Cheapest netbook that supports Cisco VPN?
July 14, 2010 6:15 AM   Subscribe

What is an inexpensive netbook I can buy (in the UK) that supports the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client?

Here are the Release Notes for the VPN Client. Basically:

Windows Versions
•Windows Vista—32- and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 or Vista Service Pack 1 with KB952876.
•Windows XP SP2 and SP3.
•Windows 2000 SP4.

Linux Distributions
AnyConnect supports Linux Kernel releases 2.4 and 2.6 on 32-bit architectures, and 64-bit architectures that support biarch (that is, that run 32-bit code).

The following Linux distributions follow the requirements and work with the AnyConnect Client:
•Ubuntu 7 and 8 (32-bit only).
•Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4. (As of publication, we have not tested AnyConnect with Red Hat Linux 5.
•Fedora Core 4 through 9. To use Fedora 9 with the AnyConnect client, you must first install Sun Microsystems JRE, preferably JRE 6, Update 5 or higher.
•Slackware 11 or 12.1.
•openSuSE 10 or SuSE 10.1.

Basically most netbooks seem to come with Windows 7 Starter which I am pretty sure is not supported. Can this usually be upgraded? Or, like the Acer Aspire One, they come with XP Home.

I need recommendations for a a netbook (10' screen would be nice) running either Windows or Linux, which I can use to connectwith this VPN client. I dont need much more than Terminal windows and a browser after that.

It'd be nice for this to be an actual netbook/laptop since I do need to do a lot of typing. Any suggestions?
posted by vacapinta to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I don't see anything there that implies it wouldn't work with either Windows 7 Starter or XP Home, as long as you install the necessary service packs. "Editions" of Windows (Starter vs. Home vs. Professional) have nothing to do with which patches you have access to, as far as I know.

Alternatively, any Linux distribution that lets you install your own packages ought to work. My Aspire One came with a locked-down, customized version of Xandros or something, but I just wiped it and installed Ubuntu with very few problems.
posted by teraflop at 6:41 AM on July 14, 2010

Looks like the updated client has support for windows 7 also. I've used the ASUS EEEPC 1000HA, it was ok, but in general I found netbooks to be extremely slow and ended up selling and buying a 13" laptop for my business needs. Something to consider if you need to do anything else besides establish a VPN session. The Atom processor is efficient but pretty weak compared to regular CPUs. That said for travel the ASUS netbook was good enough, extremely light, and had great battery life. I formatted and installed windows 7 and Unbuntu on it and they both worked fine.
posted by white_devil at 6:45 AM on July 14, 2010

D'oh — somehow I misread Vista as 7, so ignore that part of my answer.
posted by teraflop at 6:58 AM on July 14, 2010

I can confirm that it'll work with the starter additions and Windows 7. It'll also work with the XP "notebook editions" floating around torrent sites (XP stripped of everything but the essentials).
posted by geoff. at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2010

I've used the Cisco client successfully with Ubuntu 10.4 on a Dell Mini 10v. The trackpad isn't the greatest, but overall, I've been quite happy with it.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:24 AM on July 14, 2010

FWIW I use Cisco AnyConnect from home to connect to my work VPN, works fine on Win7 Home Premium x64.
posted by reptile at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2010

I used it with my EEE 1000HE. It worked ok. Mostly I think it's a pain in the ass to use (the program, not the computer) so it was frustrating. It also had to link into another program to run it, and it was sort of a mess. But I think the computer was just fine.
posted by sully75 at 9:08 AM on July 14, 2010

Thanks for the confirmations, folks.
posted by vacapinta at 2:42 AM on July 15, 2010

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