Question : What is the easiest (cost effective) way of connecting two or more offices/sites?


I need to know if there is some guide out there or any tips on how to connect two offices together (across a WAN) so that both sites are on the same LAN.

I've heard VPN, T1, frame relay?, etc.

I have also heard that a domain should be created. The users are all on XP Pro or later and are setup in a Workgroup network.

The one that sounded easiest, was the VPN option. I read that I would need to purchase a VPN router for each site or use a Program Called OpenVPN and setup a site to site connection with that.

I need detailed steps on how to set the connection up... or other suggestions, since I have also heard that VPN can be slow, due to the protocol overhead. Tips on T1 would be great too. Typical pricing of T1 line for a small business (standard speed).

Anything will help.

I can tell you that the offices use standard cable internet connections. They have medium stream speeds.

For what its worth: They will be needing to access an application called ProDoc (Automated Document Assembly Software for Attorneys), which has its own database. Both offices will need to be able to update ProDoc database. This is mainly why they need the link, as well as having a central point for other documents.

Thanks All!

Answer : What is the easiest (cost effective) way of connecting two or more offices/sites?

The key is Static IP on both office, so that both offices can be connected without Dynamic IP being changes without prior notice. (Which will definitely cost interruption).

VPN will be the cheapest way, since you can use exisiting internet connections.  Of course, if you are using ADSl, then up stream speed will be way slower.  Try to use internet connections that have descent up and down stream speed.

Setup using Branch VPN - buy two VPN-capable router (or similar product) that allows both site to connect securely.  Both site can work as if they are in the same building (of course, depend on the speed of the connection, again)
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