Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dual Internet Connections

Internet connectivity is increasingly important to business operations. Apart from the obvious email and Internet access, it often provides connections to vendors and customers (via EDI or e-commerce sites), remote access for company employees, and remote office connectivity.

As happened very briefly Monday of this week, interruptions can happen deep in the Internet, beyond the control of your Internet service provider. The risk of downtime can be reduced by setting up redundant Internet connections on the company firewall(s).

Redundant Internet connections can create a mesh network, allowing remote sites to automatically attempt to connect to each other over either of their connections. The cost per business location is the time to design and configure the firewall settings to use dual connections plus the ongoing cost of a second Internet connection, preferably one from a different carrier.

For example, if the primary Internet connection is a T1-based connection, a cable Internet provider could be configured as the backup/redundant connection. Typical ongoing costs for a secondary connection would range from $50 - $250 per month, depending on the type of connection.

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