DirectAccess is a Microsoft remote access technology designed for managed (domain-joined) Windows client computers. Much like NetMotion Mobility, it provides seamless and transparent remote network connectivity. However, it differs dramatically in many important ways. This is part four in a continuing series of articles that will compare NetMotion Mobility and Microsoft DirectAccess in terms of their security, performance, visibility, supported clients, and solution support.
Comparing Supported Clients
DirectAccess is a seamless and transparent remote access solution from Microsoft that works with Windows client operating systems. However, not all client SKUs can be used for DirectAccess! The following is a list of currently supported DirectAccess clients:
- Windows 7 Enterprise
- Windows 7 Ultimate
- Windows 8.x Enterprise
- Windows 8.x Education
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Education
As you can see, popular and widely deployed client operating systems such as Windows 7 Professional and Windows 10 Professional are not supported. Organizations with Professional Edition client operating systems deployed must upgrade to Enterprise Edition to take advantage of DirectAccess. This can be complex and challenging, and at the same time greatly increase the expense associated with the implementation of the DirectAccess solution.
NetMotion also provides seamless and transparent remote access like DirectAccess does, but it offers much broader client support. NetMotion Mobility clients are available for Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10. Home, Professional, Enterprise, and Education SKUs are all fully supported with NetMotion Mobility. In addition, NetMotion Mobility can also be deployed on the following non-Microsoft platforms:
- iOS (iPhone and iPad)
- Android (phones and tablets)
NetMotion Mobility is a comprehensive remote access solution that provides the same DirectAccess-like experience Microsoft administrators have grown to love, but it also extends that experience to non-Enterprise SKUs and third-party client operating systems too. Further, NetMotion Mobility clients do not have to be joined to a domain as DirectAccess clients require, which allows for even greater client coverage.
Replacing DirectAccess with NetMotion Mobility allows organizations to consolidate and streamline their remote access offering. A single solution based on NetMotion Mobility can provide secure remote access for all clients, not just Windows Enterprise edition. This reduces the administrative burden by having to support two technologies, and it extends availability of on-premises resources to more clients. This ensures the highest levels of productivity for field-based workers regardless of their device type.