Editor’s Note: As NetEqualizer’s popularity has grown, more and more users have been sharing their experiences on message boards and listservs across the Internet. Just to give you an idea of what they’re saying, here a few of the reviews and discussion excerpts that have been posted online or emailed to us…
Mark Fowler, RT21.NET, Ohio & West Virginia, USA
RT21.NET is a mostly rural WISP offering secure, reliable, high-speed wireless to business and residential customers in Jackson County, West Virginia and Meigs County, Ohio. RT21.NET has over twenty wireless access points, and several mesh networks. The operations center has fiber optic and redundant cable connections to the Internet.
Mark Fowler, owner of RT21.NET, has been a NetEqualizer customer since October 2008, when he purchased an NE2000-10Mbps unit. In 2010 he upgraded his NE2000 to a 20Mbps license. We talked to Mark earlier this year while working with him to configure his box with separate configurations based on “time of day”. During our discussion, Mark told us “I can’t imagine being in the WISP business without the NetEqualizer”. While we love glowing statements, we asked for specific reasons behind his statement, so that we could share his experience with you.
In a nutshell, there are three things that Mark loves about his NetEqualizer: 1) first and foremost, interactive activity (browsing web pages, gaming, chat, etc.) is no longer degraded by the heavy use of a few customers, 2) that he has invested very little ongoing effort over the 4 ½ years he has had his NetEqualizer in place, and 3) finally, the fact that there is the ability to customize the configuration when needed (like setting up multiple configurations that switch based on the time of day, individual bandwidth limits, and priority users).
Mark also told us that APconnections really understands the needs of Internet Providers. He runs his WISP business in as streamlined a fashion as possible, and NetEqualizer’s simple set-up and maintenance support this goal. He also appreciates that functionality within the NetEqualizer is well-aligned with WISPs. In particular, the use of Bandwidth Pools to set up “virtual NetEqualizers” works really well on his wireless network. He uses bandwidth pools to ensure that any group of customers off a particular access point (AP) can be given maximum bandwidth without the possibility of saturating the AP’s wireless backhaul link.
I guess now we know why Mark cannot imagine running his business without the NetEqualizer. Thanks Mark, we are happy to help!
Eagleone Wireless, LLC is an industry-leading, privately held, Internet Service Provider based in Corinth, MS. In 1997, Eagle One Wireless, Inc., began construction of an innovative network optimized for data traffic and launched service in two initial markets. That same year, major telecommunication companies announced for the first time ever that global networks carried more data traffic than voice traffic. Eagle One was perfectly positioned to step into this growing market.
In 2010 Eagleone Wireless, LLC was formed, through the acquisition of the existing Internet service provider network. The new owners, also owners of other local Corinth companies, immediately started updating the existing network for the future. This new organization has put in place several things to carry Eagleone Wireless and its customers in to the future. Today we are one of the largest carriers of data traffic in North East MS, providing businesses and homes with a reliable data network and outstanding service.
Eagleone’s experience with NetEqualizer
I tell every other WISP that I speak to about the NetEqualizer. Most have never heard of it.
We would certainly hate to be without it, because we feel the NetEqualizer is far ahead of all other bandwidth shaping devices. It is not like simple rate limiting devices; it intelligently shares bandwidth across all users, using equalizing to penalize network hogs when the network is congested. When the network is not congested, users can have as much bandwidth as they need, without being artificially limited.
We bought an existing WISP that had been in business about 10 years and was failing badly. In 2005 we purchased our first NetEqualizer (a NE1000-10Mbps). We traded that for an NE2000-45 in 2009, and have since upgraded to our current 100Mbps license.
The NetEqualizer is affordable. It helped us to spread our dollars further on limited bandwidth while we spent our money on all the backhaul link upgrades that we needed to do. Now that most of our backhaul links are upgraded, it is time to finally upgrade bandwidth, and the NetEqualizer has been great about scaling with us as we grow.
Thank you for a great product. We feel that our NetEqualizer will last us many, many years to come…
Scott Dean, Network Manager, Augustana College, Illinois, USA
(Email to APconnections regarding a Support request, Apr, 2013)
Ok, everything is back up and running with our config and key. We’ll keep an eye on it for a few days or a couple of weeks to see if we resolved the issue. I think we have.
I’ll keep you posted and many, many thanks for the quick responses. I wish other companies had support half as quick and proficient as you folks.
Russ Leathe, Director of Networking and Computer Services, Network Systems Group, Gordon College, Massachusetts, USA
(Email to APconnections, Mar, 2013)
We had an incident over the weekend I wanted to tell you about:
One of our webservers got hit with a ‘zero-day’ malware. We noticed our bw was completely pegged even though our student population was on, or leaving for Spring-Break (so our bw consumption should have been trending downwards, not upwards). We maintain over 100 servers, 95% of which are in a VM environment. Needless to say, finding the exposed culprit would be like finding the proverbial “needle in a haystack”. Alas, NetEQ to the rescue.
We used NTOP to discover our ‘Top Talkers’. The Inbound bw was saturated, which was unusual and we pinpointed it to one machine. We quickly wrote a bw rule for that web-server and things returned to normal.
We found the malware and inoculated the server…all within an hour’s time. Normally, this could have taken hours or a few days.
Thanks again… for creating such a great solution for Higher ED!!
