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Leased line vs mega bandwidth, which is better?

Posted on 2010-08-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
Office A has a 100MB (OC3) connection to the internet.
Office B has a 3MB (2 T1s) connection to the internet.

Currently the offices are connected via a pix site to site VPN. We'd like a faster connection between the offices so we can transfer large files.

We are considering either increasing our bandwidth in office B to 50MB or higher OR getting a leased line.
Is there a certain level of bandwidth that would be better than a leased line?

Any insight would be appreciated.
Question by:js479
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Accepted Solution

BrannonD earned 1000 total points
ID: 33543302
More bandwidth is always better;  Ideally, match Office B to Office A's speed.

I would run end-to-end bandwidth tests, and see what you're getting over the VPN.  My guess is it's pretty close to the limit of your bonded T-1s.

Chances are your best bet would be to up the speed at Office B; the overhead imposed by VPN isn't that great, and depending on what you're doing, you may end up running encryption over a leased line anyway.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 33543354
Well - im a little confused, my understanding of a 'leased line' coming from the UK at least is a line which is leased from a company, its usually symmetrical in nature rather than asymmetrical ( like DSL ). The two connections you have above i.e 1 x OC3 and 2xT1's they are symmetrical connections, so at least by my definition they are leased lines, unless you 'own' them... but that doesn't really alter the technical aspects.

Assuming the bearer's (the actual lines, fibres etc) can cope with more than 3MB ( which they should be able to ) then you should be able to get the provider to increase the data rate and gain an immediate advantage from the increased bandwidth.

if the T1's are older there is a chance that you cant increase the data rate and thus you need a new bearer.

There are two main considerations with business connections 1 - the amount of bandwidth, and 2) the service level. Always go for the best of each you can afford that fits your needs... simple as that.

Expert Comment

ID: 33543498
I believe what he's referring to is the benefits of using VPN over two internet connections, versus a single leased line between Office A and Office B, not requiring traffic to traverse 'the internet' at all.

Essentially the question becomes one of the transient effects of congestion on the internet and bandwidth-overhead-cost of VPN, versus the more-expensive and potentially lower-bandwidth direct connection between two offices.

js479 -- am I right?

Author Comment

ID: 33543818
Exactly BrannonD, I couldn't have said it better myself.

We want to know which is better, lower bandwidth but no traffic vs high bandwidth but having to travel the internet.

The goal of the link is to transfer large files between the offices.
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

woolnoir earned 1000 total points
ID: 33544592
In that case - i'd always go for a site to site VPn connection over the internet as the connection can be used for other things. Leased lines are fine, but limited to point X -> Point Y, if you ever expand offices, move offices then the investment has been wasted. There is always going to be a possibility or issues introduced by a shitty ISP, or a congested route between office A and B over the internet, but in general ive never found it to be an issues.

Infact my employer is currently looking to migrate away from a 3 sites, 4 meg between each site leased line scenario, to a 100 meg internet connection per site , with site to site VPN's

1) We get more intersite bandwidth
2) we get local internet breakouts
3) We get to decide outselfs the ratio of WAN(site to site) and internet data.

Sorry for the confusion, i get what you mean now, and i would 1000% always recomend a encrypted, site<->site VPN solution over dedicated connections.

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