Intel vPro vs. BifrostConnect KVM: Choosing between native or Ad-hoc remote access

Intel vPro vs. BifrostConnect KVM: Choosing between native or Ad-hoc remote access

BifrostConnect Blog

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Intel vPro vs. BifrostConnect KVM:
Choosing between native or
Ad-hoc remote access

Imagine you're responsible for troubleshooting or configuring a computer that's essential to your company's operational technology (OT) in a remote critical infrastructure location. It could be a server in a distant power plant, a control system in a manufacturing facility, or a monitoring computer in an offshore oil rig. Physical access is challenging, if possible, due to distance, logistics, or current travel restrictions. This is where remote access technologies like Intel vPro and BifrostConnect KVM become invaluable tools in your IT toolkit. But how do they compare, and which one might best fit your specific needs?
 
What is Intel vPro?
Intel vPro is like a built-in remote control feature available in some computers, enabling you to take over a computer from the very start, even before it boots up fully. It's like turning on the computer, seeing the screen, and using the keyboard and mouse remotely as though you were sitting in front of it. However, the computer needs an internet connection through a cable for this feature to work, and the vPro feature must be set up in advance. While powerful, this constant availability is like installing a permanent backdoor; if someone knows your address, they could try to brute force their way in.
 
How BifrostConnect KVM Stands Out
BifrostConnect KVM, on the other hand, is like a universal remote control you can plug into almost any computer to gain immediate control from the boot process without needing prior setup or an existing network connection. There's no complicated setup process; you plug it in, and it's ready to go, providing a secure, one-time password or two-factor login to ensure that only authorized users gain access. It's designed to work with any computer, regardless of the brand or the type of processor inside, requiring only a video output and a USB port to function. Moreover, it includes its own 4G connection, offering remote access capabilities even when the target computer isn't online.
 
Comparing the Two: Pros and Cons
Intel vPro Pros:
  • Integrated into the computer, offering early-stage remote control
  • Accessible from the moment you power on, even before the operating system loads
Intel vPro Cons:
  • Limited to computers with specific Intel chips and requires initial setup
  • Needs a wired internet connection
  • Security concerns due to constant availability online
BifrostConnect KVM Pros:
  • Plug-and-play with no initial setup required
  • Offers Zero Trust access with advanced login protections
  • Built-in 4G for out-of-band access
  • Universally compatible with any computer that has USB and video output
  • All data is processed locally, and remote file transfer via KVM cables is not possible
  • The target computer can be offline and won't be exposed to the internet during remote access
BifrostConnect KVM Cons:
  • It's an external device that needs to be physically connected to the computer
 
In Summary
 
When the task is to manage a computer that's integral to your company's OT in a remote critical infrastructure location, choosing the right remote access solution is crucial. Intel vPro offers built-in convenience for compatible systems, ideal for early-stage access when cyber security is low risk. However, BifrostConnect KVM provides a more flexible, secure, and universally applicable solution, especially in situations where traditional network access is problematic or security and quick deployment are paramount. Understanding these technologies can significantly enhance your ability to maintain continuity and security in critical OT environments, ensuring that you're always prepared, no matter where your responsibilities may lie.

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Lasse Irmer

Product Manager at Bifrost

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