Differences between Hardware VPN and Software VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must-have security element in today's world. You may surf the Internet and conduct any online business without jeopardizing your privacy or putting your data in danger if you use a VPN. You've certainly heard how important it is to have a VPN, but you're not sure whether you should acquire a hardware VPN or a software VPN.

This article will examine how hardware and software VPNs function and explain the differences between them.

According to a basic research, a VPN is required for overall network security. Setting up a VPN allows you to build point-to-point or site-to-site connections, and creates a secure tunnel across the Internet. It also enables you to securely connect routed or bridge setups for remote access facilities, and it connects the users over an encrypted tunnel. VPNs secure the information that workers send and receive over the Internet, as well as their Internet connections from unwanted access.

There are several VPNs available, each with varying degrees and types of service — and one of the most important factors to consider when looking for security solutions is whether to use VPN hardware or VPN software. Well, the best choice is ultimately determined by your company's requirements.

What is a Hardware VPN?

Hardware VPNs are devices with a specialized CPU that enable VPN functions (such as encryption/decryption and authentication). Aside from that, they frequently provide hardware firewall capabilities.

Hardware VPNs are self-contained, meaning they handle all the VPN tasks independently. Zyxel's Firewall Hardware VPN is an example of a hardware VPN.

What is a Software VPN?

Software VPNs are programs that you download and operate on your own computer or mobile device. They can be native clients that come pre-installed on your device or third-party VPN clients that you get from your VPN provider on your end. On the provider's end, software VPN refers to both the client and the configuration of the VPN servers.

Software VPN vs. Hardware VPN

Who do you think is the worthiest winner? It's not quite that straightforward, which is why it's crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each technology.

Let's compare and contrast the features of Software VPN and Hardware VPN based on a set of parameters.


When it comes to encryption, both hardware and software VPNs are very much on par. Both types of VPNs employ industry-standard protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2, as well as extremely secure encryption like AES-256. The aforementioned security procedures are used by MacPaw's ClearVPN to ensure that user data and online activities are kept private and secure.

User Conduct, on the other hand, can jeopardize the security of a software VPN. You're vulnerable to online attacks if you have a terrible habit of clicking on untrustworthy sites or don't believe in the efficacy of anti-virus software. The hardware VPN, on the other hand, works in a highly regulated environment. You have total control over data security, and the chance of security breaches caused by user actions is reduced.


Hardware VPNs, on the whole, provide faster connection speeds since they use a dedicated CPU. The client app encrypts the user-side transmission through a software VPN. With a software VPN, you'll receive less-than-ideal speeds if your device doesn't have a fast processor and you're running many CPU-intensive apps.

Even yet, using a software VPN to get fast connections isn't hard. Premium VPN providers have improved the performance of their client apps in recent years. Furthermore, most PCs and smartphones are more than capable of concurrently running a VPN program and other apps.

In terms of speed, there isn't a clear victor in the hardware vs. software VPN duel.


It's simple to set up a software VPN. To use the app, go on the provider's website, subscribe, and download it to your device. Install the app and run it. After that, you'll most likely be presented with an easy-to-use interface that lets you connect to a VPN server with only a few clicks.

A software VPN may be set up in less than 5 minutes. And, especially if it's a user-friendly, straightforward VPN like ClearVPN, most users won't have any trouble utilizing the software.

With a hardware VPN, it's a different scenario. You don't have access to an app that allows you to rapidly establish a secure connection. Instead, you'll have to manually adjust the hardware VPN's specifications. Because misconfiguration might jeopardize the VPN's security, you'll almost certainly need to engage IT experts for the job.


A hardware VPN might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not exactly cost-effective, especially if you're attempting to save money in your organization.

In the meantime, software VPN subscriptions are a fraction of the cost of their hardware counterparts. Most VPNs provide substantial discounts for long-term subscriptions.


You should be aware that a single hardware VPN can only support a certain number of connections. As your company expands, you'll need to recruit more people, which means purchasing more hardware VPNs.

If you're utilizing a software VPN, you may purchase extra users as needed. It's less expensive, and you won't have to deal with the hassle of connecting the numerous hardware VPNs. Furthermore, as remote work becomes more common, you can be confident that your workers are utilizing a VPN even if they work from home.