The VPN Client is a thin design software program, which is easy to deploy and operate providing secure, end-to-end encrypted tunnels. The client software is available from the Cisco web site for use with any Cisco central site VPN product and is included free of charge with any Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrator.
The client software can be preconfigured for large, rapid deployments that require little end-user intervention. VPN access policies and configurations are downloaded and updated using push technology from the central VPN head-end device when a connection is established. This centralized push technology makes deployment and management quite simple, as well as highly scalable.
The Cisco VPN Client software is available in versions to support most Windows versions, Sun Solaris (UltraSparc 32 and 64 bit) UNIX, Linux (Intel), as well as Mac OS X 10.1 and 10.2 (Jaguar).
The Cisco VPN Client software, regardless of the host operating system (OS), is compatible with the following Cisco products:
Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.2 T and later
Cisco PIX Firewall Software Version 6.0 and later
Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrator with Software Version 3.0 and later
The VPN Client works with a central Cisco VPN device to create a secure tunnel connection between the host computer and the corporate network. VPN Client uses Internet Key Exchange (IKE) and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) tunneling protocols to make and manage the secure connection. Some of the steps include the following:
Negotiating tunnel parameters, such as IP addresses, algorithms, lifetime, and so on.
Establishing tunnels according to the defined parameters.
Authenticating users based on user names, group names, passwords, and X.509 digital certificates.
Establishing user access rights, including hours of access, connection time, allowed destinations, allowed protocols, and so forth.
Managing security keys for encryption and decryption.
Authenticating, encrypting, and decrypting data through the tunnel.
The VPN Client supports each of the following technologies for connecting to the Internet and, thereby, accessing the destination VPN endpoint.
Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)