Difference Between SD-WAN & VPN
Whether SD-WAN or VPN is better for your business depends on what your business needs - both networks offer unique benefits. The main difference between SD-WAN and VPN is the software-defining network (SDN) features that SD-WAN technology is based upon. Both networks have differences in bandwidth, cost, performance, maintenance and security levels.
Cost of SD-WAN vs. VPN
Both VPN and SD-WAN are internet-based network solutions, making them affordable options for businesses. However, VPN tends to be more affordable than SD-WAN, due to its simplicity. This makes VPN great for businesses that need a simple WAN network for a small number of sites.
Maintenance of SD-WAN vs. VPN
While SD-WAN is scalable and grants flexibility due to its use of the cloud, VPN requires more maintenance and work. A great level of expertise is needed to configure and scale IPsec tunneling, IKE, and NAT-T in VPN. What’s more, maintaining a VPN becomes more and more difficult as additional sites are added to a WAN.
Performance & Bandwidth of VPN vs. SD-WAN
With VPN-based WANs, you’ll generally experience considerable latency due to distance between sites and spikes in congestions that affect performance. VPN also does not come with features that SD-WAN offers, such as dynamic path selection, Quality of Service, and application-aware routing. In addition to these features, SD-WAN is cloud-based, so there is no latency due to geographical distance as there is with VPN.
Reliability of SD-WAN vs. VPN
Both SD-WAN and VPN are very secure systems, however, SD-WAN offers a failover security feature that VPN does not. SD-WAN automatically fixes a service failure or outage by taking control of your IP address and transferring it from one network to another.
Overall SD-WAN Benefits Over VPN
For businesses requiring a secure network connection, SD-WAN offers a more seamless user experience than VPN. SD-WAN does this by extending from traditional WAN to various public clouds, which minimizes packet loss.
Furthermore, if your business uses applications that are hosted in the cloud, SD-WAN provides better security and makes running your operations more seamless. SD-WAN also better supports remote employees that are working from home, a coffee shop, or somewhere out of the office. With SD-WAN, you can restrict traffic based on a user profile or traffic type.
Another advantage SD-WAN holds over VPN is that SD-WAN offers more network connectivity flexibility. This is due to SD-WAN’s use of a variety of WAN connections, such as broadband internet, LTE, 4G or MPLS.
Create a Customized Telecommunications Solution with Coeo
So, how do you decide whether SD-WAN or VPN is better for your business? If your company is small and only requires connection to a small number of sites, opting for VPN makes sense. However, if your business is fast-growing and needs a system where scalability, reliability, and performance are of utmost importance, SD-WAN is the more effective option.
For more information on SD-WAN vs. VPN or to learn more about how Coeo can help you come up with a custom connectivity solution that meets your business needs, contact us today!