SoftEther VPN Project

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    SoftEther VPN Project develops and distributes SoftEther VPN,
    An Open-Source Free ​Cross-platform Multi-protocol VPN Program,
    as an academic project from University of Tsukuba.

    News

    Notice - Apple iOS 8 L2TP VPN setting screen has a bug (September 10, 2014)

    Apple released iOS 8 on September 10, 2014. Reportedly, the L2TP VPN setting screen on iOS 8 has a serious bug which damages saved passwords on the VPN setting entries which are upgraded from previous versions of iOS (e.g. iOS 7). Moreover, damaged VPN setting entries cannot have newly re-inputted passwords. Therefore, the user authentication error might occurs when connects to L2TP VPN servers. You can work around for this bug by deleting the existing VPN setting and re-create it manually.

    What is SoftEther VPN

    1.2.jpgSoftEther VPN ("SoftEther" means "Software Ethernet") is one of the world's most powerful and easy-to-use multi-protocol VPN software. It runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD and Solaris.

    SoftEther VPN is open source. You can use SoftEther for any personal or commercial use for free charge.

    SoftEther VPN is an optimum alternative to OpenVPN and Microsoft's VPN servers. SoftEther VPN has a clone-function of OpenVPN Server. You can integrate from OpenVPN to SoftEther VPN smoothly. SoftEther VPN is faster than OpenVPN. SoftEther VPN also supports Microsoft SSTP VPN for Windows Vista / 7 / 8. No more need to pay expensive charges for Windows Server license for Remote-Access VPN function.

    SoftEther VPN can be used to realize BYOD (Bring your own device) on your business. If you have smartphones, tablets or laptop PCs, SoftEther VPN's L2TP/IPsec server function will help you to establish a remote-access VPN from your local network. SoftEther VPN's L2TP VPN Server has strong compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

    1.0_vpnserver.jpgSoftEther VPN is not only an alternative VPN server to existing VPN products (OpenVPN, IPsec and MS-SSTP). SoftEther VPN has also original strong SSL-VPN protocol to penetrate any kinds of firewalls. Ultra-optimized SSL-VPN Protocol of SoftEther VPN has very fast throughput, low latency and firewall resistance.

    SoftEther VPN has strong resistance against firewalls than ever. Built-in NAT-traversal penetrates your network admin's troublesome firewall for overprotection. You can setup your own VPN server behind the firewall or NAT in your company, and you can reach to that VPN server in the corporate private network from your home or mobile place, without any modification of firewall settings. Any deep-packet inspection firewalls cannot detect SoftEther VPN's transport packets as a VPN tunnel, because SoftEther VPN uses Ethernet over HTTPS for camouflage.

    1.0_vpnclient2.jpgEasy to imagine, design and implement your VPN topology with SoftEther VPN. It virtualizes Ethernet by software-enumeration. SoftEther VPN Client implements Virtual Network Adapter, and SoftEther VPN Server implements Virtual Ethernet Switch. You can easily build both Remote-Access VPN and Site-to-Site VPN, as expansion of Ethernet-based L2 VPN. Of course, traditional IP-routing L3 based VPN can be built by SoftEther VPN.

    iphone.jpgSoftEther VPN has strong compatibility to today's most popular VPN products among the world. It has the interoperability with OpenVPN, L2TP, IPsec, EtherIP, L2TPv3, Cisco VPN Routers and MS-SSTP VPN Clients. SoftEther VPN is the world's only VPN software which supports SSL-VPN, OpenVPN, L2TP, EtherIP, L2TPv3 and IPsec, as a single VPN software.

    SoftEther VPN is free software because it was developed as Daiyuu Nobori's Master Thesis research in the University. You can download and use it from today. The source-code of SoftEther VPN is available under GPL license.

     

    Features of SoftEther VPN

    Architecture of SoftEther VPN

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    Virtualization of Ethernet devices is the key of the SoftEther VPN architecture. SoftEther VPN virtualizes Ethernet devices in order to realize a flexible virtual private network for both remote-access VPN and site-to-site VPN. SoftEther VPN implements the Virtual Network Adapter program as a software-emulated traditional Ethernet network adapter. SoftEther VPN implements the Virtual Ethernet Switch program (called Virtual Hub) as a software-emulated traditional Ethernet switch. SoftEther VPN implements VPN Session as a software-emulated Ethernet cable between the network adapter and the switch.

    You can create one or many Virtual Hub with SoftEther VPN on your server computer. This server computer will become a VPN server, which accepts VPN connection requests from VPN client computers.

