Cisco IOS SSL VPN Review

Stable solution that provides secure access to your network and applications

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco SSL VPN mostly as a secure way to access our business applications remotely.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides a solution for our secure remote access.

What is most valuable?

Usability is the most important feature for me. The stability is really good and it is very important to usability. I think this product is number one for stability. At the end of the day, the speed depends on stability. Once the solution is stable that means the speed is also okay. But really it matters the base connection.

What needs improvement?

I am mostly satisfied with the product. The biggest issue and the reason we do not make more use of it is the pricing. If Cisco can provide us discounts like Microsoft we could make better use of the product. There are other organizations providing discounts to non-profits. They realize the need, and they are creating programs. Microsoft has discount programs for non-profits. With Amazon, we have joined a special program where they are providing us services at a discount for non-profit. Cisco is quite expensive in comparison. So we decide to use what makes the most sense for our model. We see that there are these offers and we decide to use Amazon for some purposes. 

So if Cisco did have a similar program — a non-profit program — it would be great for the utilization of other products as well. We don't have a big budget like enterprise businesses and we budget more like a small business does. But at the moment, for Cisco, we pay the same price that everybody else pays. If they had programs for non-profits, more non-profits would join the program and make use of their services.

We would like to expand to use many other products from Cisco as well. We need them. But we're not able to choose them because of the pricing. We want to use the Cisco products because they service the enterprise level and we would like to have Cisco firewalls, switches, and everything. Unfortunately, the pricing is making us get out from incorporating Cisco products.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product a little over four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As for stability, it is one of the best features of the product. A stable connection is the reason we use the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have roughly fifty users who are using it at the moment. Initially, we started with only a small number of users. So the usage of the product has been pretty scalable. At the moment we are not planning to scale our usage of Cisco products more, but that need depends on the business growth and the number of staff who need access. Things may change.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not really used Cisco's technical support because local support is good enough for us. After it is set up and stable then it doesn't really need much maintenance or attention.

For us, in using the local support the wait is sometimes quite a long time. But it's okay for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Fortinet as well and that product is stable as well. It is another solid, stable solution. They provide similar stability, features, and functionality. There are some other products we still use for other things because of Cisco's lack of discount programs for non-profit organizations.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for the VPN straightforward. It is user-friendly and easy for someone to set up.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't require any assistance for the setup or implementation. We did it ourselves. It was really quite simple.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The product is a bit expensive compared to some other products. If they could lower the prices, it would be great.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco does have really good products and good services but pricing is not allowing us to take advantage of their enterprise solutions.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I think Cisco SSL VPN is an 8. 

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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