. Hardware appliances can serve not only as a VPN server for mobile clients, but connect also branches over a VPN. But also software tools based on open source and Linux as well as Windows can be useful. We give an overview.

VPN is there for companies – these solutions

If a hardware appliance be used for smaller or medium-sized companies, the VPN functionality integrated in the firewall solutions by ZyXEL are quite widespread. ZyXEL specializes mainly on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Cisco also provides VPN solutions – also for smaller companies. The model number of Cisco is called RV. Cisco is also, like many other manufacturers, apps for smartphones and tablets on which users of on the road (see Figure 1) can establish a link. For larger networks, Cisco for example the ASA 5500-X series is available.

More popular providers in this field are check point endpoint security remote access VPN and F5 networks. F5 provides solutions for building VPNs. Dell also offers solutions for building VPNs with SonicWALL. Citrix VPN access is part of the NetScaler gateways.

OpenVPN – the standard of the opensource VPN

Many companies rely on the Platzhirsch OpenVPN for building VPNs. This is an open source solution available. OpenVPN is installed on Linux servers (see Figure 2) or Windows servers (see Figure 3) as the Server service. The Ubuntu wiki describes how to set up OpenVPN on Ubuntu servers.

In addition to OpenVPN, the two solutions of Pritunl and the SoftEther VPN project are ideal for creating VPNs on the basis of a server. Pritunl is available for Linux the SoftEther VPN also as a server for Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris and MacOS X.

Pritunl uses the OpenVPN log for the connection from the client. So, users can rely on the various OpenVPN apps. The installation is carried out directly in the corresponding distribution, or by installing the packages from GitHub. Instructions are on the download page. Pritunl is freeware, the provider is also a paid version available. The installation is set up via a Web interface (see Figure 5). Pritunl is easier to manage than OpenVPN and stores its data in a database, not in configuration files. Thus, you can create also distributed installations.

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