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How can I make my VPN connection run faster?

Posted on 2004-10-25
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am connecting two offices via VPN.  Office one has a direct T1 internet connection as does office two.  I am connecting the two offices via Watchguard Firebox SOHO 6tc.

These two offices used to be connected via 512 CIR frame relay.  Shouldn't the VPN be faster?  Are there any settings that I am overlooking on the Watchguards?  I am new to VPN networking...and I know there are different types of encription and other settings...Does anyone have some ideas?
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Question by:s1224g
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by:Rheiniluoma
ID: 12411575
It is worthy to note a couple issues with VPN vs. a dedicated connection.

1) Encryption and tunneling overhead -- While I am not completely familiar with the Watchguard product, any VPN solution will have some overhead due the the encryption/decryption of the data strem and the extra data with which the tunnel is created.  

2) How's the bandwidth at your ISP? Are they guaranteeing you a 1.544 MBit slice of their connection out to the net? It's highly unlikely that this is the case.  Your T1 to the ISP is certainly running at the 1.544 Mbit, but how saturated is their pipe out? T3, OC-3, OC-12? How many users is that NOC supporting on the connection? When you were running the 512K Frame relay it was yours, and all of the bandwidth was assured from end to end.

With a watchguard I'd really ask why go to the added expense of a T1 as opposed to xDSL or Cable Modem, unless you are getting a great SLA and price.
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by:s1224g
ID: 12411707
Thanks for the info.  According to our Telcom provider we are supposed to be getting full T1 internet access at both locations...one is with USLEC and the other is with QUEST.  Unfortunately we cannot get xDSL or Cable at either location...T1 was our only option.  Would upgrading routers or switches help in speeding things up or would changing settings on our firewall encription be better?

Thanks
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Rheiniluoma earned 2000 total points
ID: 12411845
With "Full T1 Internet access" does your SLA guarantee T1 speed to the NOC or out to the core routers?

Perform a tracert between the two locations, see how far your signal is going. From here in Texas, sometimes I have to go out to Kansas-City to get to other places in Texas because of the way the carriers have their backbones set up.

Between encryption overhead and the fact that you don't have a single carrier providing an end to end service level agreement, I would submit that you're not going to get any significantly better performance than you're seeing now no matter which VPN router solution you go with.
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