Why would I pay to use the Sonicwall Global Client VPN application when I can use the built in Windows VPN client for free?

We are connecting to Sonicwall NSA 3500 firewalls if it makes a difference.

  • How would we know why you might choose to pay? Maybe you should reword this into a proper question. – John Gardeniers Mar 30 '11 at 22:22

The windows client only supports L2TP I believe and that is generally viewed as insecure.

One would assume the vendor client (Sonicwall Global Client) integrates more simply with your sonicwall device and perhaps offers better management functionality. However I have no experience with this myself.

I have administered older Sonicwall devices and found them to be miserable. Perhaps newer ones are better, I don't know. I do know that in your position I would really look at setting up a separate OpenVPN vpn server and bypassing the Sonicwall devices entirely. I've set that up in a small office environment and it seems to work fine.

I'm not particularly recommending you make major changes to your setup, just pointing out alternatives. In general I dislike using vendor-specific network boxes but that's just me.

  • Vista SP1/7 and Server 2k8 also support SSTP. – HostBits Mar 30 '11 at 22:35

Generally, the only reason to use a system-specific client is if the generic client doesn't work, or if there is additional functionality added by the custom client (For example, I use the Cisco client to connect to our VPN on Windows, because the Windows client is annoying to configure, isn't pure IPSec, and isn't as easy to use, but I use the built in Mac client when connecting from a Mac.)

The security level is effectively the same for both. There is talk of vulnerabilities in the windows implementation, but it hasn't been broken. For SonicWall, I'd probably just use the built in client, if I could get it to work.

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