A large number of corporate users are deploying virtual private networks (VPN) built on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, aiming for a simpler and less expensive way to connect remote workers to their networks. SSL products are now offered by most of the big network vendors, including Cisco, Check Point Software, Nokia, Nortel, and Symantec. Some have acquired SSL start-ups, while others have developed their technology in house. SSL has long been integrated with web browsers to protect transactions with such sites as Amazon and E-Trade. Using SSL for VPNs means remote machines do not have to use a special client, as is the case for IPSec products. IPSec also has some interoperability issues that could leave remote workers stranded outside the company network. Many organizations, such as the Catholic Health System in Buffalo, New York, find IPSec ideal for inter-office connections, but prefer SSL for remote workers. Though SSL is gaining market share, IPSec is still outpacing its growth. Many experts consider the two to be complementary technologies.
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