Support Engineer Connects to HQ Via CradlePoint Router and VPN

The CradlePoint CTR350 Mobile Broadband Travel Router instantly creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that any Wi-Fi enabled device can connect to—laptop, camera, PDA, etc. The CTR350 then connects those devices to the Internet via mobile broadband, providing high-speed web access virtually anywhere. In addition, it can also connect to the Internet via a DSL or Cable broadband modem.

Support Engineer Connects to HQ from His Home Office Via VPN

CradlePoint CTR350 Provides a Fast, Secure VPN Connection Between Headquarters and a Home Office That is Located in Sparsely Populated Area

Situation:
Shawn Speer landed his dream job: working out of his home office, providing support and quality assurance for a network management company. “I had the opportunity to take on a support role for a Maryland start up company,” says Shawn. “The great thing was, even though I live in western Pennsylvania, I could do the job from home.” However, there was no DSL or cable service at his home. “I literally live on a farm,” says Shawn. So Shawn signed up for satellite Internet service.

“I started looking online and ran into this 3G store where I found the CradlePoint CTR350. I couldn’t believe this little thing—for not much money at all—would solve my problem.” The store offered a 30-day trial program with the accompanying Sprint 3G mobile broadband service, so Shawn gave it a try.

“I plugged the Sprint USB air card into the CradlePoint, connected the CradlePoint into the network and VPN router and I was up and running,” reports Shawn. “Life was good.” Shawn continues: “I have [the CTR350] connected to my home VPN router and use DMZ to forward all requests to its uplink port. I also use the D-DNS feature to register my public IP Address to my internal DNS name. This allows for my VPN connection to headquarters to get established.”

Challenge:
“The satellite connection caused about a 4-5 second delay in the VOIP system that my company uses,” Shawn recalls. “It was not ideal. Because of the delay, the customers and I would find ourselves talking over each other.” The IT staff tried installing a second phone line to separate calls from data, but that was problematic.

“My productivity was not good,” says Shawn. “Just when I was thinking I’d have to give up this dream job, a friend suggested 3G/mobile broadband service. I started looking into 3G/EVDO and found that I live in a well-covered area. Next problem to solve was how to connect my home/work network to the 3G modem and get DMZ, VPN and D-DNS to work?” As Shawn puts it: “CradlePoint to the rescue!”

Solution:
“I started looking online and ran into this 3G store where I found the CradlePoint CTR350. I couldn’t believe this little thing—for not much money at all—would solve my problem.” The store offered a 30-day trial program with the accompanying Sprint 3G mobile broadband service, so Shawn gave it a try.

“I plugged the Sprint USB air card into the CradlePoint, connected the CradlePoint into the network and VPN router and I was up and running,” reports Shawn. “Life was good.” Shawn continues: “I have [the CTR350] connected to my home VPN router and use DMZ to forward all requests to its uplink port. I also use the D-DNS feature to register my public IP Address to my internal DNS name. This allows for my VPN connection to headquarters to get established.”

Benefits:

  • Easy. “I was up and running in less than 30 minutes,” Shawn notes. “Everything like DNS and DMZ was fairly easy to find. The Help pages had clear explanations. But even though I have some pretty sophisticated technical requirements, I think any beginner or novice could follow the [QuickStart] instructions and have one up and running for basic wireless service in 15 minutes.”
  • Reliable. “Uptime has been great,” reports Shawn. “It’s pretty much hands-off. Short of a power outage, it’s always on and working. No lock ups.”
  • Performance. “The throughput is good,” says Shawn. “I’ll share audio and video files between my PC and my servers and the CTR350 handles them smoothly.”
  • Affordable. “When I was looking, Cisco had an offering with similar capabilities, but it cost a couple of thousand dollars,“ notes Shawn. ”For not much at all, the CradlePoint meets all my needs. It’s really pretty inexpensive.”
  • Great support. “I’ve had one issue,” recalls Shawn. “And the CradlePoint support team addressed it immediately.”

Shawn offers his final thoughts: “I would highly recommend the CTR350. In fact, our local township has a technology grant. They’re going to upgrade from dial up. I am going to recommend that they get 3G service and run it through a CradlePoint router for their Internet access. Then network their PCs so they can all get to the Web. If I didn’t believe CradlePoint and 3G was simple and cost-effective solution, I wouldn’t recommend it. ”