Cost of VPN

What is the cost of any hardware and software that has to be purchased to allow for a small company to set up VPN so that one employee can remote in securely??


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Did ja Google?

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curly Bill

"marcy" hath wroth:

Hint: If you ask a question, and there are no numbers in the question, then you're not supplying enough information for a decent answer:

  1. What speed broadband do you have?
  2. PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSL, or don't care?
  3. Do you have server available? What flavor? Incidentally, after all these messages, I still don't have a clear picture of what you're doing, what you're trying to accomplish, and what hardware/software you have available to do it.

For one employee, you can terminate the VPN in a Windoze server. Anything from W2K server, WS 2003, or Linux will work. The simplest is PPTP, which is "good enough".

Windoze XP comes with a PPTP client.

Many routers will also terminate a VPN. As I vaguely recall, you have a Netopia 3347NWG. This router has an add-on IPSec VPN option, which might be suitable. Personally, I prefer Sonicwall and Netscreen (Juniper) products, which tend to be expensive, but very useful.

Somewhat cheaper ($175) is the Linksys RVL200. If you use mostly web browser access, the SSL VPN server is the way to go. Note that the RVL200 will NOT do PPTP.

Linksys also has some other VPN routers. I'm not familiar with all of them:

When you dig through the muck that pretends to be a specification sheet, make sure you understand the difference between "VPN termination" and "VPN passthrough". You want termination.

It's also possible to use a bottom of the line router, such as Linksys WRT54G/GS with alternative firmware, such as DD-WRT, to terminate a VPN. That's what I'm doing between my home and office.

The cost varies from about $60 for a DD-WRT compatible router, to many hundreds of dollars for a Sonicwall router. PPTP clients are free. I kinda prefer the commercial IPSec clients, but there are almost free versions available. Worst case is about $50. VPN licenses tend to be by the number of users, so it's best to plan ahead somewhat.

What's nice about a VPN for remote users is that it's just like being in the office. Network Neighborhood shows all the shares and printers available in the office. Copying files is just click and drag. You can open anything you can find on the server. Security is end to end and therefore usually adequate. The downside is that VPN tends to be rather slow. Don't expect spectacular performance, even for local connections on a wired LAN.

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Jeff Liebermann

Can you be less specific?

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LOL, thanks George. I needed that. :-)

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Thanks Jeff, as always, you give great info. :-) Wish you were close enough to thank personally. I was admittedly in a hurry, on the road, will be in touch with more details after I have studied all that you sent.

Thanks again!!

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Certainly did! Got more info than I could possibly understand. But Jeff has pointed me in the right direction so I now have a starting point. Thanks curly! :-)

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It is currently DSL about 3MB download and 419 KB up. They only use the internet for email (supposely ;-) so internet connection was not a real priority. The main thing is that the business uses specialty software (for optical work). The three workstations at office are all used to enter data into the software that uses a server computer (file server) at the office.

To ignorant to answer this question. Bellsouth (AT&T) is the ISP provider. The only concern that I have is to be able to remote in securely to my workstation where I will at most enter some data into the specialty software and check email. So it is a low priority work that I would do remotely. Therefore, I have to consider cost. However, they are adding a remote office (at a mall) and that site would want to do the same thing (input data) to a workstation. There, the concern is definitely to securely input data that will include credit card and social security number info.

The only server we have is the file server for the internal specialty software. That is on a separate machine (XP Pro). So I am concerned that you are saying to do this VPN think we need another separate server. I gather it is a separate VPN server that is required.

I also gather that you think a separate router is required for VPN??

Thanks Jeff. As always, you are a incredible resource of info!!!

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