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Router Recommendations for Terminal Server Access

Posted on 2014-10-20
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Last Modified: 2014-10-21
Hi,
  I have a site where they have a Windows 2008 Terminal Server and a typical Linksys Router (sub $100). On average, there are about remote 10 users who run apps from the Terminal Server and they complain about every 2 weeks that their Terminal Session (Remote Desktop session) gets bogged down or too slow. After power cycling Linksys router, users are generally happy for another 2-3 weeks.

  Is this type of router (Linksys, Dlink, ... etc) unfit for multiple Terminal Server connections?

  These inexpensive home routers have been working fine for the network which is less than 20 PCs so far in my experience but the traffic was all one way - they surf the internet from local workstations and download & browse sites.

 But I have one other customer whose salespeople access their Terminal Server and at that side I installed CISCO 1811 and I never had any complains from outside/remote users nor had to restart the router for over 5 years. Of course, home routers are sub $100 and CISCO1811 was over $1,200 then.

 That said, do I need to get something like CISCO1811 or CISCO Miraki?
 I appreciate your recommendations in advance.
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Question by:sglee
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11 Comments
 
LVL 59

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Cliff Galiher earned 1200 total points
ID: 40393012
I am not a fan of consumer routers in a small business. Even without TS, there are issues. They just don't have code optimized for managing multiple simultaneous sonncectikns (incoming or outgoing.)

For basic routing needs, microTik or ubiquiti is good. But for a modest prce different, you can get ti to a UTM (great for a business) and then try level devices are fine for up to 50 users easily. Sonicwall, watchguard, fortinet, even Untangle has appliance versions of their software now. All are pretty good.
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Natty Greg
Natty Greg earned 400 total points
ID: 40393231
Cisco router all the way,
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LVL 2

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by:Jeff Lewandowski
Jeff Lewandowski earned 400 total points
ID: 40393262
I typically agree that businesses should be using business grade hw/sw.  It may be cost prohibitive, unjustifiable in the eyes of a SMB owner.  In that case, you can look at cloud-based options like http://pertino.com/.  We use Cisco Meraki equipment for our wifi networks.  They are great and super easy to manage.  We have a Cisco 2811 router that has suited our needs with little maintenance for the past seven years.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40393410
Ugh. Typing while mobile. To clear up any confusion from my last post...

sonncectikns = connections.    so mangled that autocorrect couldn't figure it out.  And regarding devices like sonicwall, I was speaking of "entry" level. Which got turned into "and then try." So....yeah. Hope that helps.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40393578
Thanks for thevrecommendations.
I am leaning towards to either Miraki (new and web based graphical user interface with price tag of >$1,000) or Cisco 1811 router (reliable and cheap at Ebay - sun $300). Both requires yearly support subscription from Cisco.
Unless someone tells Miraki is a far better product, I like to buy new Cisco router off Ebay for <$300. The only concern is that it is an old technology perhaps?
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LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1200 total points
ID: 40393596
Meraki is good. While Cisco did buy them fairly recently, both their hardware and software is still their own. No moves have been made to gut/replace them yet. The 1811 is a middle of the road product. I think it is overpriced for what it does in the current market.

I will also strongly caution against eBay. Routers, in particular, are being sold with backdoors installed, just waiting to take advantage of the cheapskate looking to pinch a penny. I have personally been called in to consult on digital forensics issues that have traced back to modified routers purchased from unreliable sources too many times this year for that to be a coincidence. You get what you pay for. Regardless of which option you choose, buy from an authorized reseller.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40393610
Why is Miraki's range is so wide?
I have seen them priced from several hundreds to a couple of thousands...
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LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1200 total points
ID: 40393650
Most of your UTMs are that way, and Meraki is competing in the UTM space more than the router space. Traffic shaping and application layer security filtering takes optimized code and CPU cycles, so UTMs need to scale up hardware and software-wise more rapidly to support higher user counts. That means the price jumps between models is higher. It isn't just Meraki. All of the UTM vendors have similar pricing structures.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40394214
That makes sense. Then can you recommend a specific model that will fit the following needs:
1. Port forwarding
2. Up to 15 connections from outsides
3. 10 users on local network for web surfing.
4. Less than 20 devices on local network including 15 PCs, 3 servers, one ip-based printer.
5. Site to site VPN capability with cloud services like Microsoft Azure.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40394629
Before I recommend equipment for my clients, I always put in a traffic monitor and get a few days worth of data to view trends. Then I know how they use the internet. 20 devices regularly sharing files with dropbox or SharePoint online will need more horsepower than 20 devices that only ever use twitter.

So while you are not a client of mine, I am not in the habit of making recommendations with incomplete information. I could end up recommending a device that can't keep up. Or end up recommending a device far more expensive than you need. I don't risk my reputation on idle speculations.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40394684
Your point well received.
In fact I read some negative reviews on Meraki on Spiceworks website and I am not sure if Meraki is the best solution.
I will explore more options.

Thanks experts for your recommendations.
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