SSL VPN Marketplace: Leading vendors and links to reviews


I have been interested in SSL VPNs for some time, and the most recent article is a comparative review published in TechTarget's Information Security magazine's September 2006 issue. The review was conducted at a special lab on the Stanford University campus in June and examined products from Cisco, Checkpoint, Aventail, F5, and Juniper.

You'll notice that all of the comparative reviews recently omit Symantec and Cisco -- they don't seem to find the "right" time to get their products in front of the hands-on reviewers at the leading IT publications. Nevertheless, you can find links below along with the vendor's own sites and my own brief commentary on their positioning.


This page was last updated September 6, 2006. If you have additions or corrections, please send me an email.



Not a very satisfying review of six products was done in Feb 2005 by Keith Schultz


Network World:

Joel Snyder's review in December 2005 of 11 products with Juniper coming out on top:


Gartner's Magic Quadrant Report:

John Girard's December 2005 report


SC Magazine:

Over a dozen products tested by Rene Millman and others in October 2005


Secure Enterprise/Network Computing:

A comparison of nine products done in August 2005 by Joanne VanAuken


Breakaway Security Group:

Not a very critical site, but a good compendium of information and a nice page of links to vendor-sponsored white papers



Andy Garcia’s 2004 test of 4 products:,1895,1585449,00.asp






Current SSL Vendors



Vendor, link

Product Line

Strom's opionion of notable position and features

Ratings NWW, IW, NWC

Cost (IW, NWW, NWC)

AccessAnywhere Systems


Managed services and product versions available



AEP Networks

AEP Netilla Security Platform

New acquisition, strong European presence

NWW: 3.3/5

IW: 8.0/10


IW: $34,300


Array Networks

Array SPX

SSL acceleration and high-performance focus

NWW: 2.9/5

IW: 8.5/10

NWC: 3.8/5


IW: $25,000

NWC: NA/$60,000

Aventail Corp.


Leading supplier to ISP/carriers, specialist in SSL VPNs

NWW: 3.6/5

IW: 8.4/10

NWC: 4.1/5

NWW: $39,000

IW: $28,000

NWC: $21,500/ $53,000

Caymas Systems

Identity Driven Access Gateway

Deep inspection access control

NWW: 3.6/5

NWC: 4.1/5

NWW: $45,000

NWC: $10,000/ $45,000

Check Point Software


Broad base of complementary technologies

NWW: 3.3/5

NWC: 3.4/5

NWW: $79,000

NWC: $15,000/ $60,000

Cisco Systems

ASA and PIX appliances

Lagging behind technologically



Citrix Systems

Access Gateway

Lacks integration with diverse product lines



F5 Networks


SSL acceleration and high-performance focus

NWW: 4.0/5

IW: 8.8/10

NWC: 4.3/5

NWW: $80,000

IW: $25,000

NWC: $28,000/ $70,000



Part of their security appliance feature set

NWW: 2.0/5

NWW: $30,000

Juniper Networks


SA product line from Neoteris/Netscreen

Market sales leader, Neoteris line finding further traction too.

NWW: 4.5/5

IW: 8.9/10

NWC: 4.5/5

NWW: $48,000

IW: $34,000

NWC: $7,000/ $59,000

Nokia Corporation


Sales dropping, lagging behind on features

NWW: 4.2/5

IW: 7.9/10

NWW: $65,000

IW: $28,000



VPN Gateway

Lagging behind on features

NWW: 3.3/5

NWC: 4.0/5

NWW: $26,000

NWC: $35,000/ $65,000

Permeo Technologies


Lacks portal but impressive features

NWC: 3.8/5

NWC: $10,000/ $50,000



Most complete mobile support




SSL VPN 2000

New entry to the field, solid low cost hardware solution

NWW: 2.5/5

NWW: $2,300


Sygate Enterprise Protection and

Enterprise Security Appliances

Integrated intrusion prevention and access control



Whale Communications/Microsoft

Intelligent Application Gateway

Low price point, high applications and email-specific coverage

NWC: 4.4/5

NWC: $27,000/ $72,000



IW: Infoworld, cost per 100 users, 0-10 point scale

NWW: Network World, cost per TK users, 0-5 point scale

NWC: Network Computing/Secure Enterprise tests on both per 100 and per 1000 users, 0-5 point scale


© 2006 David Strom Inc.