Unified Access Gateway and generic VPN solutions are similar as they both ensure that traffic is forwarded to an internal network only on behalf of strongly authenticated users.

Unified Access Gateway advantages over generic VPN include the following.

  • Access Control Manager. Unified Access Gateway applies access rules automatically. Unified Access Gateway recognizes the entitlements of the users and the addressing required to connect internally. A VPN does the same, because most VPNs allow an administrator to configure network connection rules for every user or group of users individually. At first, this works well with a VPN, but requires significant administrative effort to maintain the required rules.
  • User Interface. Unified Access Gateway does not alter the straightforward Horizon Client user interface. With Unified Access Gateway, when the Horizon Client is launched, authenticated users are in their Horizon Connection Server environment and have controlled access to their desktops and applications. A VPN requires that you must set up the VPN software first and authenticate separately before launching the Horizon Client.
  • Performance. Unified Access Gateway is designed to maximize security and performance. With Unified Access Gateway, PCoIP, HTML access, and WebSocket protocols are secured without requiring additional encapsulation. VPNs are implemented as SSL VPNs. This implementation meets security requirements and, with Transport Layer Security (TLS) enabled, is considered secure, but the underlying protocol with SSL/TLS is just TCP-based. With modern video remoting protocols exploiting connectionless UDP-based transports, the performance benefits can be significantly eroded when forced over a TCP-based transport. This does not apply to all VPN technologies, as those that can also operate with DTLS or IPsec instead of SSL/TLS can work well withHorizon Connection Server desktop protocols.