Thursday, November 17, 2005

Evaluating Bandwidth Choices....Frame Relay vs VPN

Looking for bandwidth? That can be a daunting and frustrating task even in the best of situations. There's lots to consider in order to make the right decision for your needs. Below you'll find some help when evaluating Frame Relay vs VPN. Factors covered include Technology, Speed, Description, Application, Pros, Cons, and Cost.

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Technology: Frame Relay

Speed: 56 Kbps - 1.544 Mbps

Description: A high-speed, packet based, data transmission service used in wide area networks (WANs) to connect multiple locations.

Application: Used to connect multiple locations to a main location or to each other.

Pros: Cheaper alternative to private line connections. Ability to burst when needed. Widely available.

Cons: Up-front equipment cost can be prohibitive.

Costs: Frame relay monthly cost starts at around a few $100 per location for a stable, reliable system. Price climbs as speed increases. However....the pricing for these connections varies widely depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used.

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Technology: VPN

Speed: 56 Kbps - 1.544 Mbps

Description: VPN is a software-defined network that runs over a shared public network and offers the appearance, functionality and usefulness of a dedicated private network, at a price savings.

Application: A highly flexible method of communicating between locations via a secure tunnel on a large public network. Is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Frame Relay and Private Line.

Pros: A user can access the network from any Internet connection. VPNs often cost less and are more flexible and scaleable than competing technologies.

Cons: The availability and performance of a company's WAN is largely dependant on factors outside of their control.

Costs: VPN prices mirror that of dial-up or dedicated Internet Access. Cost of the VPN tunneling and encrypting is nominal. Expect to spend a few $100 at least for a stable, reliable system.

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