VPNs: Six burning questions

Which type of VPN should you be using? Should you build your own VPN?

SSL can also give more-detailed control of the resources remote users have access to. Whereas IPSec gives full network access, SSL can restrict access based on applications more readily.

If access to Web applications or Webbified applications is all users need, then the only client software required is a compatible browser. This means users can connect from home machines, borrowed machines or those found in business-center kiosks.

"SSL VPNs have superseded IPSec as the easiest choice for casual and ad hoc employee VPN access requests and for business partners, external maintenance providers and retired associates," says Gartner analyst John Girard. While the sales of SSL VPN gear grew 43 per cent between mid-2006 and mid-2007 to hit US$340 million, the annual growth rate is expected to slow down, resulting in a projected average annual growth rate of 13.8 per cent through 2011.

A separate study by IDC finds that IPSec VPNs accounted for more than half the US$1.27 billion taken in with VPN appliance sales in 2007, but IPSec's share of that revenue actually dropped as a percentage by 9.8 per cent, IDC says. Sales of SSL VPNs went up 18.2 per cent in the same time period.

Still, customers are finding use for IPSec remote access in conjunction with SSL. Sales of Hybrid SSL/IPSec gear are lower , but growing faster, than SSL or IPSec gear alone, IDC says.

The top-selling VPN appliance vendors in order are Cisco, Juniper, Nokia, Safenet and Alcatel-Lucent, IDC says.

5. Are VPNs good for VoIP?

Yes.

MPLS VPNs can provide quality of service that guarantees delivery of VoIP packets on time for better voice quality.

MPLS also scales to accommodate very large numbers of sites fully meshed, so phoning among corporate sites via VoIP shouldn't be a problem.

Using an SSL VPN to carry VoIP over TCP actually improves voice quality, testing by Network World has found. Because TCP reorders packets and rebroadcasts packets that get lost, it can actually boost quality of the received call. If bandwidth is sufficient to accommodate the VoIP channel plus the rebroadcasts, it can improve quality.

VPNs can also provide security for VoIP calls running over Wi-Fi networks or wired networks, blocking eavesdropping.

VPNs are also used to protect data from smartphones and other handheld devices, including iPhones, although management for that is still rudimentary.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?