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If I had a Billion dollars I would buy you a router that did not suck (or a llama or an emu)

By May 12, 2015 Broadband

Every broadband or internet connection has a router. Sometimes the customer buys it and other times the provider drops one off.

A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the “traffic directing” functions on the Internet. The most familiar type of routers simply pass data, such as web pages, email, IM, and in a commercial setting, Point of Sale or purchase data between the company computers and the internet. More sophisticated routers, such as enterprise routers, connect large businesses to networks like what Frontier has that forward data at high speed along the optical fibre lines of the Internet backbone.

In 2015, if you are about to roll out a new wide area network, why would you buy a router that limits you?

This is happening every day. Why? It is cheap. And cheap looks fabulous on paper. It is one thing to buy one substandard router (I really thought of using the word ‘shitty’ but I was advised against it… so instead I have elected to use ‘substandard’). It is another thing to buy a few hundred substandard routers. The end result of course being you will own hundreds of substandard routers but would have also incurred the project management time to install these substandard routers as well as the spending of related money and capital to upgrade.

One of our lowest enterprise bandwidth speeds over copper that we offer is a 50 mbps down and 10 mbps up of bandwidth delivered to a retail location. In most cases, this speed is available for what people have often paid for their legacy 6 mbps down 800 kbps up services. The substandard router worked well in the legacy environment but imagine what happens when you realize that you can upgrade to 50/10 however your super awesome brand-new substandard router cannot.

One example of a niche popular non brand-name router only supports download rates of up to 12/24Mbps using ADSL2/2+, 8Mbps using ADSL and an upload rate of up to 1Mbps. The upload rate of 1Mbps pretty much crushes the dream of running Voice or Video at your locations. The brand name ones have similar problems. I will be polite by not naming them but when I say brand name I mean the largest known most dominant brand name. Scary stuff.

It does get a bit worse. When you use the internet as your transport layer (in the case where you use this connection as a retail customer, connecting store sites to your corporate data centre and payment processors) the required encryption and ‘VPN’ resources further degrade the posted resources. So consider now that your 1 mbps upload is now 500 kbps. Almost half. It does improve in in MPLS mode where you operate your network at a private layer that uses a predetermined shorter path that actually bypasses the less secure Internet for your data instead using a predefined shorter path has less. In this case you simply don’t need the encryption and ‘VPN’ resources.

So. What to do? Don’t buy a shitty modem. I mean ‘substandard’.