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Best Practice

Grant Carmichael
Occasional Advisor

Best Practice

We currently have a home office with several branch offices. A 10Mb Metro E connection connects the branch offices to the home offices. The home office has a separate 10Mb Internet connection using Metro E with a SonicWall firewall for content filtering etc. Each branch office has DSL.

My question is, would it be better to route Internet bound traffic from branch offices through the home office and SonicWall? Or, is it better to have each branch office use its DSL for Internet traffic.

By routing all Internet traffic to the home office, we can utilize our Sonicwall’s firewall, virus gateway, and content filter. However, if the Metro E Internet connection goes down, all branch offices loose Internet connectivity.

What’s the best practice here and why?
Ben Dehner
Trusted Contributor

Re: Best Practice

Best practice is kind of hard to define. It depends on your business, the size of your enterprise, and the size of your branch offices. For what its worth, here are my comments.

First, I think it is a Very Bad Idea to have internet access without the Sonicwall protection. If a site has internet access, it should have some form of protection.

It might be better to get an additional Sonicwall for one (or more) of your branch offices. This will allow you to offload their internet traffic from the MetroE circuit and your home office internet connection. In addition, if your home site loses its internet connectivity, you can re-route the internet traffic through this branch office, providing some redundancy.

For the smaller branches, if you don't feel like investing in a Sonicwall at every site, I would suggest pulling their DSL entirely. Having unprotected and unmonitored internet access can open you up to a host of security and regulatory issues.
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