The task was to connect a wireless Network with a VPN (virtual private network) to a shared server located in a datacentre.
On the server side we decided to use the Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL VPN Router Model # BEFVP41. We chose this product because of the low price but advanced features. It supports up to 70 VPN tunnels and is compatible with software based VPN clients. Some of the users would be connecting remotely so this feature was important to us and additionally it didn't require a special VPN client, just the standard built in Windows client would work.
On the user network side, we selected the Linksys Wireless G VPN Broadband Router. The users already were on a wireless network and didn't want to change to anything else, so this product gave them the wireless G but also gave us a very compatible VPN connection to the server.
I found the setup very easy on both of these routers and total time to complete the project was about 3 hours. I only had to skim through the documentation to feel comfortable with this setup. Fine tuning the connection may be another thing altogether. We noticed the speed of data transfer was not what we had hoped for. The next step will be to experiment with the different authentication modes and encryption methods to see if we can get the speed up. The default settings seem to be set to the most secure which is also the slowest. The client will need to decide on what balance of speed versus security they would like to achieve.
Some other factors affecting the speed of the data transfer are: On the client side they are using a standard shaw connection so I suspect they may be only getting 512K up. On the data centre side there is a 100 Mb pipe (shared with other users). I did notice that depending on the client computer the wireless connection speed did vary substantially.
Another interesting thing about the Wireless G VPN router is that it is "Hotspot Ready" complete with instructions on how to make money by subscribing to the Boingo network of wireless hot spots.
Chinook Webs specializes in Dedicated Servers.