Best Free and Open Source Alternative to Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN

Last Updated on April 21, 2022

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight,, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

Cisco has also been a key contributor to the Linux kernel over the years, accounting for about 0.5% of total kernel commits, and is a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation and Premium Sponsor of the Open Source Initiative.

From a software perspective, Cisco’s main focus is developing proprietary programs. In this series we look at free and open source alternatives to their products.

Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPNAnyConnect SSL VPN gives users secure access to the enterprise network, from any device, at any time, in any location.

What is the best free and open source alternative?

1. OpenConnect

OpenConnect is a cross-platform multi-protocol SSL VPN client which supports a number of VPN protocols. Besides Cisco AnyConnect, it also supports protocols for Juniper Networks, Pulse Secure, Palo Alto Networks, F5, and Fortinet. There’s also support for Cisco Secure Desktop, a security scanner for the Cisco AnyConnect VPNs.

There’s a good range of support with connection through HTTP proxy, SOCKS5 proxy, and authentication via HTTP forms, using SSL certificates, SecurID software tokens, OATH TOTP or HOTP software tokens.

OpenConnect presents a uniform API and command-line interface to each of these VPNs.

There are various GUI tools for OpenConnect available including NetworkManager and ConnMan.

All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Cisco's Products
AnyConnect SSL VPNAnyConnect SSL VPN gives users secure access to the enterprise network, from any device, at any time, in any location.
DNA CenterDNA Center is a centralized automation and management platform for the entire network.
FirewallSecure Firewall is a complete security portfolio that protects your applications and users. It includes a Snort 3 next-generation intrusion prevention system.
Cisco Secure IDSSecure IDS is a network-based intrusion detection system that uses a signature database to trigger intrusion alarms. The major components are a sensor platform and a director platform.
WebexWebex offers calling, meetings, and messaging in the cloud for teams of all sizes. It offers a way of collaborating that focuses around the work you do, not your location.
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William B Peckham
William B Peckham
2 years ago

So, all of the open source alternatives for CISCO products is a single client piece? No servers, not hardware, just one offering on the client side? How pitiful!