As more and more businesses move to the cloud, the need for secure remote access to corporate resources has become increasingly important.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have long been the go-to solution for secure remote access, but are they the only option?
One solution that has gained popularity in recent years is Zscaler, a cloud-based security platform that offers a range of services, including secure remote access.
In this article, we’ll explore whether Zscaler can be considered a VPN, and how it compares to traditional VPN solutions.
Table of Contents
What is Zscaler?
Zscaler is a cloud-based security platform that provides secure access to the internet and private applications. It is not a traditional VPN but incorporates VPN features to enable secure remote access and protect sensitive data.
Zscaler’s key features include secure web gateway, cloud firewall, cloud sandbox, and cloud access security broker (CASB) among others. Zscaler is designed to be implemented at the edge, meaning it can protect users anywhere, on any device, regardless of location.
Zscaler differs from traditional VPNs in several ways. While VPN software requires installation and configuration on devices, Zscaler is a cloud-based solution that requires minimal setup and maintenance.
Additionally, Zscaler’s inline security model provides comprehensive protection, while VPNs only secure the network tunnel, leaving the endpoints vulnerable.
Before delving into Zscaler as a VPN solution, it’s essential to understand what a VPN is and its primary purpose.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a secure and encrypted connection between two devices that allows users to access the internet securely and privately by routing their traffic through a remote server.
The primary purpose of a VPN is to protect data privacy by disguising the user’s IP address and encrypting their traffic, making it difficult for third parties to intercept or spy on their online activities.
VPNs are commonly used by individuals and organizations to secure their internet connection, access geo-restricted content, and protect against cyber threats such as hacking, malware, and data breaches.
Zscaler vs. Traditional VPNs
Both Zscaler and traditional VPNs aim to secure internet connections and protect data privacy. However, there are several key differences between the two solutions.
Features: Zscaler offers a wide range of security features beyond what traditional VPNs provide, including real-time threat protection, data loss prevention, and cloud access security brokerage. Traditional VPNs usually focus on providing encrypted tunnels for secure remote access.
Security: Zscaler’s cloud-based architecture allows for better visibility and control over network traffic. Traditional VPNs can be vulnerable to attacks like man-in-the-middle and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), which can cause service outages and data breaches.
Performance: Zscaler’s global cloud network provides faster and more reliable connections compared to traditional VPNs, which can be affected by geographic distance and bandwidth limitations. Zscaler also offers a better user experience with its seamless integration into existing workflows and applications.
Overall, Zscaler offers a more comprehensive and modern approach to network security compared to traditional VPNs. However, there may be certain situations where a traditional VPN may be more suitable, such as when dealing with highly sensitive data that requires additional layers of security.
Benefits of Using Zscaler as a VPN
Zscaler is a cloud-based security platform that offers a variety of benefits when used as a VPN solution.
Here are some of the key advantages:
- Enhanced security: Zscaler incorporates advanced security features such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time threat detection to keep your network and data safe from cyber attacks.
- Scalability: Zscaler’s cloud-based architecture enables it to easily handle high-demand traffic and provide secure remote access to a large number of users without compromising performance or reliability.
- Simplified network management: Zscaler eliminates the need for hardware-based VPN infrastructure, reducing the complexity and costs associated with managing traditional VPN solutions.
Overall, using Zscaler as a VPN can help organizations improve their network security posture, reduce costs, and simplify IT management. By leveraging the power of the cloud, Zscaler delivers a secure and scalable VPN solution that is tailored to the needs of modern businesses.
How to Set Up Zscaler as a VPN
Setting up Zscaler as a VPN can be done in a few simple steps. Before starting the setup process, make sure that you have an active Zscaler subscription and access to the Zscaler Admin Portal.
Step 1: Configure Network Settings
Log in to the Zscaler Admin Portal and navigate to the Network Settings tab. Configure the settings based on your organization’s requirements, including the IP address range, DNS server, and authentication settings.
