The new MAX Hotspot are in stock!

The MAX Hotspot are in stock.

The new MAX Hotspot are in stock.

With 3×3 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2x ethernet ports and an embedded 4G LTE modem, all in a sleek design that fits in the decor, the MAX Hotspot is the perfect fit for setting up Wi-Fi hotspot where landline is unavailable or unreliable.

It is engineered for retail, hospitality, restaurant, and education, or any deployment that needs reliable Wi-Fi hotspot without a landline internet.

The redundant SIM slot in the embedded 4G LTE modem provides the option to use a second SIM card for backup. And if you tell the MAX Hotspot how much data quota is allowed on the first SIM, the MAX Hotpot will automatically switch the second SIM when the usage quota is reached on the first one – avoiding any data overage charges.

Full specs and SKU can be reviewed in the datasheet here.

Pricing is available on your price list.

The MAX BR1 Mini are in Stock!

The MAX BR1 are in stock.

The new MAX BR1 Mini are in stock.

It is engineered for transportation, digital signage, automated kiosk, M2M or any deployment that needs affordable and dependable 4G LTE connectivity.

It supports one 4G LTE by default. Ethernet or Wi-Fi as WAN failover os activated by add-on software license.

The MAX BR1 Mini supports also RS232 ethernet serial connectivity by add-on port adaptor. It allows for a serial-to-network connection and for out-of-band management.

Full specs and SKU can be reviewed in the datasheet here.

This new model follows a new volume discount distribution.. Discount depends on your partner level and the order quantity.

Go to the price list to see your discount. Look into the product description for MAX BR1 Mini for volume discount. Project offer is also available on request.

The MAX BR1 Mini are going out fast so place your order early to secure your shipment. If you are using the MAX BR1 Mini for a project, let us know in advance so we can make sure we will have the stock to fit your deployment schedule.

Peplink for caravans, campers and recreational vehicle

RV Daily Report: Podcast 109 on how Peplink can provide a faster and better internet for caravans, campers and recreational vehicle.

Is there anything RVers can use to combine Wi-Fi with cellular technology? Starting at 24 minute in this podcast by RV Daily Report, Mark explains how Peplink can help.

“Peplink routers combine Wi-Fi and cellular technology. And in combination with a good sized antenna, which provides the ability to pick up signal strength that the little hand-held Mi-Fi can’t, it will give you a boost inside the RV. It also has the ability to retransmit that bandwidth out to 50 feet away from the RV.

If you are at a camp group that doesn’t have the signal strength that you need, it will fall back to cellular. And likewise if you are on the road, you can just be using cellular.”

Listen or download the full podcast here.

Peplink MediaFast helps AmaWaterways river cruise save €3,000 data cost every month

amawaterways amacello

AmaWaterways chooses Peplink MediaFast content caching technology to help reduce total internet bandwidth usage on their 16 custom-designed, luxuries cruise ships.

After a month of deployment, Peplink MediaFast reduced on average 2GB to 5GB bandwidth usage a day. This means €1,200 to €3,000 a month in data cost saving.

This provides immediate return on investment for AmaWaterways. The substantial cost saving is able to pay back AmaWaterways’ investment in Peplink MediaFast in only months.

“Peplink MediaFast pays for itself in a matter of months!”

Hans Dominicus, BSS ICT Groep

Read the full success story here.

Evaluating Peplink SpeedFusion: Part 2

evaluating peplink speedfusion part 2

1 + 1 = 1?

Another question that often comes up when evaluating SpeedFusion bonding performance is that

I have 15Mbps on one 4G LTE. How come when I bond two 4G LTE, the bonded bandwidth is still 15Mbps?

There is something behind the scene.

Fixed Bandwidth Pool

First thing first. It is important to make sure that we are measuring SpeedFusion bandwidth properly. Here are steps for evaluating Peplink SpeedFusion.

Here the problem is likely to do with

4G LTE mobile carriers have a fixed pool of bandwidth at the backhaul and they share this fixed pool between their SIM cards.

