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How to speed up VPN connection

To connect and work from home on a corporate database that sits on a microsoft network I  have:

1. Toshiba notebook: Pentium III chip, 996 Mhz, 768mb Ram
2. SMC Networks EZ Networking EZ Card 10/100 ("allows notebook user to connect to Ethernet or Fast Ethernet networks at 10 Mbps or 100Mbps. Full-duplex support doubles the data rate to 200 Mbps... 16-bit PCI bus...)
3. Cable internet with 8mbps down and 768kbps up.

Do you need to know about routers, firewalls, etc?

The corporate site has Watchguard VPN.

It is too slow to work. By the time the screen is refreshed or the report comes back I forget what I wanted to d next. When I am in the office and directly connected as a node on the network the speed is great.

Can you tell me where the clog is? Does one of the above pieces stand out as the slower-downer?  If not, can you describe some tests I can perform to illuminate things?

I can get any other technical info you need to figure this out, so please ask for any info you need to help me with this. I am looking for a very specific answer that I can implement soon. Changing things on the Watchguard/network side is the last resort, and reducing privacy is unacceptable.

Thank you.  

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pickwick-systems
Asked:
pickwick-systems
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3 Solutions
 
rindiCommented:
Your home bottleneck is the upload speed of 768 kbps max. Also check what upload speed your office provides, as that would also slow the data you get from there. Then also if there are others communicating with the office at the same time that would further reduce the speed.

Your best option would be to use Terminal Services. That means the applications all run on the Server and the only data that is transfered to and from you is the Display, keyboard and mouse, sometimes also sound. That uses much less bandwidth.
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pickwick-systemsAuthor Commented:

Thank you. May I ask a couple of followups before I close out this question?

Could I use terminal services for other activities, like accessing spreadsheets and word documents on shared drives and editing them?

If I were close to the central office, would an ISDN line be a lot faster for my applications than the cable is?
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thur6165Commented:
The overhead in using a VPN connection is ridiculously high.  The only way your going to impove your speed is to either lower your encription or purchase a high end VPN device which uses enhanced hardware for VPN connections.  I tend to use remote desktop to connect to a computer inside the network and then work from it.  Remote Desktop works very well, microsoft did very well with this feature.  It is termainal services and is probably your best bet.  Anything you access on your internal network thru remote desktop will appear as fast as if your were sitting right there in the office.  Only snag is you need a computer to connect to just sitting around.
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rindiCommented:
You can use terminal services for most applications, they just have to be installed and running on the server. Also, TS isn't free, you have to buy licenses from M$.

ISDN is a lot slower than Cable (it's only about double the speed of analog modems, around 128kbps). You might be able to other contracts with your ISP though, maybe a business account which has more upload bandwidth. You could also go for another ISP using a DSL connection. But you will also have to make sure that your company's Internet connection is also fast in both directions. Just upgrading yours doesn't help if it is slow at your company.
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pickwick-systemsAuthor Commented:
thank you
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rindiCommented:
Your welcome.
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