If they didn’t have a handle on what a virtual private network (VPN) was prior to 2020, millions of workers around the global were intimately familiar with the technology by year’s end.
VPN solutions made it possible for enterprises to pick up the ball and keep running, despite global shutdowns in the wake of the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally, employees could log on to work, away from work, and enjoy a seamless experience as close to the real thing as possible.
In the best case scenarios, this proved true, but as many enterprises discovered, VPN is not always the seamless experience they’d planned for.
Comcast Business and Cisco Meraki are working together to elevate the VPN experience through a new partnership aimed at creating a better, more secure, reliable, high-performance connection between corporate networks and remote workers. The innovative approach will expand Comcast Business Teleworker VPN solution in several key ways.
Comcast Teleworker VPN with Cisco Meraki
Amit Verma, VP of solution engineering and technology at Comcast Business, said, “When combined with our Teleworker Broadband solution, the Comcast Business Teleworker VPN solution with Cisco Meraki allows enterprises to gain peace of mind while providing their employees with a secure, independent Internet connection that does not interfere or compete with their at-home Internet – freeing up home bandwidth for remote learning, entertainment and more.”
The unified offering
Comcast describes the goal of its Business Teleworker VPN as providing remote employees the “same corporate network experience and service they have in the office.” Joining forces with Cisco Meraki is meant to enhance this service as an enterprise-class, cloud-native platform that will bring enterprise-grade VPN gateways to business locations. The gateways can also be housed in Cisco’s Secure Gateway Service centers.
The unified product offering includes remote, all-in-one devices that grant users access to cloud security and wireless and wired connectivity options from home, centrally managed on the Cisco Meraki cloud platform.
Comcast Teleworker VPN with Cisco Meraki is squarely aimed at enterprise clients that need to connect remote workers to complex networks.
Key use cases
The primary use case for the new initiative is to improve on VPN solutions that have been inadequate for enterprises. The solution can potentially improve speed, performance and stability for remote workforces across virtually any enterprise industry.
Comcast Teleworker VPN
Comcast touts several benefits for users of its Comcast Teleworker VPN, including:
• Centralized, simplified cloud management and optimization
• Round-the-clock support provided by Comcast Business
• Policy-based access controls and traffic segmentation
• Consistency between home and office work experiences
• Ability to add 4G LTE backup for business continuity among remote employees
The Cisco Meraki cloud-based platform includes tools focused on wireless, switching, security, enterprise mobility management (EMM), and security cameras. The partnership will include Cisco-powered hardware designed to increase speeds and performance across Comcast’s Teleworker VPN solution.
On the whole, the global VPN market is growing exceptionally fast. Statista estimates that the market was worth $25 billion in 2019 and will rise to an estimated $75.59 value by 2027.
Especially in light of the increase in remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, VPN has become a must-have enterprise investment. ResearchandMarkets.com reports that VPN usage “spiraled” to an all-time high of 27.1% in 2020.
Top VPN providers
TrustRadius ranks these VPN providers among its most reviewed and well-regarded:
2. Cisco AnyConnect
3. Citrix Gateway
5. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall
6. Pulse Connect Secure (SSL-VPN)
7. Golden Frog VyprVPN
8. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
9. SonicWall VPN Clients
10. FatPipe MPVPN
Robust VPN investment will be key in the remote worker age
Selecting a quality, reliable VPN solution may be the single most important thing enterprises can do to remain competitive at a time when remote work has become the norm. Already, major corporations have announced they will no longer require workers to come into the office. Many are expanding hiring to include a global workforce that can log in from virtually anywhere.
The Comcast Teleworker VPN with Cisco Meraki support is a leading example of two major forces coming together to improve on current market offerings. The companies will surely find success if they can, in fact, replicate an on-prem networking experience for workers logging in from their home offices.
• IT Business Edge: Top VPNs for business cybersecurity 2021
• eSecurity Planet: VPN security: How VPNs work in 2021
• Webopedia: Virtual private network (VPN) guide