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Will a Hardware VPN device increase speed?

Posted on 2007-11-20
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I'm looking to increase my VPN connection speed. Currently it is setup through Server 2000 as PPTP. I have a T1 line coming in , 1mb up and 1mb down. Would a different VPN setup increase performance, for example, a 6mb file takes 13 minutes. I've done some reading on VPN firewalls, like Sonicwall, would these devices increase my speed? Do they handle the VPN connection, or does Windows still control it? I have multiple users in the field logging in from different locations, so I need something that can be connected to from anywhere, I'm not just tunneling to another office. I'm rather green in the VPN field so if more information is needed just let me know. I do understand that the upload speed from wherever my clients are located is a big factor in the speed, the 6mb file was tested from an office where the upload is 768kb, I'd like to increase performance without upgrading my internet connection on either end, is that possible?

Thanks,
Chris
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Question by:pwv
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by:mcse2007
ID: 20324061
if your VPN clients are using dial-up to connect to your LAN then they get 56k maximum speed but if your VPN clients are on 1.5mbps download speed, then connection is much faster. The type of connection they use can make a huge difference on the VPN client's network speed.

Hardware VPN or Software VPN makes no difference on the speed but it will probably gives you difference security flavour?
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Rob Williams earned 125 total points
ID: 20324193
There is a speed increase moving from a software VPN solution like the windows VPN, to  a hardware solution, as you then have a device dedicated to encryption and decryption. Also more expensive enterprise routers like upper end Cisco's are designed for greater throughput, you can actually compare the performance ratings. However, it is not a drastic change.
As mcse2007 stated the type of connection will make a much bigger difference. Keep in mind as well that an Internet connection for VPN users is limited by your corporate upload speed, not download, which is usually substantially less.
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by:pwv
ID: 20324245
My T1 is 1mb up. I'll check into the Cisco Hardware and see what I can find. Would it being a PPTP type have anything to do with it. From the reading I've been doing most people are suggesting IPsec. I looked at OpenVPN, but wasn't sure how secure it would be. Do you have any experience using it?

Thanks,
Chris
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 20325134
I haven't use OpenVPN myself, but I am very doubtful it would be any faster.

The speeds you are getting do seem exceptionally slow. Are you able to set up a test client to connect to the VPN from the local LAN as a test? This would help to determine if the problem is the VPN server or the Internet connection,
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by:pwv
ID: 20327772
Ok. I connected to the server locally and got extremely faster speeds. So my problem does look to be the client side connection. Any suggestions on a better method for working on files from 5-80mb remotely? I like FTP, but the apps we run need the server components to operate correctly.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 20328835
The connection problem could still be the server side, but not the server. Could be the router or service provider, or more likely the service itself. Often performance is far less that the provider advertises, however where you have a T-1 it is supposed to be guaranteed.

Are these database files by any chance?
You cannot run an application locally and access data base files remotely over a VPN. They are to "chatty" and performance suffers greatly to the extent you can corrupt the file.
Downloading files via VPN is fine, however speeds of course over the VPN are much slower than your LAN. For the record, I just did a quickie test over a software VPN with an advertised upload speed of about .5-.75mb/s and I got about 2MB/minute (note mb & MB). Sounds like you are getting about 1/4 that.
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by:pwv
ID: 20331408
They're not database files, although we did try and see if quickbooks would load a company file across VPN, dropped that due to speed. They're mainly pulling down source files for an app, recompiling them and making changes, then sending them back up to the server. The main guy was hoping to be able to work on the files and compile them while they remained on the server, I didn't think this would work correctly but I checked in to it for him anyway. I appriciate all your feedback, you've answered some questions that I needed cleared up. I am going to contatc our service providor again concerning our speed, I don't think it will do much good though. They just run a speed test and it shows 1 up 1 down then tell me everything is fine. We're limited on our options for providors so we just have to suffer at times. I did setup Filezilla for FTP serving and we seem to be getting much better response times. Once again, thanks for the help.

Chris
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 20334258
QuickBooks will definitely not work.

Have you looked at using a Terminal Server, or dedicating a couple of PC's to which remote users can connect? Much better performance as the files are not being dragged back and forth.

Thanks Chris.
Cheers !
--Rob
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