VDI VS VPN: What Is Your Best Solution for Remote Work?
Author: Frederik Veyrie
Remote work is the future. All organizations need secure remote access, especially since ransomware and malware are targeting more and more companies. No matter the industry, every organization should be able to count on reliable and secure access to their specialized applications. Should you use a VDI vs a VPN?
Well, both being virtual, Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) are common in the remote work environment. They might sound similar, but VDI and VPN are two different concepts.
A VPN refers to a private network and VDI refers to a virtual computing device. The technologies differ in terms of cost, management, storage, use cases, and performance. We’ll further break down the core differences between the VDI and VPN and what is your best solution.
What is a VPN
First, a VPN is a private network that encrypts and transmits data while it travels from one place to another on the internet. When we have to work over a network that we do not trust and have to transmit confidential data, network admins create a Virtual Private Networks (VPN) that allows only trusted parties to communicate through it.
The internet is one such example of a public untrusted network and a VPN can be very handy when transferring confidential data. VPNs use tunneling protocols to cipher data by encrypting it and then transmitting it, so the data is much more secure. To make it even more secure, the receiving and sending addresses are also encrypted.
Corporations that have employees working from multiple locations will require that they communicate through trusted networks. As it is difficult for each company to maintain a dedicated network, they create a VPN that provides a secure virtual network. When the company wants to grant access to a new user, they will use authentication by password, security token or biometric data.
What is a VDI
Second, a VDI is a technology that refers to a personal virtual computer allocated for you in a cloud. You will need an internet connection and a computer (or thin client) to log in to your virtual desktop computer in the cloud. These virtual desktops can be created with any specs that you require.
The specifications can range from a single-core processor with 1 GB memory to GPU-powered 16-core 16 GB specs. Specs can be scaled within minutes. There are multiple companies that offer virtual desktops to corporations that prefer their employees to bring their own devices.
Since a virtual device can be used from anywhere on the globe and has state-of-the-art security, this is one of the safest ways to conduct your business work. Also, you do not have to worry about depreciation costs or undergo a huge upfront cost.
VDI vs VPN
|Applications||Business applications are installed on the VDI.||Business applications are installed on the end-user device or they are accessible through a browser.|
|Connectivity||Almost all devices can access a VDI. Only an internet connection is required.||Most devices can be connected through a VPN. The VPN only provides access to the business network.|
|Data Access||Business data is only accessible through the VDI. No sensitive data is stored on personal devices or needs to be transmitted via the internet.||The user’s device directly accesses business data with the VPN. Sensitive data and personal data can be mixed.|
|Cost||VDIs are more expensive and more times than often, they have hidden costs.||VPNs are cheaper than VDI as they require fewer resources.|
|Management||Both can be hard to manage. VDI requires a lot of time, skills, and resources.||VPN servers are easier to manage, although the devices are more complex since they are using off-site resources.|
|Performance||VDIs are more efficient.||VPNs are less efficient than VDI. As we mentioned previously, both are for different uses. VPNs are not meant for larger workloads.|
|Security||VDIs are a safer option since all business data remains on a virtual machine managed by your admin. Data is protected on company servers or on the cloud.||VPN protects the data while it is in transit, but it offers no security once it reaches its destination. Sensitive information can be stored on personal devices, which can lead to data breaches.|
VDI vs VPN: Which One For Hybrid/Remote Work?
By now you probably understand that these two technologies are different, and choosing the right one will differ according to your needs. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
If you want a simple way to connect to your organization’s network to access all the files and apps, then you should go with a VPN. Also, you might opt for a VPN, if your organization is smaller and doesn’t require high performance applications.
If you are part of an organization and you are looking to change how your employees access your resources then a VDI might be a better option, specifically if high performance and graphic processing are required.
VDI vs DaaS
That being said, a VDI can be complex to set up, therefore Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is an interesting option. Both technologies are cloud-hosted desktops and even serve similar functions.
VDI allows having on-site control of your hardware. It’s great for larger enterprises with highly sensitive data and a skilled IT department. With a VDI you also get to customize your cloud environment.
As for a DaaS (Desktop as a Service), you don’t require a larger IT team since most of it is handled by a provider, leaving your staff free to focus on more important tasks.
Is The Best VPN Alternative a Cloud VDI solution?
Depending on your needs, choosing a DaaS can save you a lot of headaches, time, and costs.
V2 Cloud is a secure and flexible virtual desktop solution for all businesses. With simplicity in mind, you can easily set up your cloud environment in a matter of minutes, with the help of our support team. From a centralized dashboard, managed different permission levels. This allows you to easily scale according to your business needs and quickly manage access to contractors and offshore employees. All of this is possible while assuring a higher level of security and efficiency.