VPN Hardware Vs. VPN Software

Basic research reveals that a VPN is essential to ensuring overall network security. Setting up a VPN gives you a secure tunnel online, and allows you to create point-to-point or site-to-site connections. It also allows you to securely connect routed or bridge configurations for remote access facilities, and you link your users through your encrypted tunnel. VPNs safeguard the information employees send and receive online — and protect their internet connections from unauthorized intrusion.

There are many different VPNs, all offering varying levels and types of service — and one of the primary things to consider when shopping around for security solutions is whether you should be using VPN hardware or VPN software. While the right decision ultimately depends on your company's needs, on side-by-side comparisons the VPN hardware is edged out by the flexibility and scalability offered by VPN software.

VPN Hardware vs. Software: A Comparison

VPN Hardware

VPN hardware is a virtual private network based on a single, stand-alone device. The device, which contains a dedicated processor, manages authentication, encryption, and other VPN functions. This VPN offers high levels of security, but is expensive and costly to scale. With VPN hardware, there’s a limit on the number of VPN tunnels you can create. So when your business expands, you must purchase a new device. VPN hardware can be very complicated to set up, and may require time-consuming and complex maintenance. VPN hardware is best suited to enterprises with large budgets, and dedicated teams to handle all of the maintenance and upkeep.

VPN Software

A software VPN is an application that runs on a server, and offers security, speed, affordability, and scalability. VPN software provides a lower upfront investment than VPN hardware, and scaling your business can be easy and cost-effective – simply add or remove licenses as needed. VPN software can be downloaded and set up in a matter of minutes and offers speeds that are just as fast (if not faster) than VPN hardware speeds. A software VPN is the ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses that want to grow and expand, and are looking for a top-notch security solution that is flexible, upgradable, and easily manageable.

VPN Software in Action

One example of a software VPN in action is a home security company managing residential installations. They work with contractors who install security systems in customers’ homes. The company wanted to continue using a legacy mobile workforce management software developed in-house — but this software was not designed with security best practices in mind. Internal software is more likely to be vulnerable to external attacks. Their legacy software does not allow secure Internet access making it a security risk. The company’s entire infrastructure could collapse if exposed to malicious threats online.

Their ideal solution was a software VPN. They installed Access Server at their datacenter. Each contractor installed Connect Client software on their tablets. Now the entire team can use the software VPN to securely access internal services and legacy software from anywhere in the world. By using Access Server, a VPN software, they can easily add additional accounts for new team members. They can also offer access to all of the important resources without having to spend above their budget, or deal with complex and time-consuming maintenance and upkeep.

Deploying Our VPN Software

OpenVPN Access Server is a full featured secure network tunneling VPN software solution that integrates OpenVPN server capabilities, enterprise management capabilities, simplified OpenVPN Connect UI, and OpenVPN Client software packages that accommodate Windows, MAC, Linux, Android, and iOS environments.

By shedding the expense, maintenance, and complexity of hardware, any sized company can deploy a highly scalable and flexible VPN solution. Businesses of all sizes can rapidly expand or contract VPN services through the OpenVPN licensing server — making this solution competitive for small, medium, and enterprise businesses versus much higher priced hardware systems.

Our intuitive software-based platform makes it simple for an organization's employees, branch offices, suppliers, and even customers to gain simple, secure remote access to shared data, such as network file folders or client server applications. You can download Access Server in minutes and configured it with our simple and intuitive web-based Admin UI. This enables any organization to set up secure access to data and applications from anywhere within minutes. OpenVPN Access Server creates value by shedding the complexities of configuration and management of a VPN.

To get started with Access Server, you can:

OpenVPN for Self-Hosted VPNDeploy it yourself, using our Quick Start Guide

OpenVPN for AWSDeploy a ready-to-launch instance on Amazon Web Service

OpenVPN For AzureDeploy a ready-to-launch instance on Microsoft Azure

OpenVPN For GCPDeploy a ready-to-launch instance on Google Cloud

OpenVPN For Digital OceanDeploy a ready-to-launch instance on Digital Ocean

Explore some of our more detailed self-deployment option

Once you have Access Server, you then simply connect a device via one of our clients. On mobile platforms, we have apps for Android and iOS, but you can also get started on Mac, Linux, or Windows.

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