Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Citrix and VPN

networkingCitrix vs VPN

Virtual Private Networking is a method of creating a smaller private network that is running on top of a bigger network. Computers connected to a VPN act as if they are connected to the same network switch even if the other computer is halfway around the world. Citrix is a company that provides services and applications that operate on a VPN and allows users to access files and applications on a server remotely.

Creating a VPN can be accomplished with the use of a wide variety of software that can be acquired from different sources. Setting-up a VPN from scratch can be a complex task as there are a wide variety of concerns that needs to be addressed, not the least of which is security. Citrix provides an all-in-one service as it is capable of handling the huge majority of things needed to create a fully working VPN.

Citrix also produces applications that run on top of the VPN to provide more advanced features. VPN, at its basest, is only capable of providing file sharing services. Citrix allows users from a remote location to run applications on the server and have access to resources as if they are located on the server itself. Citrix simplifies and unifies the deployment of applications for the whole company as only the server needs to be updated when adding or upgrading your software. In a standard VPN, you need to update each and every computer that uses the application.

The application delivery system of Citrix can be very advantageous when working with very large files. In a traditional VPN, the file being opened needs to be downloaded to the client. With Citrix, everything is on the server and the only data that needs to be transmitted are the communication between the server and client.

The multiple benefits of Citrix can be very expensive as it is meant for larger companies with complex networking requirements. Implementing a traditional VPN would cost a lot less, especially if you already have the knowledge in setting it up. You simply need a capable router or a routerOS installed on a computer.

1. VPN is a smaller private network that lies on top of a bigger network while Citrix is a company that provides VPN services.
2. VPN can be implemented with a wide variety of software and Citrix is an all-in-one solution.
3. At its basest, VPN only provides file sharing while Citrix provides virtualization and application delivery.
4. Citrix is much better than traditional VPNs when working with large files.
5. Citrix is out of the budget of most people while VPN can be free.

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  1. Excellent POST

  2. Thanks for the article. The best summary I found was in a forum :

    If the data to be accessed is confined to documents only (spreadsheets, word processing documents, etc), VPN is sufficient

    If applications (client/server database applications) need to be accessed, Citrix technology is a must.

    The speed and latency (“pauses”) of all but the fastest and most expensive Internet connections make running applications across a VPN without Citrix extremely slow and unresponsive at best and will cause data loss and corruption at worst.

    With Citrix, since only “screens”, keyboard “strokes” and mouse “clicks” traverse the connection, only about 20-30kb per remote session is required. All the processing, data storage, and data backup is centralized at the office.

  3. Totally incorrect slanted towards citrix. Must have been written by citrix marketers.

    Citrix requires a heavy investment in a server farm and limited application availability. VPN is a much better solution overall that permits a company laptop used in the office to work seamlessly from home over a broadband connection. The nonsense about “fastest” and “most expensive” internet connection may have made sense 10 years ago but not today.

  4. Totally agree with @Truth

    VPN is extremely simple. It is not for “file sharing”; instead, it is for everything.

    In comparison, Citrix is limited, it acts as “remote desktop”, and instead of downloading 10Kb text file… it will download 100Mb of pixels to show you this text on computer screen.

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