Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange offers organizations a secure cloud-based platform, helping business owners protect their digital assets and users. Learn more about the advantages of using Zscaler and how its architecture works, as well as how it compares with platforms such as Cisco Umbrella, Cloudflare and Palo Alto. Get an overview of the security features, web proxy capabilities and digital experiences offered by Zscaler.
What is Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange?
Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange (ZTX) is a cloud-based security platform that enables businesses to protect their users and digital assets. Zscaler provides users with an easy-to-use interface, allowing administrators to manage policy and access control settings. It also offers detailed visibility into the traffic entering and exiting their environment. The platform’s advanced security features help detect threats such as malware, phishing attempts and malicious software. Additionally, its web proxy capabilities provide secure access to websites behind the firewall while its digital experiences tools help optimize the user experience on multiple devices.
Additionally, ZTX provides unified policy and control over devices, apps, networks and users. It also supports multiple authentication protocols such as SAML 2.0, Kerberos and OpenID Connect for secure access across an enterprise network. Additionally, its machine learning based analytics engine helps detect and block threats before they reach the organization’s perimeter. Furthermore, Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange enables organizations to reduce costs, improve security and optimize user experience on both wireless and wired networks. All these features make Zscaler one of the most comprehensive and feature-rich security platforms available today.
The Pros and Cons of Using Zscaler as a VPN
Are you considering using Zscaler as a VPN? To help you decide whether the service is worth it, we’ve broken down its key features, prices, advantages and drawbacks. Read on to find out all the details about Zscaler and decide if it’s right for you.
Advantages of Using Zscaler as a VPN
One of the major advantages of using Zscaler is its impressive security features. All VPN traffic sent through Zscaler is securely encrypted, from data in transit to data at rest. In addition, Zscaler’s Cloud Security Platform provides advanced malware and threat protection to keep you secure while browsing the web or transferring data. Finally, with a large global network of servers located all over the world, you can expect fast connection speeds wherever you go.
If you are looking for a reliable, secure VPN to help protect you from cyber threats, Zscaler is an excellent choice. Its advanced encryption technology ensures your data remains safe from unauthorized access at all times. Furthermore, Zscaler’s multi-cloud infrastructure allows you to get the best performance and availability whenever you connect. Finally, it has a simple and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to manage settings and keep track of your activity.
Zscaler also has several benefits that make it a great option for businesses and organizations. For instance, its dashboard provides detailed analytics and gives you total visibility over protected endpoints and the network traffic they generate. Additionally, Zscaler simplifies IT operations by automating hundreds of security activities and reducing manual overhead. Plus, with its seamless compatibility across platforms and devices, you can easily use the same VPN technology on multiple devices without installation or setup hassles.
Furthermore, Zscaler ensures maximum security by utilizing a network of cloud-based computing nodes worldwide. Each node acts as an individual point of presence (PoP) in the network and uses multiple layers of encryption to protect communication from external threats. This makes it extremely difficult for unauthorized users to access data or intercept communications over the VPN. Zscaler also includes features like mobile identity management and intelligent integration with third-party applications like Salesforce, Office 365 and Google Drive, allowing you to monitor activities on each app with minimal effort.
Ultimately, Zscaler is one of the most reliable and secure VPN options available. With its advanced security features, easy implementation and convenient management capabilities, it’s an excellent choice for companies and individuals who want to protect their data and privacy while browsing the web or transferring files.
Disadvantages of Using Zscaler as a VPN
It’s important to note that there are some drawbacks to using Zscaler as a VPN. It’s relatively expensive compared to other virtual private networks, and the setup process requires more technical skill than with many other services. Additionally, while its security features are comprehensive, they may not be enough for certain businesses or individuals who require stronger encryption and additional layers of protection.
Data Usage Limit
One of the main potential disadvantages of using Zscaler as a VPN is that it has a strict data usage limit. The limit isn’t disclosed but some users have reported being locked out after exceeding an undisclosed threshold. This can be problematic for those who rely upon their VPN connection for larger activities such as streaming video or playing online games.
