VPN connections made a lot easier

Connecting and accessing remote systems through a VPN from your iDevice is now easier.

Cisco AnyConnect is an iOS app for connecting through VPNs (not necessarily those controlled by Cisco hardware). It provide access through a secure tunnel to allow iPhones and iPads to access corporate e-mail, files, and remote desktops. The app is free and works with any VPN that supports the standard DTLS security layer.

Cisco AnyConnect is a popular application for laptops that many road warriors employ. The port to the iOS environment is well done, and we had no trouble connecting to the same devices through our iPad and iPhone as we did with our Windows-based laptops and MacBook Pro. There are a lot of configuration options available with Cisco AnyConnect, but the standard settings will work for most VPNs after users specify the address and log-in information. If you need to tweak, it's easy to do so. The Cisco AnyConnect interface is clean and simple to work with to set up a connection, and once it's set up, accessing those networks again is a click away.

Performance of Cisco AnyConnect depends on your connection and how fast the remote VPN server is, but we found the speed of the iOS app to be comparable with the Windows application. While you're probably not going to log in and control your remote high-res workstation through your iPhone, the ability to grab a file or check e-mails and other messages while away from a larger device is handy, extending the virtual office one step further.

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