4g lte mobile carrier fixed bandwidth pool

This way regardless of how many 4G LTE connections we use on the Peplink routers, the total bonded SpeedFusion bandwidth will be limited by this 15Mbps fixed bandwidth pool at the carrier backend.

And it is rather easy to verify.

Speed Test. In Parallel.

If the problem is with bandwidth sharing at the 4G LTE carrier backhaul, we should be able to reproduce it without using Peplink SpeedFusion at all.

To isolate this problem, we will go back to an old friend – speedtest.net.

Speedtest.net measures how much bandwidth each of the two 4G LTE connections has to the nearest speedtest.net server.

If we do two speed tests at the same time on the two 4G LTE connections, we will be able to see how much bandwidth the 4G LTE mobile carriers can provide to each of the two 4G LTE, when they are used concurrently.

evaluating peplink speedfusion part 2 the setup

This is our setup.

Setup #1 on the left is connected to one Pepwave MAX BR1 with one 4G LTE SIM card from KPN, a 4G LTE carrier in the Netherlands.

Setup #2 on the right is connected to another Pepwave MAX BR1 with also one 4G LTE from KPN.

The two setups are completely separate. Simply two laptops each with one 4G LTE connection via a MAX BR1. There is no Peplink SpeedFusion bandwidth bonding.

If you do not have a MAX BR1, you can insert the 4G LTE SIM cards in two different smartphones or two 4G routers of any kind and do the same test.

Now we do speed tests.

First, we do a speed test on the setup #1.

pepwave max br1 with kpn 4g lte setup #1

14Mbps of download bandwidth and 13.4 upload bandwidth to the speedtest.net server. Decent.

And then we do a speed test on setup #2.

pepwave max br1 with kpn 4g lte setup #2

10.4Mbps of download bandwidth and 15.2 upload bandwidth to the speedtest.net server. Not so much different that the other setup.

Now it gets interesting. We do the speed tests at the same time.

Imagine.

In a world where there is no bandwidth limitation and bandwidth sharing at the 4G LTE carrier backhaul, if we do the two speed tests concurrently we should expect roughly the same results on each of the 4G LTE as when we do the two speed tests separately.

The world never fails to amaze us.

Bandwidth Ceiling

These are the speed test results when the tests are done concurrently.

concurrent speed tests on pepwave max br1 setup #1 and #2

When speed tests are done concurrently, download and upload bandwidth of each of the 4G LTE drop to roughly half of what we had before.

This points to a fixed bandwidth pool of around 15Mbps download and upload at the 4G LTE carrier backhaul – shared between the two 4G LTE connections.

If we do SpeedFusion bandwidth bonding on these two 4G LTE SIM cards, with each of the 4G LTE giving roughly half of 15Mbps, SpeedFusion will bond them to a throughput of 15Mbps.

This 15Mbps bonded throughput will mislead the users to believe that SpeedFusion is not bonding the two 4G LTE connections.

In fact, if we take into account the fact that the two 4G LTE are constantly nudging each other for more bandwidth in a fixed bandwidth pool, and we take away the 10-20% bandwidth cost from packet encapsulation, user may see bonding two 4G LTE gives less bandwidth than using only one 4G LTE i.e. 1 + 1 = 0.9.

Is there a way around this?

Bonding 4G LTE

From our experience,

This bandwidth sharing problem is quite common for 4G LTE from the same mobile carriers. And sometimes we do also see this problem for 4G LTE from different mobile carriers, especially when they are sharing the backhaul infrastructure or using same cellular frequencies.

Be sure to do the parallel speed test above if you suspect that you have fallen a victim of this bandwidth sharing problem.

A number of 4G LTE mobile carriers also have 4G LTE connection offerings with dedicated bandwidth. These will be ideal for bandwidth bonding.

And keep in mind that there is a world of connectivity options other than 4G LTE that SpeedFusion can use to boost bandwidth and increase resiliency.

Quocirca Insights: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) for transportation

quocirca sdwan for transportation

Quocirca Insights looks at software defined WAN (SD-WAN) connectivity for transportation and other mobile use cases.

