Reduce the attack surface exposed by legacy VPNs. A Software-Defined Perimeter solution helps IT teams to limit resource access based on user, role, and other identifiers, so your organization can confidently inhabit multiple clouds and securely accommodate many remote employees.


Benefits at a Glance: SDP vs VPN

Dig into the specific advantages of implementing an SDP solution versus using a traditional VPN.

Virtual Private Network

  • Low visibility across environments
  • Lack of remote user security
  • Unable to segment with precision
  • Weak network traffic visibility
  • No IdP or custom access rules
  • No network activity reports
  • An easy target for hackers
  • Implementation can be costly
  • Little functionality beyond encryption

Software-Defined Perimeter

  • Integrates with every network
  • Secure global access
  • Network micro-segmentation
  • Secured and encrypted
  • Policies based on users, roles
  • Seamless auditing and reporting
  • Rejects account hijacking
  • Reduced costs
  • Not just encryption, 2FA, SSO etc.

SDP vs VPN: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP)?
A Software-Defined Perimeter is a hardware-less type of architecture that creates an internal network quarantined from the outside by a perimeter comprised of a variety of firewalls, which prevents users from coming in without verification. It then allows granular control over specific resource access once users are within the network.
How does an SDP work?
SDP works by containing a company’s IT assets inside a closed network of firewalls that do not let unauthorized users inside. The software foundation of SDP means that both local and cloud resources can be protected from outside access, with the SDP controller being manipulated by IT to determine which users can access which resources once authorized.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a product that helps users connect to web pages, applications, and other resources safely. It keeps their connection and data private as long as it’s active, and allows them to route (and anonymize) their traffic through different globally-placed servers. 
How does a VPN work?
A VPN creates a secure tunnel between a user’s PC and the resource they are trying to access (an application, web page, etc.). The tunnel contains traffic that is encrypted by one of many different protocols including IPSec, SSL, WireGuard and others, keeping one’s data private as they interact across the web.
SDP vs VPN: What are the differences?
SDP is different from VPN largely due to the way that it enables custom internal network access policies, while VPNs are meant to provide unlimited network/resource access to users. VPNs also limit visibility across the network for IT, while SDP enables it. Another key difference is that policies are able to be automated with an SDP, and this function is rare on a VPN.
Is SDP a VPN alternative?
Yes, SDP is an effective alternative to VPN, as it also privatizes traffic over the network, but includes more in-depth functionality and auditing utilities.  
What can I use instead of a VPN?
SDP is a good VPN alternative, as is IAM (Identity Access Management) but only as a complement to VPNs. Enterprises might also try PAM or VPAM – which are Privileged and Vendor Privileged Access Management, respectively.

Why Choose Perimeter 81 as Your VPN Replacement?

Perimeter 81 goes beyond the idea of traffic privacy via encrypted tunnels, by also allowing IT teams to adopt a user-centric security approach that better protects against the risks facing modern cloud- and mobile-forward enterprises.

Scale Security as You Grow

With our hardware-free framework and cloud platform, you can automatically scale security to new users in a growing multi-regional network.

Total Network Visibility

Unlike traditional legacy VPN services, our solution integrates with all local and cloud resources providing full visibility into user access and activity.

Reduce the Attack Surface

Enforce secure logins via Identity Providers and create user access rules based on the Zero Trust principle – custom for role, device, location and more.

Precise Segmentation

Our technology allows IT to segment their network and easily orchestrate access and traffic rules to various resources with granular detail.

Gain Cost-Effective SDP Access and Security Today

Enjoy the benefits of a hardware-free, highly-scalable and cost-effective solution that ensures simplified secure network access to protect IP assets from end-point to data-center to the cloud.