Step 2: Set Up VPN Tunnels
Navigate to the VPN Tunnels tab and click the “Add VPN Tunnel” button to create a new VPN tunnel. Configure the settings, including the tunnel name, encryption protocol, and authentication method. Repeat this step for each VPN tunnel that you need to create.
Step 3: Configure Firewall Rules
Navigate to the Firewall Rules tab and create new rules to allow traffic to flow through the VPN tunnels. Configure the rules based on your organization’s security policies, including the allowed source and destination addresses, and the permitted protocols and ports.
Step 4: Set Up Client Access
Download and install the Zscaler App on the client devices that will be using the VPN. Configure the settings in the app, including the VPN tunnel name, authentication method, and user credentials. Once configured, users can connect to the VPN and securely access corporate resources.
By following these steps, you can set up Zscaler as a VPN and provide your organization with secure and scalable remote access to corporate resources.
Zscaler VPN Pricing and Plans
Zscaler offers flexible pricing options for its VPN solution to cater to businesses of all sizes. The pricing is based on the number of users, and organizations can choose from three distinct plans: ZIA (Zscaler Internet Access), ZPA (Zscaler Private Access), and ZIA + ZPA.
The ZIA plan focuses on securing internet traffic and provides protection against web-based threats. The ZPA plan, on the other hand, offers secure access to private applications in the data center, public cloud, and SaaS. Lastly, the ZIA + ZPA bundle combines both plans, providing complete security coverage for both internet access and private applications.
The pricing for the ZIA plan starts at $2.50/user/month, while the ZPA plan starts at $5/user/month. The ZIA + ZPA bundle plan starts at $7/user/month.
It is important to note that these prices are subject to change based on factors such as the number of users and the specific needs of the organization. Additional costs may also apply for features such as advanced security and compliance features, mobile device management, and professional services.
For detailed pricing information and a customized quote, organizations can contact Zscaler’s sales team.
Zscaler VPN Performance and Reliability
When evaluating a VPN solution, performance and reliability are critical factors to consider. Zscaler has a reputation for providing a high level of performance and reliability, thanks to its global network of data centers and patented cloud security technology.
One of the primary benefits of using Zscaler as a VPN is its ability to provide fast and reliable access to cloud applications and services. With Zscaler, users can bypass the traditional VPN hub-and-spoke architecture, which often results in slow connections and increased latency.
In addition to its performance benefits, Zscaler is also highly reliable. The company has built a highly resilient network architecture, which ensures that its service is available and accessible 24/7. With a guaranteed 99.999% uptime SLA, Zscaler is a trusted choice for organizations that need a reliable VPN solution.
Zscaler VPN Performance Considerations
While Zscaler is generally known for its high-performance capabilities, it is important to consider some potential performance trade-offs when using the solution.
One consideration is the potential impact on network bandwidth when using Zscaler. Because Zscaler routes all traffic through its global network of data centers, it can consume more bandwidth than a traditional VPN that only routes traffic to a single hub location.
Another consideration is the potential impact on latency when using Zscaler. Because the traffic is routed through multiple data centers, it may take longer for data to reach its destination compared to a traditional VPN connection.
Organizations that are considering using Zscaler as a VPN should test their network performance before and after implementation to gauge the impact on bandwidth and latency.
Zscaler VPN for Personal Use
While Zscaler is primarily designed for enterprise-level security, it is also suitable for personal use as a VPN solution. Zscaler provides a secure and private connection for personal internet browsing and can help protect users from cyber threats such as hacking and malware.
One potential limitation of using Zscaler as a personal VPN is its pricing. Zscaler is a premium solution designed for large organizations, and as such, its pricing may not be suitable for individual users on a budget.
Additionally, Zscaler may not provide all of the features and customization options that some personal VPN users may require. For example, Zscaler may not offer as many server locations or protocols as some other VPN providers.
However, for users who prioritize top-of-the-line security and privacy, Zscaler can offer a reliable and reputable VPN solution for personal use.
