Microsoft announces deprecation of DirectAccess networking feature in favor of Always On VPN

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Somewhat out of the blue, Microsoft has announced that DirectAccess is to be deprecated. This feature is used by remote workers to access company networks, but it has been superseded and is now considered outdated.

As is so often the case with the deprecation of Windows features, there is currently no precise timeline for removal, but Microsoft is advising users to make the move to Always On VPN. The company has also provided detailed instructions for how to migrate from DirectAccess to Always On VPN.

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There's no denying that DirectAccess is an aging feature; it has been part of Windows since the days of Windows 7. Its age means that in terms of features and security it is now somewhat lacking, hence the push towards Always on VPN.

Microsoft has not, as yet, made a big announcement about the deprecation of this particular feature, but it is the latest addition to the "Deprecated features for Windows client" list the company maintains. Here Microsoft says:

DirectAccess is deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. We recommend migrating from DirectAccess to Always On VPN.

Explaining the benefits of switching to Always On VPN, Microsoft says:

In previous versions of the Windows VPN architecture, platform limitations made it difficult to provide the critical functionality needed to replace DirectAccess, such as automatic connections initiated before users sign in. Always On VPN, however, has mitigated most of those limitations or expanded the VPN functionality beyond the capabilities of DirectAccess. Always On VPN addresses the previous gaps between Windows VPNs and DirectAccess.

More information about migrating away from DirectAccess to Always On VPN can be found here.

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