SSL VPNs allow users to remotely connect to the corporate network using a standard Web browser. Currently, Cisco's product only supports Web-based applications. The new version will allow users to access some non-Web applications, too, such as e-mail residing on a corporate mail server.
Such upgrades are an important addition to the product, since they will allow remote workers to use their Web browsers to connect to the corporate network rather than a difficult-to-manage IPsec client that must be pre-installed. SSL VPN competitors, such as Juniper Networks, through its Netscreen acquisition, and Aventail have been supporting non-Web applications in their products for some time.