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We have dedicated servers hosted for us by a third party, we connect to these over a VPN. My server provider uses Cisco ASA 5540 as VPN devices.

Currently we're using software clients on individual machines to connect to this VPN, either:

Cisco VPN Client
Shrew Soft VPN Connect

However, I'm looking to purchase a new load balancing router for our office and thought this could be an opportunity to get VPN client duties taken over by hardware. We could then create a permanent VPN tunnel that could be used by anyone on the network with no software client necessary. Sadly I'm not the most knowledgeable on this kind of stuff so is:

1) This a realizable goal?

Next I need to know what kind of hardware I will need. I'm not looking to spend lots of money on this (~$500), so doubtful I can afford any Cisco kit. Therefore, this is the most promising candidate I've seen (as far as my limited knowledge goes):

Draytek Vigor 2955 - http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/vigor2955.html

2) Would this be compatible with the Cisco kit my server provider uses?
3) If not, are there any alternatives I should consider?

Many thanks in advance.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Look at the following alternatives to stay within your budget:

  • Cisco ASA5505 (yes, it's within your budget, but if you don't do SSL VPNs)
  • Juniper SSG5
  • Juniper SRX100

I'm assuming that since this is for your office, this is a relatively low amount of bandwidth.

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I don't know about the Draytek. But if you're using Cisco VPN Client (on Windows probably), try using vpnc from a linux machine. If (and it's highly likely) it works, then you could use any Linux machine as a router, and masq/NAT all traffic to the remote site via the tunnel. There are a lot of linux router offerings, and I think you can manage with a simple machine with two network cards.

I use this a lot and it works like a charm.

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