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Would it be fast to run applications over servers running a gigabit internet connections through a VPN?

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You would need really good VPN server hardware to encrypt at 1Gbps. Just to give you an idea, only the most expensive Cisco ASA firewall (5580, $30K) can handle that much traffic over VPN.

You will also introduce additional latency, which for some applications may be an even bigger problem than throughput (the chattier the protocol is, the more it will be affected). And high number of concurrent connections may also become difficult to achieve.

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Provided that the VPN endpoint has enough CPU and memory to handle the volume of traffic it will be receiving and sending, sure. But that also depends on how you define "fast"

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You have gigabit internet connectivity? Nicely done. Is that all the way from the server room conneciton to your remote connection? If you're connecting at a coffee shop's wifi hotspot, it doesn't matter how fast the outbound conneciton is - you're still going to be limited at the receiving end.

But the real question is what is considered "acceptible" or "fast" performance by you? If you mean running at the same speed it will on your local machine, then no. If you mean there are few hiccups in the transmission, and you can get your work done remotely without much delay (or less delay than the combined time of arriving to the office and arriving home again later), then yes.

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Also, i think that the execution of your application will depend on your client link quality, you may measure the total bandwidth, you can use ipref for that. run a server instance on your server and a client instance on your client side.

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That also depends on how many hops exists between the 2 end points. I've tried this and it works great to some extent. Excellent for terminal services for sure when it comes to satellite offices.

Also watch the NETBIOS broadcast traffic if that exists on the LANS.

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