Thursday, January 07, 2021

Ethernet WAN to Complement Your LAN

By: John Shepler

Traffic on your company’s Local Area Network (LAN) zips along at 1 Gbps or more. In most cases that’s so fast it seems like the network is transparent. Yet, access a resource outside your building and things just seem to creep along. Wouldn’t it be nice to just stretch that LAN across town or to one of your remote locations? Well, maybe you can.

Find Ethernet WAN services for your business location. Yes, The WAN is Ethernet
Networks can be divided into two categories: The ones you own and the one’s you lease. You typically install and administrate your company network, called the LAN. When you leave the premises, you connect to another network that operates as a utility. That's the WAN or Wide Area Network. Originally, this WAN was owned and operated by the telephone companies and implemented their proprietary standards. That includes your phone voice lines, ISDN dial-up, T1, DS3, and SONET fiber optic. Connecting to any of these standards requires specialized equipment to do the protocol conversion to and from the Ethernet that runs on the LAN.

These days, most outside lines connect directly to Ethernet without any protocol conversions. The suppliers can be telephone companies or competitive carriers who run their own fiber optic networks. Interoperability is made easy by Carrier Ethernet Standards established the MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) industry consortium.

Ethernet WAN Services
There are three services typically offered by Ethernet service providers that you’ll want to know about.

E-Line or Ethernet Virtual Private Line is a point to point service that connects two locations as if there was a really, really long Ethernet cable in-between.

E-LAN or Ethernet Virtual Private LAN is for multiple locations that want to communicate as if they are on a private bridged Ethernet network.

E-Tree or Ethernet Virtual Private Tree is also a multipoint service, but used more for broadcasting, streaming or content distribution. It is a one-to-many service with a single root and multiple leaves.

Getting Ethernet WAN Service
Within a metropolitan area, the service is called Ethernet MAN or Metropolitan Area Network. Over longer distances that leave the area, Ethernet WAN or Wide Area Network is the term used.

You’ll contract with a service provider or carrier that has points of presence in the locations you want to connect. You may have several to choose from.

The equipment installed at your location consists of terminal equipment with an Ethernet port that supports the network speed you desire. Unlike older systems that require equipment changes for every change in service level, you can order Ethernet service at many different speeds up to the limit of the installed port. This has the advantage of letting you pay for the service level you need now and then upgrade easily as you need more capacity. Often that’s as easy as making a change via your online service portal or with a simple phone call.

Ethernet to the Internet
The Internet is the ultimate Wide Area Network, connecting just about everybody, everywhere. You can order an Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access to connect your company to the Internet at whatever bandwidth you desire. The advantage of a dedicated connection is that the full bandwidth of the line is at your disposal and not affected by the carrier’s other customers. These lines are also typically symmetrical, meaning that upload and download speeds are identical.

Why not just use the Internet to connect your far flung locations as well as connecting to customers? Many companies do. it’s likely your lowest cost option. What you give up is the ability to establish Class of Service so that sensitive applications like VoIP phone calls and video conferences have priority over less critical applications such as file transfers and backups. Internet performance is also somewhat unpredictable because of unexpected congestion, indeterminate packet routing, jitter, latency and packet loss.

For companies with multiple locations, a hybrid arrangement may work best. Use dedicated Ethernet services to interconnect business locations and the Internet to communicate with supplier and customers.

Does Ethernet WAN sound right for your business? Get a suite of competitive quotes for Ethernet WAN or MAN services now with a single inquiry.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

100, 1000, 10000 Mbps Internet Speed

By: John Shepler

Business Internet speed requirements have increased dramatically as computer and software technology has advanced. It’s also true that our long distance WANs (Wide Area Networks) have become more like umbilical cords than transmission pipes. Today, 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps and even 10000 Mbps Internet connections are common and necessary. Fortunately, pricing has plunged as speed has jumped, making these bandwidth levels affordable.

Find 100, 1000, 10000 Mbps Broadband100 Mbps Fast Ethernet
100 Mbps is the new benchmark bandwidth, replacing the traditional DS3 bandwidth at 45 Mbps. DS3 is part of the telco TDM standard as an upgrade to slower T1 lines. At one time, DS3 could be supplied on a T3 coaxial copper line or microwave signal, but is now demultiplexed or “dropped off" by a SONET OC3 legacy fiber optic service.

The lower cost option for 100 Mbps bandwidth is cable broadband running DOCSIS on small diameter coaxial lines. These are the familiar “cables” installed for cable TV and broadband. In most cases, 100 Mbps is the download speed. The upload speed may be 10 Mbps or less. The service is also multiplexed or shared among subscribers, so actual bandwidth may vary somewhat. Even so, 100 Mbps cable broadband works very well for many work from home situations, home based businesses, small offices and small retail businesses.

