Client vs Clientless Zero Trust: Understanding the Difference

Client vs Clientless Zero Trust: Understanding the Difference

Many organisations and enterprises worldwide continue to operate in a hybrid or remote working model. And in this remote working environment, ensuring and enabling secure remote application access is crucial to prevent security risks and malicious online breaches.

There are two important ways users can access remote network applications—client-based and clientless VPN solutions.

In this article, we’ll see these two solutions, their importance, and how they differ. Let’s go!

What Is Client-Based Zero Trust?

Client-based Zero Trust connects remote users and employees to a private network through an encrypted tunnel established using a software application or a client.

Here, the client is responsible for authenticating the user’s identity to grant them access to the requested resources and applications.

Thus, client-initiated VPN or Zero Trust model requires a device or an agent to create a secure tunnel and grant user access. Thus, once users are connected, they can easily access multiple resources and applications within the network perimeter.

Here are some of the advantages of client-based  Zero Trust:

  • The client agent verifies the user and device identity and configurations.
  • Helps create a secure tunnel between the client and the application upon validating the device identity check and user connection.
  • Makes accessing cloud applications in a hybrid network easier and more secure, with the client-based agent working in the background, enabling a seamless user experience.
  • Client-based Zero Trust offers better device control and visibility from an IT standpoint, enabling you to perform tasks like application firewalling within the client-based agent.
  • Client-based Zero Trust can gather device parameters and check for security controls in place with regard to company policy, such as if the device is company-owned, antivirus version installed, and device mac id. It is also possible to enable device binding controls.

Now, let’s see what a clientless VPN is and how it differs from a client-based VPN.

What Is Clientless Remote Access?

Zero Trust Data Center Security Solutions  Juniper Networks US

One of the major differences between client vs clientless VPN is that clientless Zero Trust doesn’t need a client or an endpoint agent to connect users with the requested network applications.

Instead, clientless remote access enables users to directly access web-based applications through a web browser plugin or access portal. This portal creates a secure tunnel between users and applications they request and perform security checks and device assessments.

Thus, you need not install any client, security agent, or external application to access applications via clientless remote desktop access.

Let’s look at the advantages of clientless remote access.

Benefits of Clientless Zero Trust Solutions

Here are some excellent benefits of a clientless Zero Trust remote access solution:

  • Seamless user access: Clientless Zero Trust doesn’t require a client, allowing users to access applications with a browser access portal directly. Thus, it helps enforce security to cloud assets and applications, enabling secure and seamless remote application access.
  • Enhanced security: Clientless access eliminates VPN-based redundant security stacks and complexity that require complicated management, replacing VPNs with a secure, unified user access solution.
  • Secure third-party access: Clientless remote access allows your employees and third-party contractors to access applications hosted anywhere with seamless, secure, single-click access without latency, performance, and backhauling issues.
  • Better visibility and access controls: Clientless secure remote access allows you to monitor your user traffic and leverage a privacy-first approach to grant application access and permissions over the network.

Thus, clientless Zero Trust Security enables much more flexibility, scalability, security, and a quality user experience.


Determining the right approach to access applications from remote locations while ensuring maximum network security is highly important in today’s modern age of increasing cybersecurity risks.

When we compare the benefits of clientless vs client-based VPNs, both client-based and clientless Zero Trust solutions enable secure network access with their own perks and benefits.

Clientless Zero Trust enables a secure solution, allowing users to access applications hosted worldwide without a client directly. Besides, it offers simplified control, empowers scalability, simplifies management, and strengthens security.

So, check out InstaSafe’s products if you need a secure clientless remote access service for your organisation to enable secure application access and a quality user experience.