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I'm not a Cisco user, just wonder.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are several problems:

  • Windows only has PPTP and in more recent versions L2TP/IPSec built-in, Cisco uses its own protocol which uses IPSec but in another way.
  • The VPN Concentrators only handle Cisco's own connections in hardware, PPTP has to be emulated in software, severely taxing the machine (even more so when encryption is enabled)
  • If I remember correctly, the licenses are even different for PPTP

On Linux/BSD it looks a little different. You can use vpnc there almost without problems. I have heard it can be coaxed to work on Windows too (using Cygwin). But honestly, Cygwin is a tad worse than the Cisco VPN client in my eyes.

The main point however is, that Cisco has its own way of connecting to its own VPN servers and Microsoft has, too. Apple perhaps too, never looked too much into that, though.

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I asked someone that has used it in the past, they stated to me, the overhead seemed too much on a Cisco Client for VPN on an OS, but the security was satisfying to them. That would have been my answer as well, on the security front, Cisco normally provides nice options and robust solutions.

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how'd that work for them from a 64 bit windows machine? – Chris_K Oct 21 '09 at 17:34
Chris: Apparently the AnyConnect client has a 64-bit version. It just can't connect to some older servers (the name is a nice oxymoron, then). – Joey Oct 21 '09 at 17:35

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