Zscaler VPN for Business Use
Zscaler is a powerful VPN solution that offers numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes. Whether you have a small team of remote workers or a large organization with complex network requirements, Zscaler can help you improve your network security posture and simplify your IT management.
Secure Remote Access
One of the primary benefits of using Zscaler as a VPN for business purposes is secure remote access to corporate resources. With Zscaler, your remote workers can securely access company data and applications from any location, without compromising security.
Zscaler uses advanced security protocols to encrypt data and protect against cyberattacks, ensuring that your remote workers can access company resources safely and securely.
Zscaler is a highly scalable VPN solution that can grow with your business. Whether you need to add new users, locations, or devices, Zscaler can accommodate your needs without sacrificing performance or security.
With Zscaler, you can easily manage your VPN connections through a centralized dashboard, making it simple to monitor and control access to your network resources.
For businesses that need to comply with strict industry regulations, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR, Zscaler can help you meet your compliance requirements.
Zscaler provides advanced security features, such as two-factor authentication, access controls, and data encryption, that can help you maintain compliance and protect sensitive data.
Zscaler offers a cost-effective VPN solution for businesses of all sizes. With Zscaler, you only pay for what you need, and there are no hidden fees or charges.
Zscaler’s flexible pricing model allows you to choose from a variety of plans and options, based on your specific needs and budget.
Overall, Zscaler is an excellent VPN solution for businesses that need to improve their network security and simplify their IT management. With its advanced security features, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, Zscaler can help you achieve your business goals and protect your assets from cyber threats.
Zscaler VPN FAQ
In this section, we will answer some frequently asked questions about Zscaler as a VPN solution.
Is Zscaler a VPN?
Yes, Zscaler offers a cloud-based VPN solution that can be used to securely connect to the internet and protect data privacy.
How does Zscaler VPN work?
Zscaler VPN uses a cloud infrastructure to create a secure connection between the user’s device and Zscaler’s data centers. The data is then encrypted and transmitted over the internet to its destination.
How is Zscaler VPN different from traditional VPNs?
Zscaler VPN offers several advantages over traditional VPNs, including enhanced security, scalability, and simplified network management. Zscaler VPN also supports a wide range of devices and does not require any hardware or software installations.
What are the benefits of using Zscaler as a VPN?
Zscaler VPN provides several benefits, including improved network security, reduced complexity and cost of managing a VPN, and easy remote access for employees. Zscaler VPN also offers advanced threat protection, ensuring that users are protected from malware and other internet-based threats.
How do I set up Zscaler as a VPN?
Setting up Zscaler VPN is straightforward and can be done by following a few simple steps. First, create an account with Zscaler. Next, download and install the Zscaler App on your device. Finally, configure your device to connect to Zscaler’s secure data centers using the provided instructions.
How much does Zscaler VPN cost?
Zscaler VPN pricing varies depending on the size and needs of your organization. Contact Zscaler to receive a personalized quote.
How reliable is Zscaler VPN?
Zscaler VPN is highly reliable, with industry-leading uptime and minimal latency. Zscaler’s cloud-based infrastructure ensures fast and secure connections, even in locations with poor network conditions.
Can I use Zscaler VPN for personal use?
Yes, Zscaler VPN can be used for personal internet browsing and data privacy. However, keep in mind that Zscaler VPN may not be suitable for certain activities that require high bandwidth or low latency.
Is Zscaler VPN suitable for business use?
Yes, Zscaler VPN is an excellent choice for businesses looking to enhance their network security and provide secure remote access to their employees. Zscaler VPN is scalable, easy to manage, and provides advanced threat protection, making it an ideal VPN solution for businesses of all sizes.
Resources and External Links
Here are some additional resources and external links that can help you learn more about “Is Zscaler a VPN?”:
- VPN Alternative | Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) | Zscaler
- What Is Remote Access VPN? | Zscaler
- Secure Remote Access | Zscaler ZPA
- Secure Internet Access | Zscaler
- What Is Zscaler Private Access? | Zscaler
These resources provide additional information and insights about “Is Zscaler a VPN?”.