Secure and private networking is ideal for businesses and governmental agencies, which is why most large companies and government entities utilize dedicated VPN appliances or connections. However, the dedicated solution isn’t always the best one. Sometimes you need a solution that is more customized and, in some cases, more cost-effective. That’s where SonicWALL’s VPN-in-a-box solution comes in. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of implementing a VPN-in-a-box solution versus a dedicated VPN appliance, as well as cover exactly how to set one up on a SonicWALL firewall.
Why A VPN-In-A-Box?
The demand for VPN-in-a-box solutions continues to rise every year, as more people realize the benefits of a centralized and maintained VPN connection that is automatically configured when the box is plugged into a network with Internet access. Because most VPN-in-a-box solutions are designed to be plugged into a network with Internet access, they are ideal for sites that experience a high volume of network traffic.
However, not all corporate networks experience a high volume of network traffic. So, if you’re looking for a VPN solution that is more suitable for smaller networks, then take a look at SonicWALL’s range of VPN-in-a-box solutions.
The Essentials Of Set Up A VPN-In-A-Box
Like other VPN solutions, SonicWALL’s VPN-in-a-box solution provides clients with secured connections to remote servers when plugged into a network with Internet access. So, to get started, you will need a SonicWALL firewall, an Internet connection, and either a dedicated or a shared Internet connection.
Choose The Right Hardware
While SonicWALL’s VPN-in-a-box solutions are designed for simplicity and cost-effectiveness, you still need to make sure that you choose the right hardware to implement it. A VPN-in-a-box solution will only function properly when implemented with a dedicated VPN appliance or with a VPN connection that is directly attached to the machine it is running on. That’s because these types of devices were designed with secure networking in mind and are, therefore, optimized for the purpose.
Choose The Right Software
Once you have your hardware choice set, you can move on to the next step and choose the software you will use to connect to the Internet.
To connect to the Internet through a VPN-in-a-box solution, you will need to use the VPN client built into the operating system you choose. For example, if you choose Microsoft Windows, then you will need to download and install the Windows VPN client. Once the VPN client is installed and configured, you can use it to connect to the Internet through a secured connection to a remote server.
Implementing A VPN On A SonicWALL Firewall
SonicWALL offers two different methods of implementing a VPN on a firewall. The first method, which we will discuss here, allows you to configure a VPN connection through a web browser on any device with Internet access. The second method, which we will discuss here, requires you to install a VPN client on each device you want to connect to the VPN. Regardless of which method you choose, the result is the same: with a VPN connection set up on a SonicWALL firewall, you can now access your organization’s private network through a secured connection to a remote server.
Set Up A VPN Through A Web Browser
SonicWALL’s VPN-in-a-box solutions are plug-and-play and, therefore, can be set up through a web browser. All you need to do is enter your organization’s domain name or IP address into the browser and, if successful, you will be presented with a login screen. After entering your login information, you will be given the option to select a VPN profile to be used by the connection. Then, you can click the “Connect” button to begin using the VPN connection. From here, you can access all your organization’s private network resources through a secure connection to a remote server.
This method of setting up a VPN is quick and easy to implement and, for the most part, does not require technical expertise. It is, therefore, ideally suited for individuals who want to set up a VPN for personal use or for use at home.
Set Up A VPN Client On Each Machine You Want To Connect To The VPN
While the previous method of setting up a VPN is useful for individuals and businesses who want to use the Internet from any location, they may want to connect additional devices to the VPN for specific functions. For example, you may want to set up a VPN client on a notebook computer to be used for remote access to a private network during traveling, or on a smartphone or other mobile device to be used for remote access to a private network while on the go. In these situations, you will need to set up a VPN client on each device you want to connect to the VPN. Then, when you want to use the VPN, you will need to enter the appropriate credentials (username and password) on each client to connect it to the VPN server.
This method of setting up a VPN is better suited for businesses and organizations with multiple locations or workers who travel frequently. If you choose this method, you will need to install the VPN client on each device you want to connect to the VPN, which can be a time-consuming task. Also, if you choose this method, you will need to ensure that each device is set up with the same username and password so that all devices can be easily connected to the VPN whenever it is needed. If there are a large number of devices to be set up, this can also be a complicated task and, therefore, requires a certain level of experience. Moreover, if there are any devices that are initially set up and working when you implement this method but then stop working when you next reboot the computer, then you will need to troubleshoot the issue. Using a VPN client for each device you want to connect is the most reliable and efficient way to set up a VPN. However, it requires a certain level of technical expertise to ensure that each device is configured and working correctly. So, if you are the type of person who wants a quick and easy way to connect to the Internet without having to worry about setting up and configuring a VPN client, then the web browser connection method is the best option.
Comparison Of The Two Methods
To help determine which method is best for your needs, we have compiled a quick comparison of the two methods discussed above. Here are the main differences:
An individual or home user will likely not be able to detect and, therefore, cannot be certain of the reliability of the web browser connection method to a VPN server. If the Internet connection is unstable or unavailable when you attempt to connect, then you will not be able to connect to the VPN server and will, therefore, be unable to access your organization’s private network resources.
With the VPN client method, the reliability of the VPN connection depends on how many times you connect to the server and, therefore, how many times you restart the computer. If you restart the computer frequently, then the VPN connection will be up and running when you next connect to it. As long as you continue to use the same username and password, then the VPN will remain active and you will be able to access your private network resources whenever you want through the VPN.
Ease Of Use
Setting up a VPN connection through a web browser is quick and easy to do. It does, however, require that you know what you are doing and have a basic understanding of how VPNs work. Once you have the basic knowledge, setting up a VPN connection is quite easy. The majority of the work can be done through a web browser. You will, therefore, need to know only what you need to know and be able to navigate the settings presented to you.
On the other hand, setting up a VPN client on each computer to be connected to the VPN requires that you know what you are doing and have the technical expertise to ensure that each device is configured correctly. If you do not have the technical knowledge, then you will need to seek help from an expert. It is also a time-consuming task to set up and configure a VPN client. If you have a large number of devices to be connected, then this can be a tedious task and, therefore, requires a certain level of experience.
Which One To Choose?
While both methods of setting up a VPN work just fine, there are cases where one method might be better suited than the other. Here are some of the major differences between the two: