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The best VPNs for enterprise use


Choosing a VPN design: Rationales and influences

Designer: Christopher Seero

IT managers choosing a virtual private network (VPN) design are often caught between management dictates and user preferences. This can pose interesting challenges for IT staff.

Upper management's approach to choosing a VPN design often follows along these lines:

  • Existing infrastructure dictates the VPN components chosen.
  • Upper management determines specific vendor choice or relationship.
  • Purchase decisions are based purely on best price, or on the optimal features-to-price tradeoff.

Under this typical VPN design rationale, IT rarely gets the option to pick whatever it wants.

The bottom-up, user-driven approach to choosing a VPN often has these characteristics:

  • User platforms dictate VPN protocols and solutions.
  • Low-cost or freeware VPN clients drive remaining component choices.

This bottom-up approach creates a free-for-all: Multiple VPNs get used for different user groups or platforms.

To view the four top VPN clients, see the next slide.

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