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The new kid
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have 5 branch offices that I currently link to each other using some Linksys BEFVP41's. When the traffic's slow the connections are stable, but I find as the network grows, and more and more traffic is crossing the VPN tunnels, the connections die and I need to disconnect and re-connect more frequently for them to work.

I am probably hitting the limit of this consumer grade product, and am wondering if any has any suggestions as to what I can replace these Linksys units with?

I have one or two users in each office that might want to connect in from home or on the road; ideally I'd like a device that allows for client-less operation to reduce adminstrative hassle so I don't have to answer questions like "What do you mean I have to install software?" As well, the device needs to support 4 simultaneous site-site tunnels.

I'd like to spend less than $1000 per office, so I'm thinking Cisco is out of my league, pricewise. Other brands that I've heard good things about are WatchGuard and SonicWall.

Any brands and/or models that work or should work well for my situation? Places to buy?
 

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Registered
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185 Posts
I run a Nortel Contivity VPN between 7 of our branch offices. It's IPsec and our road warriors need to load the VPN extranet software on their laptops to connect remotely. I wouldn’t recommend it, 4 years ago it was excellent but now the overhead is a little costly. Maybe checkout Hotbrick I’ve been playing with a few of their routers and while their a little limited they seem ok.
 

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Newbie Poser Squid
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If you're not too weary of Ebay there are some pretty good Cisco VPN appliances kicking around.
 
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we tunnel between just about anything. pix firewalls, cisco 2500/2600 routers, as5200/5300 async boxes...

not that i deal with networks in our office, but it seems that if it can route, it can tunnel. you can get 2501 routers damn cheap these days.
 

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Formerly kanelupis
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5,252 Posts
Cisco is just about your best bet for any type of corporate load

I suggest you subscribe to InfoWorld print magazine (it's free if you say you're IT Lead) The magazine has tons upon tons of IT Hardware reviews and IT related articles.
 

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My bike has Baggage :)
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351 Posts
I've managed both the Watchguards and the Sonicwalls for corporate clients and they do the job well. I've also managed the contivity boxes and they work well but found them to be buggy and somewhat unreliable(hardware failures). Ended up pulling the Contivity box out and replacing it with a Checkpoint firewall.

I specifically used the Watchguard boxes to setup a site to site VPN with a users corporate office here in Vancouver. The Watchguards were configured here and then shipped to other cities in BC. Worked flawlessly.

If you're running a Windows domain internally, use that VPN for your road warriors to connect internally, no software to install, same Userid and password as they use to log in to their workstation in the office. way too easy to setup too.
 

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The new kid
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses. I'm no CCNA nor do I pretend to understand the Cisco IOS, so it looks like I'll be staying away from the Cisco toys.

I attended today's TechVibe Massive 2006 event at Science World and talked to a bunch of vendors and am now looking into getting a SonicWall Pro 2040, a bunch of TZ170's and a SSL VPN 200 for the clientless road warrior connections.
 

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Premium Member
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I'm not sure what the price is like.. and it may be beyond on what you want to pay, but Telus can offer you a LAN network across multiple sites (more of a WAN I suppose) - you may want to inquire as to pricing on that (assuming all the sites are in Canada).
 
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We use sonicwalls in 84 of our offices. They work and are cheap, but you get exactly what you paid with them. No snmp. No frills. Tunnels have a tendency to go up and down. HA mode is fail over, but not fail back. They gobble up a lot of bandwidth if you turn on encryption (yes, sad, but true)

Its cheap, it works. Its totally tier 3 gear.

I prefer using cisco, but I just spend the money. I don't have to make it.

Its better than linksys.

PM if you are really that interested
 
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adamantium said:
I'm not sure what the price is like.. and it may be beyond on what you want to pay, but Telus can offer you a LAN network across multiple sites (more of a WAN I suppose) - you may want to inquire as to pricing on that (assuming all the sites are in Canada).
telus can make arrangements with a peer anywhere you need it. they just pay the LEC to carry your traffic, and bill you for it.

our allstream circuits are installed by telus. same with our old at&t (now allstream) and cable and wireless circuits. all the local loops were supplied by telus.

if you have an office in ontario, telus would just get bell to do the install and supply the local loop.
 
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