“Cellular or wireless connectivity is often a part of the SD-WAN proposition, generally as a resilient back-up connection in the event of physical line failure. However, it can also be used when there is no fixed alternative, to provide ad hoc networks, for example, in transport or logistics with Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs).”

See how Pioneering Spirit – world’s largest ship uses software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) to stay online with Peplink during critical missions here.

And how Stillwater Police Department, in Oklahoma, the United States, connects their fleet of 50 patrol vehicles with cellular-powered fleet networking. here.

Review the article by Quocirca Insights here.

Evaluating Peplink SpeedFusion

evaluating peplink speedfusion

Difference in Speed

One question that often comes up when evaluating SpeedFusion bonding performance is that

Speedtest.net says that I have 10Mbps on this landline/4G LTE, but SpeedFusion says it is only 5Mbps?

There are a couple of dimensions to this puzzle.

Packet Encapsulation

First of all SpeedFusion is a point-to-point virtual private network (VPN) protocol. Like every other VPN protocol e.g. IPsec and L2TP etc., SpeedFusion does encapsulation on your network traffic for routing purposes. This is similar to how courier adds labelling to your parcel for shipping.

This extra layer of encapsulation costs 10 to 20% of bandwidth. In return, it provides all the sweetness and benefits of a VPN and, uniquely to SpeedFusion, bandwidth bonding.

VPN connects two remote networks as if they were one e.g. connecting a remote branch to the headquarter and allow it to access resources hosted at the headquarter. Bandwidth bonding allows you to use multiple internet connections of different underlying technologies at the same time for extra bandwidth and resiliency.

Different Routes

The second dimension is that

It is a completely different road going from where you are to speedtest.net and where you are to your Peplink router at the other end of the SpeedFusion connection.

different rout going from pepwave max to speedtest.net and to peplink balance

For starter, speedtest.net and other speed test services automatically gear you to a server nearest you for the speed test. The bandwidth you have to this server, as you can imagine, may not truly reflect the bandwidth you have for day-to-day web browsing, emailing or audio/video conferencing activities where your traffic may need to go to a different continent.

For SpeedFusion, the traffic is going from where you are to the Peplink router at the other end of the SpeedFusion connection. There your Peplink router is using one or multiple internet services from different internet service providers. The route between you and your Peplink router at the other end of the SpeedFusion connection is completely different than the route between you and a speedtest.net server nearest you.

Preferential Lane for Speed Test

Our experience also tells us that

Mobile or landline internet service providers often give preferential treatment on their network for speed test traffic. Because simply they know it is the first thing a customer would do when assessing the speed of their service.

Using the result from speedtest.net to estimate the bandwidth you have in general or the bandwidth you have in SpeedFusion is then no different than using the road condition of a preferential congestion-free highway to your nearest convenience store, to gauge your daily commute on the public road to and from work, where sadly accidents and traffic jam are the norm. This as you can see will not give you a useful estimation.

Peplink SpeedFusion Built-in Test Tools

What would then be a better tool to evaluating the SpeedFusion bandwidth? Your Peplink router has it built-in.

Your Peplink router has a built-in TCP and UDP speed test tools that enable you to evaluate the SpeedFusion bandwidth available from one point to another.

Go to Status > SpeedFusion on your Peplink router web admin page. There you will see a table of all the SpeedFusion connections this Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX has. Identify the SpeedFusion connection you want to perform speed test on. To the far right, you will find a little speed-o-meter icon. Click on it to bring up the PepVPN Test and Analyser tools.

the pepvpn test and analyser tools

PepVPN Test

Two protocols we can use to perform a speed test.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the main transmission protocols of the internet. It is designed to provide reliable delivery. It uses packet loss as a measure of network congestion and will dial down the traffic when it sees packet loss.

pepvpn tcp speed test

For landline internet connection, TCP speed test will give you a good idea of how much SpeedFusion bandwidth is available between your Peplink routers.

