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Are the VPN clients free?


Hi there

Sorry about this stupid question, but CISCO has just too many licenses, codes, contract/serial #...

Each client needs a VPN client software installed.

  1. This would be the "CISCO AnyConnect VPN Client", right?
  2. It is the same for SSL and for IPSec?
  3. Is this tool free to use & distribute to my remote workers or does it require a license too? I am asking because I could not download the tool from the CISCO website (need some kind of contract number that I don't have/find).

Thanks & cheers,


3 Replies 3

Collin Clark
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni

Hi Peter-

The AnyConnect client is is for SSLVPN connections. There is (was maybe) an IPSEC VPN client but it is being phased out. The features of AnyConnect should convince you to leave the IPSEC client. AnyConnect is "free" and it should have come on a CD with your hardware. SmartNet on your hardware will entitle you to download the client as well as any updates via the Cisco website. If the CD is gone try opening a TAC case, they should send you the client.

Hope it helps.

Jouni Forss
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni


To my understanding you need a service contract to be able to download any of the VPN Clients.

The clients are

  • Cisco VPN Client for IPsec
  • Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client for SSL(older versions)
  • AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client for SSL

You need a service contract to download these softwares.

Though to my understanding pretty much every ASA model has a pretty decent user limit for IPsec VPN Client user amount without any licensing. Though the IPsec VPN Client is on its way out so AnyConnect is a better option. For it you will need to aquire licenses to be able to have multiple users.

A very default ASA5505 for example has license for 2 AnyConnect users by default.

To my understanding some version of the AnyConnect client is already available on the ASA (on the Flash memory) and you can install it to computer from there as soon as you have configured the VPN.

The licensing with AnyConnect is alot different to my understanding compared to the old IPsec client so I will let someone else answer that as I can't say anything for sure unless I read up on it..

Heres some links to old and new VPN Clients (FAQs)

VPN Client FAQ

AnyConnect VPN Client FAQ

- Jouni


Anyconnect (as of version 3.0) supports both SSL and IPsec (IKEv2) as opposed to Legacy VPN client, which supported only IPsec (IKEv1).

From what I know indeed you need to have contracts tied to you cco id to be able to download anyconnect, maybe something changed in the meantime.

Please note that there multiple options of terminating (secure) VPN tunnels on Cisco devices:

- l2tp over IPsec - built into almost any modern operating systems (from windows, through android to apple devices) functions on both IOS and ASAs.

- pptp - IOS and old PIXes (although it's questionable whether it's actually secure).

- IPsec - freeware clients and other vendors (vpnc, shrew soft. etc etc.)

Please note that we cannot test interoperability against all the clients out there, and very often we will redirect to other vendors' support if problem is not with out side.


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