2 bits, 4 bits, 64 bits….wait, what? – The VPN Factor

by Carissa

2 bits, 4 bits, 64 bits….wait, what? – The VPN Factor

by Carissa

by Carissa

For several years, many have made use of the Cisco VPN Client as the standard of connecting to their business networks for application and system access. Although the traditional Cisco VPN Client has been extended to support the recent Microsoft Windows 7 release, support for the 64-bit architecture is not planned. For those devices, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is required.

Since the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client makes use of the SSL Protocol (unlike the Cisco VPN Client that uses IPSEC), specific licensing changes may be required for the appliance you’re terminating the VPN sessions on.

The Cisco ASA5500


This series originally required an additional SSL License Pack for each and every simultaneous user to be connected via SSL (AnyConnect VPN Client or WebVPN portal); however, with the recent changes in OS version 8.2 (pdf), you can acquire the licenses needed for your Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client users less expensively depending upon the type of access you wish to grant them.

The descriptions of the two predominant licensing models for the Cisco ASA5500 appliance are described as follows (from the Cisco website):

Cisco AnyConnect Essentials: This feature offers basic AnyConnect tunneling support for customers who require VPN remote access but do not need Cisco Secure Desktop features or clientless SSL VPN capabilities. AnyConnect Essentials supports mobile connectivity options with the AnyConnect Mobile license. Upgrade to the full-featured AnyConnect Premium license (traditional AnyConnect) is available by applying a traditional AnyConnect license or shared license to the ASA appliance.

Cisco AnyConnect Premium: Includes clientless SSL VPN and Cisco Secure Desktop capabilities (including Host Scan). Optionally provides Full Tunneling access to Enterprise applications. License is based on number of simultaneous users and is available as a single device or shared license.

The online documentation for the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is available for your review.

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