Difference Between Citrix and VPN

Citrix is responsible for enabling application and desktop visualization over remote servers. While VPNs are responsible for the creation of encrypted data transmission protocols to provide its user anonymity in the public world of the internet.

VPNs usually operate on a larger network to provide their services. There are several other differences that stem from this seminal difference.

Citrix vs VPN

The difference between Citrix and VPN is in terms of their operational modalities. While Citrix is a company providing a VPN service and remote server access for users, VPN is responsible for the creation of smaller private networks that make user information and data untraceable.

Citrix vs VPN

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCitrixVPN
DefinitionIt is a company that provides users the possibility of accessing applications and data over servers remotely.It is a smaller private network that operates to ensure privacy and anonymity for the user.
CostMore expensive than a VPN.Costs lesser than a Citrix connection.
SpeedEnhanced speed capacities as smaller data sets are transmitted.Slower data transmission speed.
Data TransmittedA screen change will travel over the link.The entire data set travels over the connection
Range of ApplicabilityUsed for application delivery, desktop visualization, cloud computing and SaaSUsed for connecting to apps remotely

What is VPN?

A Virtual Private Network or VPN creates smaller private networks for users to enable online privacy and anonymity. This form of security might be desirable especially when using unsecured Wi-Fi networks where the private information of the user may be in peril.

VPNs holistically protect user information data on internet usage, extending protection over browser histories, emails, shopping, payments, etc. VPNs use encryption protocols to enhance the security of the user on the internet.

This is guaranteed by the ability of VPNs to mask the user’s IP address. VPNs render their users almost untraceable. VPNs can be created using myriad software protocols. VPN work on encrypting the data transmitted over a Wi-Fi connection by scrambling the data when it is sent.

VPNs successfully make your browser history untraceable to your internet service provider as well as search engines. It masks your location, devices and your web activity.

While choosing a well-suited VPN the user may have to evaluate a number of factors including cost, devices covered, mobile VPN services availability, etc.


What is Citrix?

Citrix is a company that also provides services that can be operated on a VPN. It is a pioneering technology that enables application and desktop visualization on remote servers.

Citrix connections offer superior security and functionality features over traditional VPN services. It helps users run applications on remote servers. One can also use a VPN on Citrix connections with these enhanced features.

Data transmissions involving large files can be efficiently handled with Citrix connections. The speed of transmission is one of the main assets of a Citrix connection. However, these connections are expensive due to their amplified functional properties.

Citrix is especially beneficial for updating or introducing new applications on a company server, as the need to update each individual computer on the network vanishes with Citrix.

Main Differences Between Citrix And VPN

  1.  The main difference between the two is in terms of their definitional operation modalities. Citrix is a company that provides the service of remote access to users so that they can access apps and data remotely. VPN operates by creating a smaller private network that encrypts user data to ensure privacy.
  2. Another significant difference between Citrix and VPN is the relative speed of each. While Citrix is faster and better suited for more efficient data transmission, traditional VPN connections are comparatively slower than Citrix connections.
  3. A Citrix connection is comparatively more expensive than a traditional VPN connection. This is because of the added functionalities that accompany a Citrix connection. If budgetary constraints are absent, Citrix is a favored choice due to its enhanced speed levels. However, since affordability is often a determining factor, VPNs are more suited for use when looking for a less expensive and pocket-friendly connection. Moreover, some companies also offer completely free of charge VPN services. This is an added benefit of a VPN.
  4. The range of applicability also varies between the two. While VPN may offer simply file transmission privileges, Citrix offers application delivery, desktop visualization, cloud computing and SaaS as well.
  5. While Citrix allows users to connect to apps remotely, VPN can be used to run apps on the browser or local apps.
  6. Another difference is that while in a Citrix connection the screen change will travel over the link, and in a VPN connection the entire data set travels over the connection. Citrix has an enhanced speed because it transmits smaller data portions across the remote connection.


  1. http://search.proquest.com/openview/0ae328ac6b13f16e29e50bd7e4f82672/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=43820
  2. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
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