For larger or technically more demanding applications, 100 Mbps Ethernet over Fiber gives you 100 Mbps upload and download speeds or symmetrical service. This service is also dedicated or private. You and you alone have access to all the bandwidth and it is consistent at 100 Mbps. While this service requires a fiber drop rather than cable, pricing is quite reasonable and readily available for most business locations.

1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet or GigE provides 10x the bandwidth of Fast Ethernet. Like the 100 Mbps service, you can now get this level of service through a cable broadband provider in many areas. The step up in speed makes it easier for many users to connect in your office. It also facilitates more demanding applications like heavy video streaming or conferencing.

Gigabit Ethernet over Fiber is a premium service that is getting more affordable every day. Many medium and larger businesses opt for this service as it is highly reliable, with low latency, jitter and packet loss combined with high enough bandwidth to be transparent even with many concurrent users. The symmetrical bandwidth enhances the performance of cloud based applications and remote backup where upload speed is important.

10,000 Mbps Gigabit 10 Gig Ethernet
10 Gigabit Ethernet or 10GigE is the fastest bandwidth service available to most business users. At this level, you can connect large offices, factories, warehouses and retail stores to the Internet or as point to point private lines. Bandwidth is symmetrical and private, as you would expect. While DOCSIS cable is theoretical capable of supporting 10 gigabits, this is currently a fiber optic service almost exclusively.

When you get to these bandwidth levels, some other options become available. You can opt for the standard fiber optic connection or lease an entire wavelength or lambda on the fiber. This increases your privacy and, thus, security level. For even greater control, you can lease an entire dark fiber and light it yourself or have the carrier do that.

Advancing Bandwidth Levels
Like processing speed and number of cores on a chip, metropolitan and wide area network bandwidths are continuously increasing. In select areas, 100 Gigabit Ethernet over Fiber service is now available for business. With Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, you can easily achieve that by lighting dark fiber and, perhaps, even move up to Terabit per second bandwidth levels if the budget allows.

Are you looking for reasonable high business bandwidth levels at your current location or needing to connect a new facility? Know that high bandwidth broadband and private line services are more available and affordable than ever before. Get quotes from multiple providers and decide the best option for you.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter

Monday, November 16, 2020

Wireless Business Internet Options

By: John Shepler

We live in a wired world. Your business is tethered to infrastructure of electrical power, telephone and Internet by a variety of copper cables. Electric power and landline phone are almost universally available, thanks to national plans and regulations.

Wireless Business Internet solutions for you.Internet? Not so much. While copper and fiber optic broadband are readily available in metro and suburban areas, as you get farther from the city center you options go down. Out in rural areas? There’s often no such thing as wired Internet infrastructure. You either go without or… go wireless.

Point to Point Microwave
Think of point to point microwave as fiber optic without the fiber. At high enough frequencies that could be an actual light beam from a laser, although it is much more common to use the centimeter and millimeter wave bands.

PTP microwave uses small dish antennas at the sending and receiving ends. This is a fixed, not mobile, service and you need the antenna on your building high enough to see the other dish without obstructions. These high frequencies don’t penetrate objects well, but they can supply high bandwidths of a Gigabit per second or more.

While PTP microwave established itself in dense metro areas that might be expensive to add fiber or cabling or take too long for construction, you see these little dishes on cell towers out in the country for the same reason. If there is a provider serving your area, you might be in luck for this service.

Wireless Internet Service Providers
A WISP, as it is known, is a centrally located tower that provides wireless Internet service to a small service area circling the tower. This is point to multi-point rather than a dedicated PTP link. Think of WISPs as high powered WiFI outdoor routers. Like PTP, you’ll need an outdoor antenna, perhaps one of those small dishes, pointed at the tower. They may operate in licensed or unlicensed spectrum and deliver typical broadband speeds.

WISPs are popular where fiber and cable don’t reach, but they are local operations. You may or may not have one that serves your location.

Cellular Broadband Service
Just about everyone has a smartphone these days and making phone calls is the least of the services we expect. No, it’s the broadband Internet connection feeding a myriad of apps that keeps us glued to the screen. That same broadband can be harnessed for business applications using an access point that has all the circuitry needed for broadband but minus the screen and telephone capability.

For limited or infrequent use, you might pick up one of these access points at a big box store. Have it set up for the carrier of your choice. These work well in areas where the cellular signal is strong and usually come with fairly limited usage plans. Plug the access point into your router or buy one that comes with a WiFi router and you can serve your entire business.

