In a mobile network where the wireless connections are less consistent and the speed is slower than a wired network, the conventional Virtual Private Network (VPN) performance is not consistently up to the mark. It often leads to low productivity, data loss, and transaction failure.
At the same time, the most commonly used Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) technology lacks an innate mechanism for taking care of data authenticity and privacy on a public network. As a result, it became indispensable to come up with the first class mobile VPN technologies.
What These Mobile VPN Technologies Should Offer
Catering to the connectivity needs of geographically spanned mobile users in a wireless environment, these technologies now aim at validating the identity of the sender and encrypt the data to be sent in transit on the World Wide Web. They should also take care of the following:
- Reliable exchange wherein the senders and receivers are notified to send the data again in case it is not received.
- Adaptable connection without re-establishing it, as the mobile users move from one location to another due to which their IP addresses keep changing.
- Automatic resumption if the device is on the hibernate mode for saving the battery life. This helps in preventing the failure of applications that rely on the VPN.
- Sheltering applications that are actually made for functioning on a stable, wired network.
In a nutshell, a best-in-class mobile VPN tends to remove the variance between the user expectations (similar to the ones from a wired network) and functioning of applications on a mobile network.
What are The Trending Mobile VPN Technologies
Well, there are four such best-in-class technologies for mobile VPNs. These are namely, Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), MobileIP, and purpose-specific mobile VPNs. However, the most trending one is purpose-specific SSL VPNs.
IPSec perhaps is the pioneer of 'have your own Internet,' meaning a distant employee can still connect to the company's intranet through a dial-up, broadband, or a Wi-Fi connection. Through such an Internet connection, the employee can launch the VPN client and configure an IPSec tunnel.
An IPSec VPN authenticates strongly for triggering a bond of trust between the parties and secures the applications from a few security breaches such as replay attacks. It also implements a means to set up a point-to-point security and ensures privacy and data integrity via several encryption algorithms.
You also obtain access control port and address wise for the tunnel traffic and compatibility across several platforms. However, IPSec is the right choice, only if you are the owner of resources of a network and do not mind installing the VPN software on the devices of your users.
Otherwise, IPSec is not fit, as it needs unchanged IP addresses of the endpoints. If they change, re-authentication takes place.
With a browser-based SSL VPN technology, an organization can offer remote access to any user or device for a remote access from any endpoint that supports an SSL-enabled Web browser. An SSL VPN aims to ensure application and date security between an SSL VPN gateway and remote users.
Unlike an IPSec VPN that connects remote devices to reliable networks, this one connects remote users to a certain network resources and applications within a reliable network through a Web portal. This portal is designed to proxy the traffic.
Securing online traffic, SSL VPNs are ideal for interacting with the resources from a personal device such as a PC in a café or at a kiosk. They need client software and ensure that the proper security software is running on the device.
However, an SSL VPN does not deal with roaming between networks and sporadic connectivity. Still, SSL VPNs seem to offer more benefits than the IPSec ones, including easier deployment and more secure access rules.
MOBIKE or IKEv2 VPNs
IKEv2 is a diversified version of the IPSec's IKE protocol, which is faster than other VPN protocols. It is designed to support a mobile device that tends to change its IP address several times and prevents re-authentication. However, the easier to set up IKEv2 does not shelter applications when the device is in the hibernate mode or out of reach, as it is only a key exchange protocol.
Mobile IP VPNs
Mobile IP works by hiding the changing IP addresses from the applications, as the mobile devices roam. However, it is not fully self-reliant, as there are inherent security functions. It is often used with IPSec for ensuring authenticity and confidentiality. This ends up increasing the protocol overhead.
Purpose-specific or Purpose-built SSL VPNs
Most of the SSL VPNs that are generic fall short in performance in the areas of scalability, positive end-user experience, and bringing all users onto a single VPN platform. These issues are best addressed by a specifically built SSL VPN.
To get started without investing money and time, do check out some of the top free VPN services.