AnyConnect to connect simply
Updated September 08, 2022

AnyConnect to connect simply

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco AnyConnect

Cisco AnyConnect allows us to provide split-tunnel VPN connectivity to our remote end-points and allow those resources to access corporate IT facilities in a seamless manner. The authentication and authorization are controlled using our existing ADDS. Regular Internet traffic is sent using local internet gateway, while traffic destined for the VPN-connect network is redirected over the IPSec tunnel as authorized and to specific VLANs.
  • Seamless integration with existing AD.
  • Stable connection with low overhead for client.
  • Client check and auto-update AnyConnect client software makes it easier to manage.
  • Licensing costs can be a bit expensive.
  • Requires Cisco subscription for updates to client software.
  • Requires Cisco firewall.
  • With enforced work from home, Cisco AnyConnect allowed us to work "normally".
  • ROI is negative as the initial setup costs of the VPN gateway and the ongoing subscription costs can be quite prohibitive, compared to the benefits derived from seamless connectivity.
  • Once set up correctly, the connection works seamlessly and stays connected as long as Internet connectivity is maintained.
  • Errors on VPN gateway can negatively impact general browsing on the end-point.
From the user perspective, AnyConnect is very easy to use. Requires only the address of the server with login credentials. Once authenticated, the connection allows seamless connectivity to corporate IT resources and the Internet at large. From the management perspective, AnyConnect is easy to administer with connection profiles and a centrally managed repository of minimum client software level, with an auto-update feature ensuring that clients are in compliance before the connection is allowed.
Yes, very much. With the global pandemic, this need to connect to central IT resources was brought forced on us, as we worked from home. Fortunately, we were able to leverage our existing VPN connectivity to manage access for our workforce as well as allow them to continue working from home, with minimal disruption. Cisco AnyConnect has definitely served the purpose in this regard and delivered on a fast and easy way to connect to the corporate networks using standard home internet connectivity.
While support is very good with lots of KB articles dealing with a variety of known issues, this can be a challenge if your Cisco subscription is not kept active. Client software is not available without a valid subscription. This can be quite expensive and hence my rating is lower as while the solution is very good, it is not a small investment to roll out and maintain.
TeamViewer is fairly easy to use, but we found it to be more appropriate for remote access and support. We could not deploy centralized ADDS managed authentication and account access setup was fragmented. The UAC also prevented some support tasks and so this was not a seamless or consistent VPN alternative for us.

Do you think Cisco AnyConnect delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Cisco AnyConnect's feature set?

Yes

Did Cisco AnyConnect live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Cisco AnyConnect go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Cisco AnyConnect again?

Yes

Cisco AnyConnect is ideal where central resources need to be accessed remotely in a secure manner over IPSec encrypted tunnel. It is used to establish point-to-site connectivity initiated by the end-user. It works very well in this instance. It does require a VPN-capable gateway at the edge of the main network to allow connections to end-points. It may not be suitable where relevant IT expertise is not readily available to manage and monitor the network or where cost might be a challenge.

Resilience and Reliability

Definitely resilience is a must in the current climate with the ability to work remotely a must and most organizations were able to or were forced to accommodate remote working early in the pandemic. Also a robust business continuity plan is of paramount importance, even cloud services can fail and it is important to be able to anticipate and respond to failures as and when they occur. With all manner of malware in the wild, including unknown zero day vulnerabilities, air-gapped backups, though an out dated model are still relevant in this context.
Provide funding and promote BCP across the organization, this includes all areas, not just to technical requirements. To be able to anticipate and thrive in an environment of data spread, it is important that regular training form the backbone of any response and as the first barrier to threat vectors.
It has been in use for the past 5 years and has worked without any issues during that time. It also allows us unprecedented flexibility and access resources as if on premise. With remote work force more and more prevalent, this solution has been a constant. As we move our on-premise resources into the cloud, there will come a time when we stop using AnyConnect.
Cisco support is a good resource to deal with issues if they arise. The application itself is very light and has minimal configurable options on the client end (less chances of a misconfiguration). It is unobtrusive once connected and works well in the background. To get the latest versions, you do require an active support subscription, which can be costly.
We use it all day, every work day and the availability has always been very high. The connection once established is also very stable and remains connected.
Easy to deploy on network infrastructure and install on endpoints.
  • We have taken remote backups of executive computers
  • Published group policy and WSUS to keep remote computers safe

Using Cisco AnyConnect

12 - Access to centralized file shares. Download group policy objects. Connect to SQL servers. Connect and download approved updates from on-premise Windows Software Update Server.
1 - Network engineers with certifications on Cisco firewall.
  • Able to access centralized resources for remote workers
  • Control and manage remote users computers
  • Provide encrypted connections to access internet using remote internet gateway, when required.
  • Backup of all remote user computers.

Evaluating Cisco AnyConnect and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Prior Experience with the Product
As the existing network equipment was already all Cisco, it makes sense from a pricing perspective to continue using the same platform which lead us to Cisco AnyConnect for our remote work users.
I was not part of the evaluation and selection process. However, I do not think there would be any change to the deployment.

Cisco AnyConnect Implementation

Change management was minimal
  • Cost of the equipment
  • Annual cost for SmartNet is quite high

Cisco AnyConnect Training

Yes, it was a simple thing to select the server to connect to and provide relevant SSO credentials.

Configuring Cisco AnyConnect

It is fairly limited. Most of the configuration is done on the supporting infrastructure. There is limited need for additional configuration parameters.
DDL certificates makes MITM attacks less likely, as well as preventing connections to unsafe servers.
No - there is no facility to customize the interface
No - we have not done any custom code

Cisco AnyConnect Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
None
Not sure of the support level, but there is smartnet support as that is required to get support on any tickets and also to access the latest version of the AnyConnect client software.
Trying to make Cisco AnyConnect work with Citrix presentation server over multiple vlans was a complicated setup. The support engineer helped to resolve and provided a workaround to make it work successfully.

Using Cisco AnyConnect

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Connection is seamless
  • Connection works away in the background and is not intrusive at all
  • Appropriate security warnings are flagged e.g. SSL certificate warnings if expired to prevent MITM attacks.
  • Auto Connect functionality not present

Cisco AnyConnect Reliability

It is a simple application with a minimal interface.
We use Cisco AnyConnect to connect to on-prem resources. The delay in connecting is not noticeable.

Integrating Cisco AnyConnect

  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • Remote printing
Since the Cisco AnyConnect client creates a virtual network adapter, all LAN traffic is routed to the correct Vlans, as configured. Applications can then connect to remote resources transparently. We have not noticed any issues with accessing a remote resource once the connection is successfully made and correct routes are defined on the profile.
SSO with existing ADDS is easy to achieve.

Relationship with Cisco

The vendor has provided sufficient step by step instructions for installation.
Tickets can be raised to deal with any issue that might come up. The vendor's response is excellent. Requires a valid smartnet subscription.
Number of licenses.

Upgrading Cisco AnyConnect

Yes - We had to upgrade from version 4.07 to 4.10.
  • Able to use it on latest version of Windows
  • Any security issues to be mitigated
  • Sleeker interface