    You can create one or many Virtual Network Adapter with SoftEther VPN on your client computer. This client computer will become a VPN client, which establishes a VPN connections to the Virtual Hub on the VPN server.

    You can establish VPN sessions, as called 'VPN tunnels', between VPN clients and VPN servers. A VPN session is the virtualized network cable. A VPN session is realized over a TCP/IP connection. The signals through the VPN session is encrypted by SSL. Therefore, you can safely establish a VPN session beyond the Internet. A VPN session is established by SoftEther VPN's "VPN over HTTPS" technology. It means that SoftEther VPN can create a VPN connection beyond any kinds of firewalls and NATs.

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    The Virtual Hub exchanges all Ethernet packets from each connected VPN session to other connected sessions. The behavior is same to traditional Ethernet switches. The Virtual Hub has a FDB (forwarding database) to optimize the transmission of Ethernet frames.

    You can define a local bridge between the Virtual Hub and the existing physical Ethernet segment by using the Local Bridge function. The Local Bridge exchanges packets between the physical Ethernet adapter and the Virtual Hub. You can realize a remote-access VPN from home or mobile to the company network by using the Local Bridge function.

    You can define a cascading connection between two or more remote Virtual Hubs. With cascading, you can integrate two or more remote Ethernet segments to a single Ethernet segment. For example, after you establish cascading connections between the site A, B and C, then any computers in the site A will be able to communicate with the computers in the site B and the site C. This is a site-to-site VPN.

    SoftEther VPN can also establish a VPN session over UDP. The UDP-mode of SoftEther VPN supports NAT traversal. The NAT traversal function allows the VPN server behind existing NATs or firewalls to accept incoming VPN sessions. You need no network administrator's special permission before setting up a VPN server on the company network behind firewalls or NATs. Additionally, SoftEther VPN Server may be placed on the dynamic IP address environment since SoftEther VPN has built-in Dynamic DNS (DDNS) function.

    SoftEther VPN Server supports additional VPN protocols, including L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN, Microsoft SSTP, L2TPv3 and EtherIP. These realizes the interoperability with built-in L2TP/IPsec VPN clients on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Mac OS X, and also with Cisco's VPN routers and other vendors VPN products.

    OpenVPN vs. SoftEther VPN

    Popular Question: What is the advantage of SoftEther VPN to OpenVPN?

    Obviously, OpenVPN is an excellent tool. However, the development of OpenVPN has been stalled for many years. And as you know OpenVPN has no significant improvement in recent years.

    The following table will show that the more benefit that SoftEther VPN can provied you. SoftEther VPN supports multi VPN protocols and multi native-VPN clients of various operating systems. SoftEther VPN has an easy-to-use VPN server management GUI tool. SoftEther VPN has also multi-language support. There are any other advantages in SoftEther VPN. Furthermore, SoftEther VPN has the OpenVPN-clone server function. It means that any OpenVPN users can replace it to SoftEther VPN seamlessly.

    The SoftEther VPN Project believes that SoftEther VPN has the potential ability to occupy the even stronger position in today's OpenVPN.

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    How to Use SoftEther VPN ?

     

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    SoftEther VPN is an essential infrastructure to build-up IT systems on enterprises and small-businesses.

    Ad-hoc VPN

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    Make an ad-hoc VPN consists of the small-number computers with SoftEther VPN. Despite long-distance, it is easy to communicate mutually with any kinds of LAN-oriented protocols.

    LAN to LAN Bridge

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    Geologically distributed branches are isolated as networks by default. SoftEther VPN lays virtual Ethernet cables between your all branches. Then all computers of all branches are connected to the single LAN.

    Remote Access to LAN

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    Does employees need to connect to the company LAN from outside or home? Remote Access VPN will realizes virtual network cable from a Client PC to the LAN from anywhere and anytime.

     

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    SoftEther VPN can build-up flexible and dependable virtual network around Clouds. Amazon EC2, Windows Azure and most of other Clouds are supporting SoftEther VPN.

    Join a Local PC into Cloud

    banner2_1.jpgYour desktop or laptop PC can join into the Cloud VM network. You can make use of Cloud VM as if it is on your own local network easily.

    Join a Cloud VM into LAN

    banner2_2.jpgYour Cloud VM can join to your company LAN with SoftEther VPN. Anyone on your company can access to the Cloud VM without any settings.

    Cloud to LAN Bridge VPN

    banner2_3.jpgSoftEther VPN keeps a virtual dedicate Ethernet line from the Cloud to the LAN 24h/365d. You can consider remote Cloud private network as a part of your corporate network.

