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Bonded ADSL - How it can improve your business

broadband: 

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) users know that there is a significant difference in their upload and download speeds when using ADSL. The key question for business is, "when is this an issue and how does it affect a businesses decision to make use of ADSL or not"?

ADSL - Is it suitable for your business?

If your business's main requirement for its broadband Internet connection, is to browse the web, download mail, images, documents and software patches and updates, then you are only really interested in your connections download speed, and are not affected by the limited upload speeds of ADSL. If however you wish to provide your sales staff, or your key customers and suppliers, with remote access to your systems, or if you wish to host any kind of application that will be accessed externally, upload speeds become an issue.

In South Africa the best ADSL Internet connection has a 4Mbps download speed and a 512kbps upload speed. This means that any data on your internal system that will be accessed by outside users can only be sent to them at a rate of 512Kbps. If you have a relatively large number of external users your upload speed can rapidly become saturated, resulting in frustration and wasted time on the part of your external users.

Use bonded ADSL to provide better upload speeds

So what options are available for businesses that require decent upload speeds? Are expensive leased lines the only answer?

One way to provide a better upload speed is to use ADSL bonding. ADSL bonding allows you to take up to 6 ADSL lines and bond them into one, larger, Internet connection. To calculate the speed increase you will gain, for both upload and download speeds, take the maximum speed per line and multiply by the number of ADSL lines you wish to bond. The maximum upload speed, with 6 4Mbps ADSL lines, is therefore 3Mbps, while your download speed can be a whopping 20Mbps! You can start with 2 ADSL lines and increase the number as your business grows.

With acceptable upload speeds what can you use your bonded ADSL line for?

Having this much bandwidth available to you now opens up a whole new range of applications for your IT systems. At these speeds it is possible to provide cheap Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections between your branches and head-office, allowing your remote branches to access financial, and other applications, that are run centrally at head office.

Bonded ADSL can provide secure road-warrior access to your internal network

Another use of VPNs would be to allow your on-the-road sales, or consulting staff, to have secure, remote access to your network. No longer will staff have to come into the office once a month to fill-in and submit time-sheets or access other administrative applications. All the admin work can be done securely over any available Internet connection, by connecting to your office with a VPN over bonded ADSL at acceptable speeds.

Bonded ADSL can be used to host your own web servers

With the bonded ADSL solution it is possible to move your web site and email off of your shared web hosting, or dedicated hosting solution, and run them in your own demilitarised zone (DMZ). No longer do you have to suffer the continual increase in cost each time you add a new mail account or need to deploy a new web site.

Conclusion

So if you are a business that needs good upload speeds on your Internet connection be sure to take a look at using bonded ADSL for your needs. Other alternatives, such as dedicated leased lines, are much more expensive and provide only a fraction of the speeds available with bonded ADSL.