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> Chapter 27 - SSL VPN > The SSL VPN client

The SSL VPN client

The remote client connects to the SSL VPN tunnel in various ways, depending on the VPN configuration.

  • Tunnel mode establishes a connection to the remote protected network that any application can use. If the client computer runs Microsoft Windows, they can download the tunnel mode client from the web portal.
    If the client computer runs Linux or Mac OS X, the user needs to download the tunnel mode client application from the Fortinet Support web site. See the Release Notes for your FortiOS firmware for the specific operating system versions that are supported.
  • The virtual desktop application creates a virtual desktop on a user's PC and monitors the data read/write activity of the web browser running inside the virtual desktop. When the application starts, it presents a ‘virtual desktop’ to the user. The user starts the web browser from within the virtual desktop and connects to the SSL VPN web portal. The browser file/directory operation is redirected to a new location, and the data is encrypted before it is written to the local disk. When the virtual desktop application exits normally, all the data written to the disk is removed. If the session terminates abnormally (power loss, system failure, etc.), the data left behind is encrypted and unusable to the user. The next time you start the virtual desktop, the encrypted data is removed.
note icon The SSL VPN standalone client installer for Windows is no longer supported in FortiOS 5.4. Users should use the FortiClient installer with the "VPN Only" option instead.