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Forget traditional VPN: How ViewQwest is helping users and companies work from home

By Liu Hongzuo - on 15 Apr 2020, 7:06pm

Forget traditional VPN: How ViewQwest is helping users and companies work from home

Source: Mimi Thian on Unsplash.

How are you using the Internet since Covid-19 started? According to ViewQwest, their network traffic utilisation data reported an increase of 30% Internet traffic to and from residences over the last three months (end-December 2019 to early April 2020). As the circuit breaker measures increase in intensity, more employees will require seamless and secure connections to their workplace's resources as they work from home (WFH), and more consumers are relying on digital and online sources of entertainment. Residential networks are getting increasingly crowded, and, believe it or not - both consumers and employers have equal responsibility in helping all the WFHers get secure, seamless access to different ecosystems.

WFH or remote working setups typically use a traditional virtual private network (VPN) configuration for employees at home to connect securely to their workplace. Such an arrangement relies on the home user's Internet connection, alongside a combination of virtual or digital applications for employees to log in to their office's network.

The downside to this arrangement is twofold: one, residential Internet connections are usually shared across the household, which puts a damper on other users trying to finish their Home Based Learning assignments or slow down their Netflix binge while you're busy bringing the bacon home. Two, if you work in a sensitive sector, like financial services, such an arrangement is highly inadequate in terms of security. Other challenges are also inherent to traditional VPN configurations: there's no QoS (quality of service) prioritisation since a home connection doesn't always discriminate work data from all other affairs. Excessive re-routing is necessary for security purposes, even if it's for simple Internet-based applications like Office 365.

Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest.

"Traditionally, VPN solutions are sized to support only 10% to 20% of the workforce connecting at any point in time. When too many people who are working from home-use VPNs, they are bound to face slower network performance as the VPN solution will be operating over its initial capacity. In addition, the home network in which the VPN is operating from will also be congested with enterprise and consumer usage, which slows the network performance further," said Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest, who spoke to us about their alternate WFH solutions.

ViewQwest also said that over the past weeks (when Covid-19 measures picked up the pace), they received more than ten times the number of requests from enterprises about possible solutions that can support a full WFH arrangement for their employees. Challenges usually revolve around insufficient VPN licenses and networking challenges faced by their employees at home. In essence, a traditional VPN will not suffice.

This is why ViewQwest takes a different VPN approach to accommodate its user's WFH requests. In a nutshell, ViewQwest has two VPN solutions that don't rely on a homeowner.

ViewQwest's VPN solutions for enterprises adjusting to WFH arrangements.

ViewQwest Cloud VPN: Instead of excessive re-routing to hardware infrastructure with hardware capacity constraints, ViewQwest puts the entire VPN on a cloud platform. This is ideal for businesses with employees with fluctuating VPN needs - there's no need to conduct any hardware or components upgrade no matter how many users need to use the VPN for work. Cloud VPN by ViewQwest can be activated for enterprises within 24 hours, which also addresses the need for fast deployment scenarios. The best part? It costs a mere S$5 per user every month to the company.

ViewQwest Private Network: This ViewQwest VPN solution is for hardcore enterprises with high-security and dedicated connectivity needs. How it works is simple. ViewQwest uses the other fibre optical terminal that's likely unused by the employee's home network to deploy a dedicated connection to the company's IT network. It completely bypasses the Internet, creating an air-gapped solution with high-performance, since it's a dedicated channel. ViewQwest said that this option is priced on a case-by-case basis, with different charges for Active and Standby periods. It typically works out to S$120 to S$150 every month for the enterprise.

The third VPN solution pictured above - called Branch-in-a-Box - is more applicable for VPN situations where broadband is not a constant, which is extremely handy for employees based overseas or in remote locations.

If you're curious about the non-traditional enterprise VPN solutions offered by ViewQwest, you can check them out here.