    Cloud to Cloud Bridge VPN

    banner2_4.jpgAre you using Amazon EC2 and Windows Azure, or using two or more remote datacenters of a Cloud service? SoftEther VPN can make a single united network between all Cloud VMs despite differences of physical locations.

     

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    SoftEther VPN supports several mobile devices including iPhone and Android. Your smartphone is now a part of your on-premise or Cloud network by using SoftEther VPN.

    iPhone and Android

    banner3_1.jpgiPhone and Android has a built-in VPN client but originally they need Cisco, Juniper or other expensive hardware-based VPNs for remote-access. SoftEther VPN has a same function to Cisco, and supports your iPhone and Android easily.

    Windows and Mac Laptops

    banner3_2.jpgYour mobile PCs with Windows or Mac can be easily connected to SoftEther VPN anywhere and anytime, despite firewalls or packet filters on Wi-Fi or overseas ISP. Windows RT is also supported.

     

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    SoftEther VPN is also an ultra-convenient tool for effective system management by IT professionals on enterprises and system integrators.

    Remote Management

    banner4_1.jpgAre you having problem with many servers, clients and printers of your client companies are distributed around the state? SoftEther VPN will help you a network administrator as a handy tool just from your desk. You can reach to any networks by only installing SoftEther VPN.

    Building Your Own Cloud

    banner4_3.jpgDo you want to build and provide your own Cloud service which can beat Amazon EC2 or Windows Azure? SoftEther VPN can help you to build an inter-VMs network and remote-bridging network between your Cloud and your customer's on-premise.

     

    VPN for Network Testing, Simulation and Debugging

    banner4_2.jpgSoftEther VPN is not a program only for building remote network. It can be used for network design, test, and simulation by IT professionals. For example, delay, jitter and packet loss generator is implemented on SoftEther VPN. So network designer can test VoIP phones under the bad-condition IP network.

     

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    SoftEther VPN is also convenient for home users. You can be proud of using enterprise-class VPN for your home-use.

    Remote Access

    banner5_1.jpgDo you want to access to your home server or digital appliance from outside? Set up SoftEther VPN Server on your home PC and gain access to your server or HDTV recorder from anywhere even the opposite side of the earth, through the Internet.

    Comfortable Network Anywhere

    banner5_2.jpgAre you a business man and running around the world? Most of Wi-Fi and local ISPs of several countries are discomfort to use because of packet filtering or censorship. So set up your private relay server on your own home PC and use it from fields to gain ease.

     

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    Does your network administrator hesitates to assign you a global IP address? Or Does your company has a firewall on the border between the private network and the Internet? No problem! SoftEther VPN has a strong function to penetrate troublesome corporate firewalls.

    Dynamic DNS and NAT Traversal

    banner6_1.jpgUnlike legacy IPsec-based VPN, even if your corporate network doesn't have any static global IP address you can set up your stable SoftEther VPN Server on your corporate network.

    VPN Azure

    banner6_2.jpgIf the corporate firewall is more restricted and the NAT Traversal of SoftEther VPN doesn't work correctly, use VPN Azure to penetrate such a firewall.

     

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    IPsec-based VPN protocols which are developed on 1990's are now obsoleted. IPsec-based VPN are not familiar with most of firewalls, NATs or proxies. Unlike IPsec-based VPN, SoftEther VPN is familiar with any kind of firewalls. Additionally SoftEther VPN requires no expensive Cisco or other hardware devices. You can replace your Cisco or OpenVPN to SoftEther VPN today.

    Penetrates Firewall by SSL-VPN

    banner7_1.jpgAre you having trouble with IPsec-based legacy VPN products? Replace it to SoftEther VPN. SoftEther VPN Protocol is based on HTTPS so almost all kinds of firewalls will permits SoftEther VPN's packets.

    Replacements of Cisco or other hardware-based VPNs

    banner7_2.jpgCisco, Juniper or other hardware-based IPsec VPNs are expensive for set-up and management. They are also lack of usability and compatibility with Firewalls. Replace them to SoftEther VPN. You can very easily replace because SoftEther VPN also has the L2TP/IPsec VPN function which is same to Cisco's.

    Replacements of OpenVPN

    banner7_2.jpgAre you still using OpenVPN? SoftEther VPN has more ability, better performance and easy-configurable GUI-based management tools. SoftEther VPN has also the OpenVPN Server Clone Function so that any OpenVPN clients, including iPhone and Android, can connect to SoftEther VPN easily.

     

    Screenshots

    SoftEther VPN consists of three software: VPN Client, VPN Server and VPN Bridge.

     

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    SoftEther VPN Client

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    SoftEther VPN Server Admin Tool

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