SSL VPNs Gain New Ground

Analysis: eWEEK Labs puts Secure Sockets Layer-based VPNs to the test.

SSL VPNs have advanced in capability since eWEEK Labs last looked at the technology in depth several years ago. Secure Sockets Layer-based VPNs are becoming more and more effective at providing secure remote access to Web-enabled applications—so much so, in fact, that organizations could justify replacing an existing IPSec VPN implementation with SSL VPN technology.

Im in the process of testing SSL VPNs, and Ive had to implement a far greater amount and variety of infrastructure than my colleague Andrew Garcia did when testing the products in 2004—not just e-mail and network file shares but also new applications that will likely become more common for the road warriors and home workers who use VPNs to gain entry to enterprise IT systems.

For example, Ive implemented a Trixbox 1.0 VOIP (voice over IP) system, which replaced Asterisk@Home, on my test platform for the evaluation of Aventails EX-2500 and F5s FirePass 4100.

Im using Trixbox—a simple-to-install yet full-featured VOIP solution—to see how well the SSL VPNs work with time-sensitive voice data. Its not that big a stretch to predict that VOIP softphones will start appearing on corporate laptops in greater numbers in the near future. It seemed like a good "whats new now" (to borrow a turn of phrase from our sister publication PC Magazine) application to run in our tests.

My SSL VPN evaluation is slated to appear in the July 31 issue of eWEEK and at


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