Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What is SSL VPN and how does it work ?

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What is SSL VPN ?

SSL VPN is a form of VPN that can be used with a standard web browser. Unlike IPSec VPN, it does not require the installation of specialized client software to end user's computer. SSL VPN consists of one or more VPN devices, to which the end user can connect securely through standard web browser.

How is SSL VPN different from IPSec VPN ?

IPSec is integrated with the IP layer of the OSI protocol stack. But SSL VPN uses the Secure Sockets Layer for authentication and encryption. It uses standard web browser to communicate with the VPN devices and the traffic between the web browser and the SSL VPN device is encrypted with the SSL protocol, or its successor the TLS protocol.

How does SSL VPN work ?

There are mainly two types of SSL VPN :

  • SSL Portal VPN
  • SSL Tunnel VPN

What is SSL Portal VPN ?

In this type of SSL VPN, the end user connects to a single website called portal, and from the portal it accesses multiple network services. The end user first accesses the SSL VPN gateway and authenticates herself using standard authentication method supported by the gateway. She is then redirected to the web page of the portal through which she can connect to other network services.

What is SSL Tunnel VPN ? 

In this type of SSL VPN, the end user can securely connect to multiple network services through the tunnel running under SSL. SSL Tunnel VPN requires the web browser to be able to handle active content like Java, JavaScript, Active X, Flash applications or plug-ins, and it enables the user to access more functionalities that is not accessible to SSL Portal VPNs.

This was a very short introductory article about SSL VPN. Hope it helped.

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