Other than the data usage limit, some reports cite slower connections when using Zscaler as a VPN as well. However, this could be due to inadequate server coverage or simply an old-fashioned connection with poor speed. Furthermore, some users have complained of frequent disconnects or having to reconnect multiple times. As long as the VPN has adequate server coverage and sufficient bandwidth, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Unfortunately, Zscaler offers users a maximum data usage of 1GB per day. Although additional data can be purchased from the company, this severely reduces the usefulness of a VPN as it limits the amount of web browsing and streaming that a person can do each day. Not only does this mean internet activities are limited to a set daily cap, but also that websites and services loading multiple files or images can quickly exceed the limit. For those who require a larger data allowance, another VPN solution might be more suitable.
Lower Connection Speeds than Anticipated
Another potential downside of the Zscaler VPN service is that many users are finding that their actual connection speeds are lower than those advertised. This may be due to the sheer number of users connected, as well as any problems that there may be with their system. In some cases, customers have reported slow download and connection speeds compared to those which were initially advertised.
Another issue is that the connection can be interrupted should the user move from one area to another, as Zscaler does not offer different servers in various locations. This means that you may experience a loss of speed or dropouts as your internet connection shifts from one location to another. Furthermore, there have been reports of customers experiencing encryption and decryption latency issues while using the VPN service. These issues combined can be very frustrating, and make it difficult to complete tasks which rely on a stable internet connection.
Lastly, many customers report experiencing lower connection speeds than expected when using Zscaler for their VPN needs. This could be caused by the fact that Zscaler imposes certain restrictions on which types of traffic can flow through its servers, and it also enforces an administrative overhead which can take its toll on your connection speed. Additionally, because the endpoints are in various locations and the VPN protocol itself introduces a lag of its own, users may find themselves struggling with connectivity issues whenever they want to access or share files while connected.
Bypassing the VPN is Possible Depending on Your Network Setup.
While Zscaler is a secure VPN service, it does have some potential disadvantages. For example, it’s possible for savvy users to bypass the VPN by simply connecting directly to the internet. This is certainly the case if you’re using a wireless network, because devices such as phones and tablets can connect directly to the router despite being connected to the VPN. If you’re in an environment where this risk isn’t managed all that well, then potentially anyone on your Wi-Fi could be able to bypass all of your VPN security measures without much difficulty.
While this is certainly one of Zscaler’s main security concerns, there are a few ways to minimize the risk. For example, you can use Wi-Fi encryption as well as your router’s MAC address filter and access control list to ensure that only authorized users can connect. Additionally, using any sort of network hardening measures can help make sure that the VPN is not easily bypassed by anyone on your local network.
However, it is still possible for individuals to access sites without the VPN if their network setup is not properly configured. For example, an attacker with physical access to a local computer or router can use a variety of techniques to bypass the security measures put in place by Zscaler. To reduce the risk of this occurring, you should use strong encryption and make sure that any configuration changes are closely monitored. Additionally, regularly updating your firmware and other software applications can help protect against any potential attacks as well.
Potential Issues when Using Corporate Devices
Another potential disadvantage of using Zscaler VPN is that it can cause issues with some corporate devices when connecting to certain corporate networks. Some networks have disabled certain secure services, such as FTP and sharing detailed device profiling to web services, meaning that secure access isn’t always possible. While this usually isn’t a problem, some employers may not permit employees to use such solutions inside the organization. This can be a complication if you are using Zscaler on a device owned by the company which needs to connect securely.
As a result, it pays to check with your employer before setting up a VPN service, especially if you are using any corporate devices which are known to have difficulty with certain networks. Additionally, be aware that while Zscaler does provide services for multiple platforms, some of their network security services may only be available on specific operating systems. So make sure you check their compatibility list before downloading the service in order to ensure the application can work on all of your devices.
Additionally, Zscaler’s security protocols can also create issues when accessing certain corporate services such as remote desktop applications. Since access is controlled by secure application programming interfaces (APIs), corporate users of the service may have difficulty logging in due to the additional layer of verification provided by the network. Therefore, it may be necessary to make additional configuration changes in order to successfully access these services outside of the office.
Furthermore, having a third-party security service in place can make it difficult for internal corporate IT teams to troubleshoot any potential network issues. This is due to the added layer of authentication which only allows certain users access and as such can create confusion or account lockout scenarios which require IT personnel to manually intervene in order to resolve the issue. In addition, since Zscaler has full control over data flow, companies may not be able to monitor user activity in order to gain insight into corporate data usage patterns.
Accessibility of Third-Party Software and Services May be Restricted
By using Zscaler VPN, you may find that certain popular third-party services and software won’t be available to you. This is because Zscaler scans all traffic going through its tunnels and blocks suspicious activity based on the company’s security policies. Unfortunately, this can result in legitimate traffic being blocked due to overzealous scanning routines that aren’t up-to-date. Consequently, if you rely on a specific service or platform for your workflow, it may be best to not use a Zscaler VPN if access to that platform is essential for your activities.
Furthermore, security protocols that may be needed for certain types of business applications are often missed by the VPN, which can be a hindrance for businesses. As a result, staff security and data protection policies may be compromised due to lack of enforcement through a VPN. Thus, if you use Zscaler as your only solution for your company’s cybersecurity, their lack of access to some third-party programs and services needs to be taken into consideration before implementing it on your business’ computers.
Also, some of Zscaler’s restrictions may conflict with the use of external IT contractors or outsourced services. Certain software and programs might be blocked by the high level of security that Zscaler provides, thus making it impossible to access these resources without a more relaxed VPN solution. In addition, key employees and personnel may have difficulty connecting to their work environment due to compatibility issues when using certain devices or having outdated systems. Therefore, while Zscaler offers a convenient way to securely connect one’s staff to their workplace, it may still cause difficulties in regards to user accessibility of certain services and applications on different devices.
Is Zscaler the Right Option for You?
One of the key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating whether Zscaler is worth using as a VPN is its pricing structure. Ultimately, deciding to use a VPN like Zscaler comes down to each user’s individual needs and preferences. While it may represent a more expensive option for some, the enhanced security features and higher levels of optional protection will be valuable for those concerned with optimal protection from cyber threats.Those with higher levels of usage may find that Zscaler’s pay-as-you-go structures offer better value for money based on their individual needs.
Compare Packages and Features
Zscaler’s pricing plans come in different configurations, with the most basic package providing limited features and cost-effectiveness tailored for small businesses with minimal security needs. Other packages offer more comprehensive protection services including advanced firewall capabilities and identity management. Compare packages and features to choose the best option for your business’s needs.
Additionally, be sure to consider the number of users that need protection. Zscaler’s pricing plans are scalable, so businesses only pay for what is needed and can add additional users as the company grows. The scalability of the plans helps keep costs low and make it easier to budget for cyber security services. Consider your risk tolerance, compliance requirements, and user demographics when choosing a pricing plan for Zscaler to ensure optimal levels of security are in place across all devices.
Lastly, consider available discounts. Many of the pricing plans are subject to promotional offers or discounts for businesses that sign up for multi-year service contracts. In some cases, you may also be able to take advantage of partner or volume discounts if you’re purchasing services in bulk. Research promotional offers and discounts before signing a contract to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on the services you need.
Explore Pricing by Location and Device Counts
Zscaler offers varying packages that are tailored to specific device counts, locations and preferred feature sets. Each package comes with a unique pricing structure that is optimized to provide an ideal solution for the customer’s needs. For example, businesses with a large network may opt for an Enterprise-level plan with ITDM services, while small office locations might benefit from lighter packages such as the Business-level or the Essential-level plan.
By exploring the different packages, businesses are able to compare prices, device counts, unique features, and locations. Zscaler’s transparent pricing system allows customers to clearly understand what services and features they’ll receive with each plan. Additionally, customers can review their usage data on a monthly basis to ensure that they are getting the most value-for-money out of their chosen service package. This flexibility enables customers to seamlessly scale up or down as needed while optimizing cost efficiency without sacrificing security needs or performance expectations.
Taking into account both usage levels and data requirements, businesses should also consider geographical locations as it pertains to their chosen package. Customers can save money by opting for pre-defined zone packages or customize a plan around their specific needs. Zscaler’s pricing scales up or down based on the customer’s exact requirements and current usage trends in order to optimize price savings while still guaranteeing the highest levels of performance, security, and compliance. With competitive pricing plans like these, businesses can be sure that their data network is reliably secure and optimally priced.
Consider Upfront Costs and Tiered Structures for Discounts
Zscaler’s pricing model is designed to provide the most value to its customers. Customers can opt for upfront and yearly costs, while larger enterprise customers can choose tiered prices and receive additional discounts. This allows customers to choose a plan that best fits their organization’s budget and technical requirements. Furthermore, Zscaler pricing includes service packs that cater to different customer needs and devices.
Zscaler service packs can be tailored to email protection, web and cloud security, data loss prevention, and more. Each pack contains additional features designed to detect, alert, quarantine, and classify potential threats. Customers who choose a yearly subscription receive discounts of up to 20% off the monthly rate. As part of the pricing agreement terms, customers have the option to cancel their service at any time within 90 days of signing up for Zscaler’s services with no penalties or cancellation fees. This provides customers with flexibility when trying out Zscaler’s product offerings without being tied into long-term commitments.
Businesses should also consider the upfront costs associated with Zscaler, such as setup and integration fees. Customers can decide whether to pay these implementations fees up front or incorporate them into their subscription payments. Additionally, businesses can negotiate with Zscaler to receive discounts through a tiered pricing structure or when they purchase in bulk. This makes it possible for customers to save money while still enjoying the same protection and other service packs they would receive through an individual subscription.
Zscaler also offers discounts based on the length of your contract. The longer you commit to working with Zscaler, the more savings you will receive — up to 20%. A shorter contract may make sense for some small businesses, while enterprises may opt for a longer agreement to realize additional savings. Prospective clients should also consider factoring in perpetual or upgrade fees into their budget as well as rollover balances that occur at the conclusion of a subscription cycle — so they won’t be hit with any surprises when their bill comes due.
Be sure to evaluate your needs before choosing a VPN provider so you know which approach is best for your requirements.
Analyze Annual Maintenance Costs for Licenses and Subscriptions
Maintenance costs are an important factor for any company when considering Zscaler’s pricing structure. These maintenance costs include licensing, subscriptions, services and support packages. All yearly maintenance costs are detailed in the customer agreement to ensure transparency. The maintenance fee is calculated based on the number of users and devices supported by the particular license plan chosen. This helps to provide an economical solution that scales with each organization’s individual growth patterns.
To ensure each customer obtains the most cost-effective and beneficial service needs, Zscaler offers a comprehensive set of maintenance costs that are tailored to each organization’s individual usage. Each subscription includes access to expertise and training, product updates and a wide range of support options that help ensure customers reap the full benefits offered by Zscaler. Additionally, flexible credit-based licensing ensures customers can take advantage of the latest services, while continuing to gain value from invested solutions.
When considering Zscaler for your organization, be sure to factor in cost for licensing and any accompanying annual maintenance. Licensing costs vary depending on the product type, but always include assurance of compliance with industry regulations and best practices. Annual maintenance costs also vary, but typically provide access to 24/7 technical assistance, product support, training resources, and more. Taking the time to evaluate these costs beforehand can ensure a better understanding of how much of an investment is necessary for successful implementation and integration.
Subscriptions tend to have the most comprehensive protection for the most reliable investment. Since Zscaler’s licensing and subscription plans are tailored to each company’s specific needs and budget, it’s important to understand the differences between each type of agreement. Subscription agreements often provide access to more resources, like proactive monitoring and advanced threat protection, but may also require higher upfront fees due to the extended length of coverage. Licenses offer lower pricing in general, but include one-time installation costs as well as a year or two of tech support depending on how long you choose to renew your agreement. Regardless of which option is chosen, understanding all factors involved in selecting a pricing model before signing a contract ensures that companies get the best value for their IT security efforts.
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