Our office currently uses a dated Pix 501 to allow VPN connections. We have the option to upgrade to an ASA, but I'm wondering first if Pix are known to work with Macs? We've recently setup a Xserve storage array and need to get people remote access.

An alternative might be to setup VPN on an Xserve, but we don't have any additional public IPs available. Would it be a problem switch the port it runs under?


The newer versions of the software that are available in ASA units (with PIX 501 you're stuck with 6.3) have certain features that might make the upgrade worthwhile. However, none of them improves anything specific to OS X. PIXes can protect Macs, they can allow Macs to connect as VPN clients, you can use a Mac to manage your PIX - so all bases are covered.

So, if you want SSL VPN, or routing traffic out the same interface it arrived, or anything else you get in version 7 or 8 - get an ASA. If, however, you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can safely stay with the PIX.


Depending on what your needs are, the ASA may be a better choice.

The ASA offers SSL vpn which is vpn through your browser. It will let you access fileshares and email, in addition to RDP.

If you need full-blown VPN access, the AnyConnect client works just fine on OS X.

  • You can also use the Cisco VPN client on Mac OS X or the Built in Cisco VPN connexion in Mac OS X 10.6 – radius Oct 12 '09 at 21:07
  • Why the downvote? The ASA, IMHO is a better choice moving forward. Especially in light of the fact that the OP states that they have an opportunity to upgrade. – GregD Oct 12 '09 at 22:23

I've used PIXs and the Cisco VPN client on Macs for years.

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