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Comparison : SSL VPN vs IPSEC tunneling

Thanks for reaching out to me for your queries and I am trying my level best to answer your questions. As many of you have a query about the difference between the SSL VPN and the IPSEC VPN technologies, so i decided to write on this specific query.

Before we start with this article i already wrote couple of articles on IPSEC and if you want to go through it please find the below links for your reference:

Comparison: DMVPN and IPSEC
Quick Comparison: IPSEC vs DMVPN vs EasyVPN vs GETVPN

Lets talk about SSL VPN and IPSEC one by one and then we will come up with the comparison in the features at the end.

SSL VPN stands for Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network,  It is called as web based VPN or WebVPN. SSL VPN provides SSL VPN remote-access connectivity from almost any Internet-enabled location using only a web browser that natively supports SSL encryption. This feature allows your company to extend access to its secure enterprise network to any authorized user by providing remote-access connectivity to corporate resources from any Internet-enabled location.

Fig 1.1- SSL VPN

SSL VPN majorly operates in the 3 modes and these modes are as below:
  • Clientless SSL VPN: SSL VPN Client-less mode provides you with the secure access to private web resources and will provide access to web content. This mode is useful for accessing most content that you are actually looking to access in a web browser, such as Internet access, databases, and online tools that employ a web interface.
  • Thin Client SSL VPN: SSL VPN thin client mode extends the capability of the cryptographic functions of the web browser to enable remote access to TCP-based applications such as Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Internet Message Access protocol (IMAP), Telnet, and Secure Shell (SSH).
  • Tunnel Mode SSL VPN: Other mode of SSL VPN is tunnel mode SSL VPN which provides you the Full tunnel client mode offers extensive application support through its dynamically downloaded Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client (next-generation SSL VPN Client) for SSL VPN. Full tunnel client mode delivers a lightweight, centrally configured and easy-to-support SSL VPN tunneling client that provides network layer access to virtually any application.
IPSEC- Internet Protocol Security
IPSEC you all know where you can have the connectivity via internet or public cloud with the most secured way. It has 2-way authentication process and is one of the most favourable and best method to connect the sites point to point.

With the help of IPSec you can have the data security at the IP packet level. A packet is a data information that is organised for sending across a network, and it includes a header and payload (the data in the packet). IPSec emerged as a viable network security standard because enterprises wanted to ensure that data could be securely transmitted over the Internet. IPSec protects against possible security exposures by protecting data while in transit.

Fig 1.2- IPSEC tunnel

IPSEC will give you the best and the robostic security features which includes Authentication, Integrity and Confidentiality. IPSEC or Internet Protocol Security has components and these components are :
  • Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP): Provides confidentiality, authentication, and integrity.
  • Authentication Header (AH): Provides authentication and integrity.
  • Provides key management and Security Association (SA) management.
I will discuss about the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP); Authentication Header (AH) and Internet Key Exchange (IKE) in detail later on the stage where I will write the article on the IPSEC only. I will cover the configurations part as well in it.

Below is the table cover the feature comparison between both the protocols SSL VPN and IPSEC

Fig 1.3- IPSEC vs SSL VPN Comparison

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