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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:

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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What role does your IT team play in choosing a VPN design, and in what ways does upper management determine the ultimate decision?

You mention in this slide (6), that user platforms dictate VPN protocols. I am curious of what that statement entails. I have resolved a (remote) VPN connectivity issue by manually editing the local IP network from the default 10. gateway address to the more widely adopted 192. range.

Like a light switch, the VPN connection ran straight through successfully to the teleworker's devices once the changes were saved in the router.

Does this mean that the user platform that you are referring to is (in this case) the LAN router? Or did I completely miss what you meant by "VPN Protocols"?

My original thought was that the Client VPN software was what elected the usable protocols but that wasn't what I gathered from your statement.