If we are however doing SpeedFusion bonding on wireless or mobile 4G LTE internet, it may be a good ides to use UDP speed test instead.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a transmission protocol designed for time-sensitive application such as audio/video streaming or VoIP. It does not have congestion control mechanism. It considers timely transmission more important than reliable delivery. It lets packet drop rather than requesting retransmission.

pepvpn udp speed test

Wireless or mobile 4G LTE internet connections often have a higher and more volatile packet loss than landline connections. TCP may mistaken this fluctuation in packet loss as a sign of network issue and decide to dial down the traffic. This will give us a lower bandwidth result than the actual bandwidth available.

This is why, for wireless or mobile 4G LTE internet, UDP speed test will probably give you a better idea of how much SpeedFusion bandwidth is available between your Peplink routers than TCP speed test.

And that is not all Peplink has in store.

PepVPN Analyser

On top of the PepVPN Test tools, your Peplink router also features a PepVPN Analyser. It automates a series of TCP upload speed test on each of the possible paths between your Peplink routers.

pepvpn analyser

For example in a SpeedFusion setup of one Peplink Balance with 1x landline internet and one Pepwave MAX with 2x 4G LTE, there will be 2 possible paths in total between them — going between landline internet #1 to 4G LTE #1, and between landline internet #1 to 4G LTE #2.

Whereas in a SpeedFusion setup of one Peplink Balance with 2x landline internets and one Pepwave MAX with 2x 4G LTE, there will be 4 possible paths in total between them — going between landline internet #1 to 4G LTE #1, between landline internet #1 to 4G LTE #2, between landline internet #2 to 4G LTE #1, and between landline internet #2 to 4G LTE #2.

The result of PepVPN Analyser is a table of the TCP upload speeds of each of these individual point-to-point paths, and of the bonded connection using all of these paths. The table will display the packet loss rates and latencies during the tests alongside the TCP upload speeds. This will be helpful in identifying connection with high- latency and/or packet loss that is dragging down the performance of the overall bonded SpeedFusion connection.

Speedtest.net as well as other online speed test services are handy in gauging your internet speed. For estimating SpeedFusion bandwidth however, for reasons discussed above, it may provide a false expectation and may do more harm than help.

Bonding gives you no more or even less bandwidth than one 4G LTE? See Evaluating SpeedFusion: Part 2.

Quocirca Insights: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) for SMEs

quocirca sdwan for smes

Quocirca Insights looks at two emerging trends for SMEs: hyperconverged data centre infrastructures and software defined WAN (SD-WAN) connectivity and they allow for much easier adoption into SMEs with cloud application and enterprises with branch environments.

“An SD-WAN router like Peplink’s Balance One has the ability to detect problems and respond to session connection degradation by switching session packets to other access options. This ensures the required Quality of Services (QoS), so that critical applications don’t experience loss of service. Besides the cost savings, a big driver for SD-WAN in relation to hosted cloud applications is more reliable and resilient connectivity at the branch locations.”

See how Mytilineos, a leading industrial conglomerates in Greece, uses Peplink to enable rapid branch deployment, provide a fast and highly resilient network while lowering connectivity costs, and reduce OPEX as a result of increased branch provisioning efficiency here.

And how Pieter Kuenen, an online accountant in Cuijk, the Netherlands, keeps his business going despite internet outage with Peplink SD-WAN solution here.

Review the article by Quocirca Insights here.

Meet the new MAX BR1 Mini

meet the new max br1 mini

The MAX BR1 Mini is engineered for transportation, digital signage, automated kiosk, M2M or any deployment that needs affordable and dependable 4G LTE connectivity.

It supports one 4G LTE by default with additional ethernet or Wi-Fi as WAN failover functionality by add-on license. It also supports RS232 ethernet serial connectivity by add-on accessory.

We will have the MAX BR1 Mini in stock in late September/early October. We do expect high demand for the MAX BR1 Mini so let us know in advance if you would like to reserve your order.

Full specs and SKU can be reviewed in the datasheet here.

Peplink success story with the Pioneering Spirit – the world’s largest ship.

We shared our success story with the Pioneering Spirit – the world’s largest ship on Hier aan de Kust.

Hier aan de Kust is a 9-episode TV news programme on the Dutch television channel, SBS6, that explores the latest maritime innovations and technologies along the Dutch coast.

Read the full success story here.