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Ask questions and share experiences with SD-WAN and Session Smart Router (formerly 128T).
  • 1.  Beyond ""The Great Firewall"" - My SVR POC

    Posted 04-24-2018 00:00

    First off, I'm not an employee of 128T, nor am I paid for these comments. I had the opportunity to try out 128T Secure Vector Routing in China, so I took that chance and here are my thoughts on the experience.




    This isn't so much a question, as a logging of my experience in china with a 128T router. I often travel to China for work, living out of a hotel for several weeks, and traveling to various locations in China. China blocks common US sites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Stackoverflow, etc. I'm a software development manager, as such I heavily rely on Google, and sites like Stackoverflow to do my job. I've been to China several times a year over the last 10 years. It's always the same when I get to China, a dead zone, the dark side of the moon! All the resources I use on a daily basis stop working.  



    Prior to the trip I acquired 2 small fitlet linux servers, SSD, and some RAM for each (~$350 per box, yes TOTAL hardware cost!!!) I worked with several 128T employees to get linux installed as well as the 128T software. In addition, I setup an Azure based Conductor, and an Azure based 128T router in the US. China seems to like Microsoft, where it hates Google and Amazon, so we chose Azure for our cloud service because we hoped that would actually work. So my setup was very basic, 2 routers I brought with me, a cloud based router in the US, and a cloud based conductor in the US.



    So, would SVR work? If so, what would the experience be like?



    Just Landed

    I arrived in China and the first thing I did was fired up the fitlet server to see if it worked. The results were GREAT. I was in a hotel, which required authorization prior to using the network, I was able to get through, and connected to the internet. First thing I checked was my external IP, it was Bristol VA (where I was hosting my US based Azure Router). Awesome! I was able to access, facebook, google, stackoverflow with no issues. Off the router, those services failed to load, or would work intermittently at best.  



    So Lets Compare.


    I've been going to China for a long time, and when I was there I'd use the company VPN while at the hotel to access US resources. So let's compare. Obviously my VPN provider matters, and setup matters, etc. But I'm not going to go into too much detail as this is just an example. The comparison here is over the same network with no VPN, with VPN, and finally with SVR. I'm testing accessibility and performance to these listed sites (facebook, google, stackoverflow, and youtube).


    Note: I performed these tests at several intervals, experiencing slightly different results based on daytime use versus night time use when the hotel network was significantly more busy. However the results were all relative to eachother based on network utilization, so I'm not displaying those differnet intervals. 


    No VPN: The sites were not usable, maybe they would load, but the next click it would not load at all.


    With VPN: The sites would load, and were usable, page load time were 8 to 12 seconds per page. Youtube would play 440p videos, and stop to buffer at regular frequency. Uploading a 5 MB image to facebook was taking about 5 minutes. 


    Secure Vector Routing: The sites would load, and were usable, page load times were 2 to 5 seconds per page. Youtube would play 1080p videos (highest possible) quick buffering times. Uploading a 5 MB image to facebook was taking about 30 seconds. 





    When you live in a world where excellent internet connection is an expectation, this may seem like a minor deal, but when you've been traveling to China for 10 years, and each time it's like going the the dark side of the moon. Being able to reliably connect to my normal resources was such an awesome experience. I sat there and streamed youtube music all day while working from the hotel. It was Great! I was in China for over 2 weeks, I used the device every day, and every day it worked. I was able to access US resources, with double to triple the speed of my typical VPN connection.


    I hope this story helps you, feel free to ask me questions!

  • 2.  RE: Beyond ""The Great Firewall"" - My SVR POC

    Posted 04-24-2018 00:00

    @Carl Ziemer Thank you for sharing your experiences with 128 technology from Beyond ""The Great Firewall""!

  • 3.  RE: Beyond ""The Great Firewall"" - My SVR POC

    Posted 04-24-2018 00:00

    @Carl Ziemer, thank you for sharing! This is great information and I'm so happy you shared it with the community.