A more robust version designed especially for business uses specially designed antennas for better signal pickup or an outside antenna that will give you a strong signal even in rural areas. These business grade access points are usually 4G LTE or 5G where available. They also come with more extensive data plans, some even unlimited… just what you need to run a business with employees.

What makes this really attractive is that the cellular infrastructure is already widespread and extending out into many rural areas and smaller towns. If your business needs to move from job site to job site or your operate pop-up stores, cellular broadband may be the only reasonable option that will follow you.

Satellite Broadband
Yes, there are areas really out in the boonies where there is no cellular service and even landline phone and electric power are hard to come by. You can still get Internet, though. How? With a satellite dish pointed at the southern sky where the geostationary communication satellites are parked. Newer high power satellites offer high speeds, reliable service, reasonable data plans for business and reasonable prices.

The big limitation of satellite business broadband is the latency that is inherent in the long distances that the signal must travel up to the bird and back down. This half to one second or so delay can be an annoyance for business processes that use the cloud or VoIP phone calls and video conferences. For email, web browsing, remote data acquisition and file transfers, latency might not be much of an problem at all.

The latency issues will likely be solved by the new constellations of Low Earth Orbit or LEO satellites. These orbit hundreds rather than tens of thousands of miles up and support latencies similar to cable or long haul fiber. SpaceX is first to market with an extensive fleet of broadband satellites that will provide worldwide coverage, even at sea, in a few years. Other providers will likely follow, as the potential market for connecting the disconnected is enormous.

Are you in serious need of reliable broadband Internet service for your business at a reasonable price? Find out what wired and wireless solutions are available for your locations now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter

Friday, October 16, 2020

Lower Cost Last Mile Fiber

By: John Shepler

What is the most critical part of the Internet? To you, the user, it’s that last mile connection to your place of business. That’s usually the limiting factor and where most of the problems are. What you need is a better connection, and fiber is the gold standard.

Get a fiber optic last mile Internet connection now.Last Mile Limitations
Don’t get me wrong. There are no guarantees on the Internet. Your priority is the same as everyone else’s. When nodes get congested or name servers go down, the people connecting on a shoestring and the well-healed are both affected. That said, the Internet has matured to the point where the backbone networks are highly reliable and have plenty of bandwidth.

If you need the ultimate in connection quality between multiple business locations, you need to look to private solutions, such as point to point dedicated connections and MPLS networks. These have much stricter control of bandwidth, latency, jitter and packet loss. They are pricey and they don’t connect to the general public. That’s why the Internet is indispensable for nearly all businesses for sales and customer service.

The last mile connection is where pricing and quality vary all over the place. The biggest differentiator is shared vs dedicated bandwidth. Dedicated bandwidth means that you have exclusive use of the line capacity. What you don’t use simply idles until it is needed.

Seems like that’s the way it should always be, but the Internet wouldn’t have expanded geometrically the way it has if everyone had to pay for a dedicated line. Instead, carriers such as cable and wireless companies, buy high capacity dedicated lines and then multiplex them to share among many users. The idea is that not everyone is online at the same time and even if they are, most are not uploading or downloading at a given moment.

Prior to so many people working at home, most of the heavy consumer activity took place in the evening and business use was limited to daytime. Now, daytime demand is heavy for everyone using shared bandwidth. When it gets too heavy, line speed for everyone is reduced until the load lightens.

Dedicated High Speed Connections
Your best performance will come through a dedicated, symmetrical high speed link. Symmetrical means that upload and download speeds are the same. That tends to be case with dedicated lines. Shared bandwidth tends to be asymmetrical with much higher download than upload speeds.

You also want to connect through a top tier Internet Service Provider. These are larger companies that pay to connect directly to the Internet backbone. Smaller ISPs pay transport fees to the larger companies to connect through them to the Internet. It’s one more link in the chain.

You can get dedicated lines in both copper and fiber technologies. There are some microwave service providers who can deliver an equivalent connection wirelessly. These tend to be short range line-of-sight connections in major metro areas.

Copper solutions include the traditional T1 and DS3 (also called T3) lines. Newer technology is Ethernet over Copper which uses the same twisted pair cabling as T1 lines, but can support much higher speeds, although bandwidth tends to decrease with distance to the central office.

Fiber used to be a rare and expensive proposition, but that has all changed in recent years. Even cable companies have deployed fiber as their main transport network and some will sell you dedicated fiber optic Internet connections in addition to their more typical coaxial copper shared bandwidth services.

