What is SSL VPN?

SSL VPN stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a sort of virtual private network that uses the SSL protocol. It offers remote-access, and secure VPN capability. It can be used with the standard web browser. VPN for SSL is considered better than the traditional IPsec VPN. One of the main reasons behind this is that they don’t require the installation of the specialized software from the end user.

Why you need ssl vpn in 2018?

The need for SSL VPNs emerged because of eavesdropping of network connections. Since universities have confidential data, they are more prone to hacker attacks. Therefore, rerouting traffic through secure VPNs seems a plausible idea.

Now whether you are part of a university, or you deal with any type of secure information, the Secure Socket Layer vpns should be on your to-buy list. Why? Read below.


  • SSL VPN enables the devices to develop a secure VPN connection with the web browser. The Secure Socket Layer vpns tends to use E2EE or end to end encryption.
  • This enables it to protect the data transmitted among the SSL VPN server and endpoint client software. Through this process, client becomes able to securely connect to the internet.
  • They provide greater level of compatibility with the client platforms and configurations for firewalls and remote networks. This makes Secure VPNs more reliable connections than the other VPNs.
  • They enables the users to access the limited access networks remotely through an authenticated pathway through the encryption of all the network traffic. It makes it appear as if the user has been on the local network, without regard of his geographical location.

Best and Cheap SSL VPN

  1. HSO

hso guide to vpn

HSO is a UK based SSL VPN provider. HSO’s Secure Socket Layer VPN provides authorized users an encrypted access to your corporate access through their browsers from anywhere. It is among the top cheapest Secure VPN service providers.


No need to maintain or buy which determines the ease of deployment. The costs are quite low. It is ISO 27001 certified. It gives you great control of network access with the end user verification.


The greatest disadvantage of HSO’s SSL VPN is the reduced speed as compared to other VPNs. There are also question marks on its scalability.

  1. Barracuda SSL VPN

Barracuda Secure VPN

Barracuda Secure VPN is developed to offer secure remote access to the resources of an organization. It is considered one of the best SSL VPNs. It protects the integrity and confidentiality of the network communications. The key features include web portal and clientless remote access.


Barracuda SSL VPN is specifically useful for the companies of all sizes. It does not require additional client software. The settings are not complicated like traditional VPNs.


It is slightly expensive than the other secure VPN service providers. It supports just two approaches to secure VPN client software including browser plug-in and clientless.

  1. F5 BIG-IP


F5 BIG-IP SSL VPN tends to support connectivity to any IP/TCP based applications. It provides straightforward management and setup. It enforces the end point security. It is one of the best SSL VPNs nowadays.


It has valuable proxy architecture. It supports multiple modules. It has multi-tenancy feature such as hardware clustering. The option of software partitioning is also available. WAF is their best feature along with load balancing.


The problems lie in stability and scalability. It is a little complex as compared to other secure VPNs. It is a costly VPN and not recommended for budget constraints.

  1. Cisco SSL VPN


Cisco SSL VPN assists you in securely and easily extending the network to the users who have access to the webs browser and internet. It is a cheap ssl vpn cisco service provider. Using it, you can customize and extend access of your corporate network to the individuals.


It has an easy and simple interface. The VPN is reliable and rarely drops speed.


The biggest problem with secure vpn cisco is the lack of features. The interface does not allow many metrics to display for the users. Users need to know where to go in the OS or Windows for adding the file.

  1. Pulse Connect Secure

Pulse Connect Secure

Connect Secure by Pulse Secure is a quite stable secure VPN. It is a useful tool used by many for connecting to VPNs.


It is a secure VPN on a budget. You can access it from any location. It offers automatic configuration of the devices and prevents loss of the productivity.


It seem difficult to set up. The user interface is not impressive and needs to be enhanced. There appear unrelated options over the screen.

Why Universities urge their students to use SSL VPN?

There are plenty of reasons universities encourage their students to the use the Secure Socket Layer vpn. SSL VPN provides the remote access to the departmental servers, applications, and data sources for the students, staff, and faculty. It provides students, faculty, and staff working anywhere with a secure access to the network resources of the department. Universities regard SSL VPN better than IPsec VPN because with SSL VPN, there is no need to configure a VPN client program on the computer of the end user.

Reasons Universities Prefer SSL VPNs for Their Servers:

  • There is no requirement for separate passwords or usernames as well.
    SSL VPN is scalable.
  • Its configuration can be customized to fulfill the operational and organizational demands of the university departments.
  • Secure VPN is an easy to use VPN for the students. It can control the restriction on the network access in a much better way.
  • It can provide a private web based connection among a couple of networks such as external network and campus department network. It can encrypt the communications that pass among the two networks.
  • As students of universities require clientless access or specific access control, SSL VPN appears as the most appropriate VPN for the students.

How to install and setup Secure VPN client on windows

  • The SSL VPN servers work similar to any other regular VPN. Since they come already integrated with the SSL clients, you just have to download the software on your computer and install it.
  • Once the software is installed, run it and login with the credentials provided to you. Usually the client is VPNNAME.msi or VPNNAME.exe file.

How to install and setup Secure VPN client on windows

  • Enable the VPN server and you will have the option to choose a server to connect to it.

2nd step to How to install and setup Secure VPN client on windows

  • You are now connected to an SSL secure server. Open your browser to start browsing the internet.
  • Once you are done, disconnect the server to disable SSL VPN.

click to disconnect

  • You can do the same by right clicking on the Pulse Secure icon in the system tray and then selecting ‘Disable’ button.

How to install and setup SSL VPN client on Android and iOS

Similar to Windows, you can install the SSL VPN on your Android and iOS device. We will show the example of Pulse Connect to do it on iPhone.

How to install and setup SSL VPN client on Android and iOS

First download the iPhone app for Pulse Connect SSL VPN from the app store. Or, you can do it here.

Once you have the app downloaded, install it on your mobile and open it.

It will work the same way as other VPN secure connections work. You will have the option to login to the secure account.

setup SSL VPN client on Android and iOS

Let’s say you are connected through a University’s account. So, you will use that to login. For that purpose, select ‘connect’ and then enter the VPN server name.

For example: Northwestern SSL VPN. Next, enter the URL: www.vpn.northwestern.edu and then your username and password.

Next, it may prompt you to select a server for connecting to the VPN. That’s it. You are done.

The app will run in the background while you use the browser or other networking clients to use internet.

You can disable the secure VPN client by going to settings > apps > SSL VPN app > disable.

SSL VPN vs ipsec VPN- which one wins?!

Secure vpn vs ipsec are two types of security frameworks used to secure information flow over the internet.


  • SSL is a Secure Socket Layer connection that offers users protection from malicious websites by verifying certificates. All SSL enabled VPNs allow users to only browse the secure websites.
  • Each website/app gets a secure connection certificate. The SSL layer verifies it and then allows users to get the information available on it.
  • If the certificate is expired or not available then ssl vpn client will notify the user that the website/app is not secure.

ssl vpn

Source: SSLShoper


  • IPSec is a IP security protocol that authenticates IPs of each server. The protocol verifies the security of servers through various encryption protocols such as DES, 3DES and AES.
  • It verifies the encryption standard and notifies the users if the server or IP protocol has malicious code.
  • An IPSec VPN creates a security tunnel for the transfer of packets between both the protocols. This prevents hackers from penetration or eavesdropping.

Most recent secure VPN servers use both (ssl vpn vs ipsec) types of security layers to protect the user. IPSec works on the IP addresses and create encrypted tunnels to secure data flow, whereas SSL socket layer verifies information through certificates.

Should You Get SSL VPN Servers?

SSL VPN servers are mostly used in organizations working on secure and confidential information. They aren’t recommended for home users because regular VPN servers such as NordVPN, PureVPN that work on AES-256 military grade encryption are sufficient for them. These home VPN servers offer anonymity, flexibility in connectivity, and complete freedom.

On the other hand, if you are looking for SSL VPN servers that provide end-to-end encryption, then you can check those from our list.

In the end, the choice is yours.



Leave a comment