This post is by Roger Klorese, WatchGuard’s Director of Product Management.
Two-thirds of the North American and European workforce report that they work outside the corporate office at least occasionally every month. Marissa Mayer may not like it, but “work from home” is here to stay. The ability to quickly and securely connect to a company’s secure network from anywhere – a home office, an airport lounge, a hotel, a coffee shop, or a client’s office – is a vital business function. At WatchGuard we use the term “mobile VPN” to identify this type of road-warrior access, to distinguish it from a “branch office VPN,” a less transitory site-to-site connection between gateways at remote offices. We provide a broad array of mobile VPN options today including SSL, L2TP, IPSec and PPTP. (Each has their own benefits, which will be the subject of another future blog post).
For mobile IPSec VPN, we currently point our users to a Shrew Soft client with support for Windows. We always like to partner with the best in the business and incorporate leading technology (for example, using technology from Websense in WebBlocker). So today WatchGuard has announced a partnership with NCP Engineering to offer a premium IPsec VPN client that adds support for Apple OS X users and many new features. The new WatchGuard IPSec Mobile VPN client offers end users one-click remote access – they can simply import a configuration file that has been set up in the WatchGuard System Management (WSM) software.
Other new benefits include support for two-factor authentication, pre-login to Windows domains, and a secure personal firewall.
Not only do employees work from anywhere, but they also connect to corporate networks in more ways than before. VPN access has grown beyond the remote worker wired and WiFi use cases, adding remote connection of staff mobile devices in hospitality and retail environments. The client interfaces with the Windows 7 Mobile Broadband interface to ensure the highest possible performance of 4G/LTE hardware.
With the new Mobile VPN client from WatchGuard powered by NCP’s technology, the good news is that “I was out of the office” is no longer an excuse. (And the bad news is that “I was out of the office” is no longer an excuse…)
The IPSec Mobile VPN client can be configured and deployed with WatchGuard profiles that are downloadable by end users for one-click remote access. It’s currently available in the WatchGuard software download center with a free 30-day trial available. And customers can purchase licenses from WatchGuard’s network of resellers worldwide. There is a charge for this client, but unlike some competitors there is no longer a charge to add VPN user capacity on the XTM 5 series and XTM 800 series appliances.