Fiber solutions include traditional telco Optical Carrier services such as OC3, OC12 and OC 48. The newer technology is Ethernet over Fiber. it’s generally much less expensive and highly scalable. That means you aren’t stuck with the bandwidth you first installed. You can start off with 10 or 100 Mbps and easily scale up to 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps or even 100 Gbps as the need arises. That alone is a great cost saver. The competitive nature of today’s fiber marketplace has greatly reduced the price of bandwidth far below what you might expect.

The buildout of cellular towers for 4G LTE and 5G has created a fiber construction boom. Many buildings have also been connected by fiber for business use. These are great places to have an office because the heavy construction costs of bringing in fiber have already been paid. If you don’t have fiber in your office yet, it may still cost little or nothing to bring a fiber bundle in. That’s because there is likely a point of presence fairly close and carriers each want to be first to “light” a building and garner the business of the tenants.

Do you need a reasonably priced highly reliable last mile connection to the Internet? Get multiple competitive quotes now and see how much bandwidth you can really afford.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

10 Gbps Dedicated Internet Access Has the Speed You Need

By John Shepler

Gigabit Internet is something of a gold standard for high speed business connections. Sometimes, though, even 1 Gbps doesn’t get the job done. At that point you need to consider a move up… to 10 Gigabit Internet.

Find 10 Gbps DIA bandwidth now.Who Needs 10 Gbps Bandwidth?
Most small businesses and probably all residential Internet users have no real need for this performance. The bragging rights are far offset by significant monthly lease fees. This is serious bandwidth for demanding applications that make having it more than worth the cost.

Not long ago the only place you’d find 10 Gbps pipes were in the backbones of carrier networks, including the Internet itself. Time marches on and what was adequate a decade ago is marginal performance today. Those 10 Gbps lines have gone from rare and hard to get to fairly common and readily available to business.

Cloud services and colocation centers certainly need access to gigabit, 10 gigabit and even higher connection speeds. Large corporations with thousands of employees, all connected, can also justify this speed. High tech firms and those using high tech tools may also require higher speeds. Content providers? Absolutely. Hospital and medical centers with large imaging requirements certainly can’t be waiting around for file transfers.

What’s Involved In Acquiring 10 Gigabit Service?
Speeds this high are almost always going to be delivered on fiber optic cable. The interesting thing about fiber is that once you have it installed it is as easy to get high speeds as it is to get much more modest service. That’s because the fiber itself is capable of tremendous throughput. The limiting factors are the number of strands in the fiber bundle and the termination equipment on both ends.

The first standard for high speed fiber transmission was developed by the telephone companies and called SONET for Synchronous Optical NETwork. You may have heard of OC-192, which is the 10 Gbps SONET Optical Carrier level. Nowadays, most competitive networks and even the telcos are moving to Carrier Ethernet. Ethernet is directly compatible with nearly all local area networks. It is also easily scalable from typically 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps and even higher speeds. What’s even more important for most business users is that Carrier Ethernet, also called Ethernet over Fiber, is generally far more available and far less costly than the older SONET technology.

Many competitive regional, national and international carriers now offer 10 Gig Ethernet access as well as point to point private lines. That means you may have several competitive offers to consider.

Why 10 Gbps Dedicated Internet Access?
Think of the Internet as the proverbial electronic superhighway with a backbone of major interstate and international roadways and millions of on-ramps. Unless you are part of the Internet itself, you will be connecting through one of these on-ramps. They vary greatly in performance.

The best performance you can expect on the Internet is to connect to the network backbone through a high tier provider using a dedicated connection. Dedicated means that you and you alone have use of the bandwidth you have leased. That sounds like the way it should be, but most Internet connections designed for consumers and smaller businesses are shared, not dedicated. By multiplexing many customers on the same line, cable, satellite and cellular wireless companies can offer low cost reasonable speed connections to their customers.

The other characteristic to look for is symmetric bandwidth. That means 10 Gbps in both the upstream and downstream connections. Those low cost options are usually asymmetrical, with download speed high and upload speed low.

Bandwidth to Grow With Your Needs
Since Carrier Ethernet is so scalable, you can often order the bandwidth you need today with the option of upgrading incrementally as your needs grow. With a 10 Gbps port, you can order 1 Gbps, 5 Gbps or some other speed and pay for the performance you are actually using. As long as you have enough port speed, you can often upgrade with just a phone call to your supplier or even through your online account.

Are you cramped for bandwidth but concerned that what you really need is not available or too expensive? You’re likely in for a pleasant surprise, so go ahead and request competitive quotes from Dedicated Internet Access providers serving your business address.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter