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Satellite VPN a cheaper way to fast web links

Document management company Pitney Bowes has scored a UK first with the implementation of a satellite-based virtual private...

Document management company Pitney Bowes has scored a UK first with the implementation of a satellite-based virtual private network for high-speed internet connection at one of its branches - in the process avoiding about £8,000 a year in costs.

The company installed the system when it found that the branch was beyond the reach of ADSL - the company's preferred technology for branch office connection.

Pitney Bowes looked at installing a leased line from BT and found that it would have cost £10,000 a year in the first year and £8,000 per annum thereafter.

For an installation fee of £500 and a £250 per month charge, the satellite VPN provides a 1mbps download and 256kbps uplink.

David Whitelegg, IT solutions engineer at Pitney Bowes, said, "We needed to connect our main site at Hemel Hempstead with an office near Leek which was out of range of ADSL and looked like it would be for the next 100 years because it is so remote. We investigated BT satellite equipment first but it would not support VPN. Aramiska equipment is, as far as we know, the only satellite equipment to do this."

The implementation involved installing Aramiska satellite equipment at the Leek premises. This comprised a dish that receives and allows uploading and a box which enables connection to the PPTP port required for VPNs. Behind this are Checkpoint firewalls, which establish the VPN tunnel.
This was first published in September 2003

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