Ed Andersen

Software Developer and Architect in Japan

Surface Windows RT DOES NOT support Cisco IPSec VPNs

Ed Andersen Avatar



A promising slide from TechEd 2012 promises VPN support for Cisco VPNs:

And from here:

The TechEd 2012 session “Windows 8: Windows RT Devices for Business” (http://channel9.msdn.com/ Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/WCL202) stated at the 26 min mark that Microsoft incorporate the Cisco VPN client into Windows RT out of the box.

It doesn’t work for most Cisco VPN setups where the IT department has decided to use PSK authentication. Windows never natively supported the IPSec Identifier, or “Group Name” feature in Cisco VPNs, which I argue would be the vast majority of real use cases.

See? No Group Name option. Compare this to OS X:

OS X supports Cisco IPSec natively and has a field for Group Name. iOS also does.

On Windows RT, you cannot install the Cisco AnyConnect client. You shouldn’t have to do this anyway – Windows should natively support this, as Apple has chosen to do. Some people are going to get pretty annoyed when they realize they can’t use Windows RT devices to remote in to corporate VPNs, although some would argue that corporate VPNs should be using certificates and not Pre Shared Keys for IPSec.

iPads can connect to Cisco VPNs natively – sort it out Microsoft.

Ed Andersen Avatar

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Hi! 👋 I’m a Software Developer, Architect and Consultant living in Japan, building web and cloud apps. Here I write about software development and other things I find interesting. Read more about my background.

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2 responses to “Surface Windows RT DOES NOT support Cisco IPSec VPNs”

  1. Mathew Pinard Avatar
    Mathew Pinard

    Good do know. Looks like we will skip Windows RT systems for our corporate users and go with either iPads or Android tablets.

  2. I think it is important to note that the only reason the mac and ios products support this as it was part of the terms Cisco and Apple came to for Apple using Cisco’s iPhone trademark.

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