Hi and welcome to another episode of Tech Tip Tuesday.  Today we’re going to be answering a common questions I get all the time.  “Hey, Eric.  We upgraded our Internet connection, and we don’t seem to be getting the speed that we’re paying for and anticipated.”

Can Your Devices Handle The Speed?

There’s a whole lot of reasons why that may or may not happen.  Some of it has to do with the fact that a lot of business-labeled connections are not guaranteed speeds and things like that.  More often than not, what we find is that the firewall, or the router, or whatever kind of security device that the user has that’s supposed to be protecting their network from the Internet.  It sits between their business and the Internet, and it’s actually not equipped to handle that kind of speed.

Example Provider Internet Speeds

For example, I’m going to pick on Spectrum here, because they just do a good job of displaying their speeds.  They have everything from a 200 megabit-per-second connection up to about a 1000 or Gig connection available.  That’s pretty fast compared to speeds that we’ve seen in the past couple of years.

While all that’s great, and your business can definitely use that bandwidth, I’m sure with everything that’s streaming these days, and the huge files we send back and forth.  However, if we look here, I’m going to pick on SonicWall, because they also do a very good job of displaying their information.

What we’re looking at here is a matrix of their entry-level models, which would be applicable to most small businesses.  When we start going down the list, and we look at “Firewall Inspection Throughput”.  It looks like even their midrange unit could support over a gigabit connection.

Actual Firewall Speeds

However, that’s not exactly accurate.  When we start looking at “Threat Prevention Throughput”, which is essentially the maximum, all the security functions turned on.  Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past several years, security is a big problem right now with small business networks or any network for that matter.  People are getting these crypto viruses.  They’re losing their data.  Or they’re having to pay ransoms.  It’s a really, really big problem.

So if you’re buying a security device, it would kind of make sense that you would want to enable all those security functions.  Well when we look at that, the throughput [goes down] because it takes a lot of horsepower to process everything that we do at lightning fast speed with all those security features turned on.  So now what we see is that number drops drastically.  Drastically from 1300 here (Firewall Inspection Throughput) to 300 here (Threat Prevention Throughput).

Now we start to see that even the top device in the entry-level arena from SonicWall, and this is a very powerful device for a small business, at max security, it’s not even capable of pushing a full 1000 megabit-per-second connection, or gigabit connection.

Time for New Hardware?

That’s just something to keep in mind.  If you’re looking for a new device, or you’re wondering why your older existing device is unable to keep up with the current speeds and things, don’t just look at the big flashy [Firewall Inspection Throughput].  All the manufacturers will tout this big number here (Firewall Inspection Throughput), but what it really comes down to is this number right here (Threat Prevention Throughput).  You want to know how that thing is going to perform when all those security functions are enabled protecting either your home or your business.

That’s the tech tip for this week.  I look forward to talking to you guys again next week.

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