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The Challenges with VPNs

Updated: September 17, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Traditionally, users connect to intranet resources with a VPN. However, using a VPN can be cumbersome because:

  • Connecting to a VPN takes several steps, and the user needs to wait for authentication. For organizations that check the health of a computer before allowing the connection, establishing a VPN connection can take several minutes.

  • Any time users lose their Internet connection, they need to re-establish the VPN connection.

  • VPN connections can be problematic in some environments that filter out VPN traffic.

  • Internet performance is slowed if both intranet and Internet traffic goes through the VPN connection.

Because of these inconveniences, many users avoid connecting to a VPN. Instead, they use application gateways, such as Microsoft Outlook® Web Access (OWA), to connect to intranet resources. With OWA, users can retrieve internal e-mail without establishing a VPN connection. However, users still need to connect to a VPN to open documents that are located on intranet file shares, such as those that are linked within an e-mail message.

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