Absolute Secure Access Purpose-Built Enterprise VPN Advanced Features In Depth

In a recent post I outlined why Absolute Secure Access is one of the best choices for enterprise remote access. The article provided a high-level overview and some of its advantages over Microsoft and other mobility offerings. In this article I’ll dive a little deeper into some of the technical aspects of Absolute Secure Access and what sets it apart from every other mobility solution.

Purpose Built VPN

As I noted in my previous article, most VPN protocols in use today are either LAN-based protocols (IPsec) or web-based protocols (HTTP) that have been adapted for remote access use. They assume high quality network connectivity to function reliably. Absolute Secure Access features a proprietary transport protocol exclusively designed for mobility. The purpose-built solution includes advanced capabilities to provide reliable connectivity, even over low bandwidth, high latency, and high packet loss networks.

Advanced Feature Set

The following is a list of advanced features in Absolute Secure Access designed to ensure reliable and persistent remote connectivity and improve network performance for mobile workers. Many of these are not found in competing solutions.

Packet Loss Recovery

Packet loss is common when transmitting data over poor-quality network connections. Retransmitting packets is expensive, in terms of both time and resource utilization. Absolute Secure Access includes an innovative forward error correction mechanism as part of its transport protocol that adds additional information to each packet transmitted. If packet loss is encountered, the packet can be reconstructed, eliminating the need for an expensive retransmission.

Traffic Optimization

Absolute Secure Access is designed to work seamlessly across many different types of network connections (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular, etc.) and can dynamically switch from one network to another, if needed. These connections often have different characteristics, including latency, throughput, and supported Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU), and they often change in the middle of a session due to changes in network conditions.

Absolute Secure Access continuously monitors the quality of the underlying network connection and uses dynamic link tuning to adjust network settings using the best networking parameters for the current condition. For example, if the path MTU changes at any point in time, perhaps when switching from a Wi-Fi network to a cellular network, Absolute Secure Access can adjust the packet size to accommodate this change. If network latency goes up or packet loss is encountered, it can enable data compression or make other compensating adjustments on the fly.

Quality of Service

Administrators can use Quality of Service  (QoS) to perform traffic shaping and further enhance performance for critical applications. Applications can be prioritized, throttling lower priority or non-essential applications during times of high network utilization. When high priority applications finish transmitting data, remaining applications resume full access to the VPN tunnel.

Session Persistence

During periods of intermittent connectivity loss, such as when a mobile client roams between networks or encounters a gap in coverage, Absolute Secure Access maintains the connection between the application and the on-premises server by buffering communication between them and resuming transmission once connectivity is restored. This greatly improves usability for mobile workers by insulating applications from the negative effects of intermittent connectivity loss.

Policy Management

Absolute Secure Access policies can also serve to enhance performance and improve usability for remote access connections. For example, an administrator can define a policy that ensures only critical applications can use the VPN connection when bandwidth drops below an administrator-defined threshold. In addition, the administrator could prevent non-essential applications from using the network during business hours. Also, policy could be used to limit access to the VPN based on current battery power, once again ensuring that essential business applications don’t have to compete with others for vital resources.

Captive Portal Detection

Absolute Secure Access automatically detects when a wireless network requires logging in to a web portal to gain access to the network. The user is presented with the portal login page and connectivity resumes automatically once the user has been authenticated.

Network Access Control

Absolute Secure Access features integrated Network Access Control (NAC), allowing administrators to define baseline policies for connectivity. NAC can ensure that any client device connecting to the VPN meets a minimum set of requirements before establishing connectivity. Also, NAC is not a pass/fail choice. The administrator can configure conditional access depending on device configuration. For example, if the device is fully compliant, a full access policy can be applied. If noncritical parameters are not met, a reduced level of access can be granted. If a critical setting is not present, access could be denied completely.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about Absolute Secure Access? Fill out the form below and I’ll contact you with more information.

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