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SD-WAN vs. VPN: What Are the SD-WAN Benefits?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide an affordable service that has grown in popularity over the past few years. As consumers become more aware of the growth of cybersecurity threats, VPNs offer an easy way to encrypt traffic between senders and receivers. However, there are severe limitations to using VPNs in business, especially in today’s hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

In contrast, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) provides significantly greater security and improved performance to manage today’s complex network environments and demanding workloads.

SD-WAN vs. VPN: The Differences

There are two primary differences in how SD-WAN and VPN solutions operate:

  • Network architecture: How the connection is deployed.
  • Transportation of data: How traffic flows through the connections.

Both solutions have the same goal, which is to facilitate secure access to networks, including remote connections. An SD-WAN goes further, however, by providing a host of other ways that businesses can benefit.

SD-WAN Benefits

There are several significant SD-WAN benefits over VPN, which you can see in the chart below.

FlexibilityEasy to add, remove or modify connections with major network changes.More rigid and hardware-dependent.
PerformanceUses dynamic routing and traffic shaping to improve network and application performance.Can introduce latency and congestion.
ScalabilityEasy to scale bandwidth as needs change.Expanding VPN capacity is more challenging.
ResiliencyCan incorporate multiple links and connectivity for higher resilience, such as automated traffic routing to bypass bottlenecks.Relies on single-point failover, which can contribute to delays and downtime.
SecurityEncrypts data and can integrate advanced security features such as next-generation firewalls and intrusion prevention for a more layered security solution.Only relies on tunnel security. If someone infiltrates the network, a VPN provides no additional protection.
ManagementEnables centralized management and control with seamless policy management and monitoring across all endpoints.Requires managing each device individually.
AutomationFacilitates zero-touch deployment remote configuration. For policy changes, an SD-WAN can automatically update and apply them across the entire network.Requires manual setup and updates.
Network VisibilityProvides comprehensive network visibility to monitor the entire wide area network.Has limited visibility beyond the tunnel it creates.
Role-Based Access ControlAllows admins to deploy granular access policies defined by groups, users and roles.Only supports basic access controls.
Cloud Integration and ProtocolsOffers tight integration with major cloud service providers, public and private clouds, and multiple connectivity options, including multiprotocol label switching and Long Term Evolution.Configuring and managing VPN tunnels to cloud endpoints can be time-consuming and complex.
Network OptimizationOptimizes network traffic with configurable prioritization for real-time and mission-critical applications.Does not provide any network optimization tools.

Warnings About Relying on VPN for Secure Communications

When it comes to security, organizations that are still using a VPN as a primary way to protect data from remote sites or remote workers are finding themselves at greater risk these days.

Attackers have developed sophisticated tools and tactics to defeat VPNs and launch denial-of-service and other malicious attacks. In fact, the Cybersecurity Advisory, a government agency comprising the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently put out an alert about VPN vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity Requires a Multilayered Approach

Organizations often think using a VPN makes their connections secure. While it does add one layer of security through end-to-end encryption, cybersecurity today requires more than just one layer of security.

The right SD-WAN solution with integrated security provides this multilayered approach. For example, LOGIX SD-WAN Secure includes:

  • Next-generation firewall protection.
  • Unified threat management, such as URL, email and web filtering.
  • An intrusion prevention system.
  • Antivirus options.
  • A secure web gateway.

LOGIX SD-WAN Secure protects your entire network from threats with a single platform solution and can extend your SD-WAN to mobile and remote workers.

Cyberattacks in 2022 were at record levels, and attacks are pacing ahead already in 2023. Artificial intelligence use by threat actors and ransomware-as-a-service tools are driving increased attacks. Organizations need a robust and reliable security solution.

LOGIX SD-WAN Secure provides a multilayered approach to security while also managing network performance more efficiently.

Choose LOGIX Fiber Networks, Built for Business

LOGIX is the largest fiber network provider in Texas and has been providing flexible and efficient solutions to business customers in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio for more than 40 years. Backed by a Texas-based network operations center to monitor speed, performance and security, along with a friendly, Texas-based customer support team, you can depend on LOGIX for the high-quality, dependable services you need for your business.

Call LOGIX today at 281-688-6231, or connect with us online to discuss LOGIX SD-WAN Secure solutions.