I recently discovered this new Cisco AnyConnect Essentials license being touted for the 8.2 code for ASAs. It took me a little while to parse through the cryptic description on Cisco’s site but it seems that you can now get client based SSL for a couple hundres $$’s depending on the ASA model. That’s up to the platform supported max!

If you want the web portal “clientless” SSL VPN you have to pay the previous crazy pricing for the “Premium” license. For most people this won’t matter and what it means is essentially a cheap SSL client solution now. Woohoo!

This guy seemed to confirm my thoughts.

Dude stole my theme too! 🙂

Comments (18)

  1. Reply


    I have not posted this on my blog yet, but I have now upgraded to the 8.2 code and I am awaiting delivery of the Cisco license key to enable the AnyConnect Essentials.  I will throw up a post once I have done this!

    P.S.  I did totally steal your theme…  It seems to be a popular one amongst network guys.  😉


  2. Reply

    Where I work we also just received our license and I have the ASA’s arriving any day now.  I should be installing the license within the next two weeks and I’ll report back what I find.

    I gotta say, it’s about time Cisco did this.

  3. DT


    My company has a number of VPN endpoints all using the traditional Cisco IPSEC client – works great but there is no 64bit path forward unless you want to pay for an aftermarket client or go open source. One of the open source ones blue screened my Win 7 notebook on the first try so I’ll not be going there.

    I just installed an ASA 5510 with the AnyConnect Essentials and upgraded my 5505 to the Essentials for less than $100. Working great so far with Win 7 32 & 64 bit testing and also Macintosh. Still works great with the traditional client as well. I’ll be testing on an Ubuntu notebook before the end of the week.

    One thing I like is that I can upgrade my clients by putting the new version into the firmware of the ASA instead of visiting machines or hoping users can do it themselves. Also helps out with initial installations.

  4. Mark Baker


    Hey all,

    I’m a little confused by this whole anyconnect-essentials license thing. The cost seems so low, I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what it is that it allows on my device. Basically, we are attempting to replace the IPSec VPN with the SSL VPN on Windows 7 64-Bit clients. Is that what the anyconnect-essentials license does? I am just looking for confirmation, I do not want, nor do I need, the clientless VPN or anything like that.



    • Reply

      Mark, that’s exactly right. The basic AnyConnect client falls under this license. I was stunned too but Cisco’s been moving towards phasing out a client based IPSEC VPN solution. It’s still a long way from happening but I think they recognized that charging a lot for the AnyConnect client wasn’t going to fly.

  5. JB


    Hey quick question for those that got the essentials working for them. Is there separate software that is needed to use the essentials license? We bought the license and applied it but we’re still getting the message saying that we’re over our two SSL licenses. I’ve tried searching for AC Essentials specific software but came up empty.

    also if anyone has a link to a configuration example (CLI or ASDM doesn’t matter) that would be great. I haven’t found much online yet.


  6. JB


    actually I think it may be the activation key. We got two keys after buying the license. One was for all versions and one was for 8.2. I applied the one for all versions because we were running 8.0 at the time. We have since upgraded to 8.2 but didn’t use the 8.2 only key. I think that is needed for the AC Essentials. We’ll see tomorrow after I reboot the ASA tonight.

  7. JB


    It was the activation key. After switching to the one that was for 8.2 only we can now connect more than two clients using the regular anyconnect software.

  8. Pingback: The Cruft Of My Brain » Cisco AnyConnect Essentials still crushing it

  9. Brian


    ok, can someone tell me, very specifically, what the difference between the Essentials and Premium AnyConnect licenses are? Looking through the Cisco docs, it states that the Essentials license does not support clientless operation, while the Premium does.

    Clarification on this, please – exactly why would one prefer paying for the Premium?

  10. Reply

    I have also been struggling with the licensing options – I’m being quoted different things by different cisco reps. I presumed that if I buy the ASA5505-SSL25-K9 appliance it comes with 25 premium SSL licenses and I would not need further premium or essentials licenses to cover anyconnect mobile clients. However, the last quote was ASA55XX-SSLYY-K9 (the appliance?) plus ASA5500-SSL-25 (another 25 premium SSL lics?).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Reply

    Thanks scott, the vendor is now saying they made a “mistake” quoting the additional premium lics.

  12. Sergej

  13. GorencA


    Hey guys,

    I know its an old post, but its that only one I could found that somehow addresses my problem.

    I seem to have the same problem as JB @8. March to 9. March 2010.

    Could someone please confirm, that its impossible to use Essentials license on 8.0 ASA version for more than 2 Anyconnect connections?


  14. Mike


    I’m looking at these too, I purchase premium quite a bit for clients and the price seems too good to be true. Thanks for the info.

    @ Gore… Pretty sure it only works on 8.2 and up

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