Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetComputer Networking · 1 decade ago

Thoughts on using consumer class ISP services for business use?

I have a commercial account that is using a series of 7 expensive Frame Relay connections to handle their corporate networking. The Frames are expensive, slow and apparently, not very reliable.

I'd like to set them up with a VPN based network using Cable and DSL services. In our area, there are commercial varients of these services that can provide static IP addresses, etc. Other than IP services, I'm not sure how the commercial services are differentiated from the consumer grade.

I have done this one time before with great success. (I only regret that I bought Netgear VPN equipment instead of Cisco series gear).

Any thoughts on using these kinds of services to connect a network of business offices?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In addition to the IP services/capabilities you mentioned, there are other differences between commercial-grade and consumer-grade ISP services (when talking about cable/DSL providers). These include technical support. Many cmpanies provide a seperate team/call queue for business-grade customers which are staffed with more senior employees, and not require as long hold times. You would also be able to get more/synchronous bandwidth with business-class services. This is important as it's a 7-office VPN that shares data, so you want to have upload speeds consistent with download speeds. Another diffeerence is price; business-class services tend to be more expensive. Still cheaper than the current frame-relay solution.

    Source(s): 12 years in the ISP industry.
  • 1 decade ago

    I would definately go with Cisco Pix Firewalls. The 501 series are relatively inexpensive and allow you to do VPN. You just need to have a meet-point or a higher series Pix Firewall for at the location where all of the VPN's meet. You need more processing power when you run a few VPN connections. If you can afford it, use a Cisco VPN concentrator. I would not worry much about the reliability. In my opinion I think it's a tradeoff between speed and reliability.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, the big drawback is the loss of a single point of contact to deal with problems. Also there is the issue of security and privacy when using a shared network. Overall, these concerns are fairly easily addressed, so I would go with the VPN solution.

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