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Is Hardware VPN Faster Than Software VPN on a Client?

Last response: in Networking
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July 12, 2010 4:43:36 PM

I will be working from home permanently in the near future and will be connecting to our corporate site via VPN. I've done some test trials and am wondering about the speed. Currently they have me connecting with a software VPN by Juniper Networks. I have no idea what they have on the server side. The speed seems slow at 3Mb/s up and down. They have a 10 Mbit connection at the server side and I have a comcast 16/2 connection (4Mb/s up with powerboost) at home (22/5 when it becomes available). Would there be any speed advantage to using a hardware based VPN solution at my house? Would a $150-$200 VPN capable router work in this situation? Is there a lot of overhead when using SSL? Are there other security options using a VPN router instead of software? And would they be faster? I'm pretty sure the IT department will work with me to make things faster but before I talk to them I am trying to educate myself on the topic. Thanks for your help!

Al
July 12, 2010 5:05:49 PM

You would see less impact on your computer's performance. Speed increase, most likely not. SSL does carry some over head as well.

The hardware solution would not really benefit you. It sounds more like limitations of being remote is more of your issue. If you have an older router that has only a 10mbit network connection it, that would be limiting you as well. You would want a newer router that has 10/100 or 10/100/1000mbit to take full advantage of your internet connection.
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July 12, 2010 6:10:12 PM

My current router is a D-Link DGL-4300 gigabit router so that's not the problem and the computer is only a couple of years old. Any other ideas why I'm only seeing approximately 3Mb/s when downloading from the remote server? That's only 1/3 of the available bandwidth. Could there be some setting on the server side that might need tweaking? Below is a screen shot from the Juniper client.


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July 13, 2010 2:41:42 PM

The tunnel and SSL will use about 15-20% of the available bandwidth alone to create the tunnel. This is regardless of hardware or software.

You also have to take into account the bandwidth on your company's side. It is being used over there and most likely heavily. Chances are the bandwidth is throttled on their end or limited. There are a lot of other connections going to the company so chances are it is on their end and not a limitation of your setup. A 10Mbit connection isn't really a lot when it's running a company. It doesn't take a lot to fill it up and your connection is taking up a good fraction of that speed alone.

Looking it over, you're limited by your company's limited internet connection.
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July 27, 2010 11:16:33 AM

Best answer selected by doczenith1.
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