Michael Smith, Network and Systems Administrator, Information Technology Services Center,
John Tyler Community College, Virginia, USA
(Email testimonial to APconnections, Mar, 2013)
In discussing a recent software update to 6.0:
“…You guys have done a lot of work and the new interface looks good and works well.”
Ben Whitaker, Principal at Jetset Networks, Hotel Alila Jakarta, Greater Jakarta Area, Indonesia
(Email testimonial to APconnections, Feb, 2013)
Just an update about the results we got on our latest install…
“We just finished a project with the 262-room Hotel Alila Jakarta, installing our aggregation gear and also the NetEqualizer. At the hotel we were able to double the bandwidth to 15Mbit and provide failover. But the Active Bandwidth Control with the NetEqualizer was the most impressive.
The hotel was using a primitive system called Rate Caps on Microtik equipment to limit each accesspoint to 3/4 megabit. So nobody ever got speeds over 3/4 megabit. The entire Ballroom for example, had to fight over 3/4 megabit. Really inefficient.
We put in our gear and now guests are getting 3.5 megabit even if the line is full. It instantly “makes room” for important traffic and guests can get peak speeds all the way up to 15Mbit if the line isn’t full.
When we set it up, by chance their Global CEO was in town that day. He suddenly got 7Mbit, which is 9 times the speed he usually gets at the hotel – and told the GM about it. The hotel’s Financial Controller shook my hand the next day and thanked me. Internet is nine times faster? That’s major. Just by fixing the traffic control system.
Available speeds to guests are now 5x to 10x what they were because we got rid of the primitive Rate Cap system…”
Darren Muloin, Manager, AirSpeed Wireless, British Columbia, Canada
(email testimonial to APconnections, Feb, 2013)
“AirSpeed Wireless runs a fairly extensive wireless network and we use the NetEqualizer to keep traffic flowing smoothly even at peak times and under heavy load. The NetEq’s give our wireless backhaul links as much as 50% more capacity without noticeably affecting customer service. This gives our equipment a longer lifespan and keeps bandwidth costs down, which is good for the bottom line.”
Chris Davis, CIS Security Director, The Principia, Missouri, United States
(In response to a question on bandwidth shaping posted on LISTSERV RESNET Dec, 2012)
“…I was in the same place you were last spring. Due to increasing bandwidth I was looking at significant licensing and hardware replacement of our shapers. I was also beginning to see the end of the tunnel in terms of deep packet inspection with regard to prioritization of traffic. We had been changing what we wanted out of our shaper from prioritization to equalization. While we wanted to prioritize by application on some things, what we really wanted was to share the bandwidth equally between our users, resnet and other. While I couldn’t do everything I wanted with the NetEq, I found that those things I wanted to do, I really didn’t need to do. We have been up on ours for about 7 months now, and we have had nothing but a terrific experience.
In the midst of this I also took some data on user population to bandwidth (Mbit/second) and found that with any kind of packet shaping, the sweet spot of user/bandwidth ratio was 4:1. I also heard from many that were higher than that, 6:1, 8:1, 10:1 even as high as 20:1. We run at 6:1 and 9:1 on our two campuses. There have been no significant complaints.
The one problem I have with the NetEq is that the network interfaces aren’t pass through by default. I got very used to that with our shaper. You either have to set up your own switches to bypass it in the event of a failure, or buy a solution from them that does basically the same thing. Other than that small complaint, I have had no problems and more importantly almost no bandwidth help desk calls! That’s the big plus. Plus it is very easy to manage. I hardly ever touch mine. I just monitor them with the new Dashboard interface. …”
Andrew Wolf, Telecommunications Manager, Linfield College, Oregon, United States
(In response to a question on bandwidth shaping posted on LISTSERV RESNET Dec, 2012)
“… I think you’ll find rate limiting with the core equipment problematic at best. You want your core network gear to move packets as quickly as possible; not spend time calculating if a user is exceeding their bandwidth. My advice would be to simply place a behavior- based shaper at the choke point towards the internet. Talk to the folks that have installed behavior based shaping - I use NetEqualizer and would be happy show you what we do with it. I know there are several other folks on this listserv who also use them – it’s an terrific product – set and forget for the most part. If you check the ROI you can probably pay for the Neteq for what the upgrade would cost you. AND you would get a real tool to control the resident population’s behavior fairly, so everyone gets better performance. ..”
Thierry Le Prettre, IT Analyst, Soleica, Incorporated, Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Canada
(from email to APconnections regarding our new GUI, Oct, 2012)
“… The interface is much more friendly, and it’s easier to configure the device with it. Good job. …”
Travis Renney, Quinsam Radio Communications, Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
(from email to APconnections regarding our new GUI, Oct, 2012)
“… Wow, simply amazing. Thanks guys, nice job.. …”
Josiah Erikson, Network Engineer, Hampshire College, Massachusetts, United States
(from email to APconnections, Oct, 2012)
“…you guys also answered me outside of stated support hours. Thanks! You guys consistently provide the highest level of support I have ever received from any company, bar none. Also your product is fabulous. I have recommended it to all other four colleges in the Pioneer Valley…”
Otto, Network Maintenance, Letaba Wireless Internet, Greater Tzaneen, South Africa
(from email to members of the Wireless Access Providers Association of South Africa (wapa), Apr, 2012)
We’ve been contemplating buying a NetEqualizer for the last 2 or 3 years now. We recently took the plunge and purchased a NE3000-150 unit and I must say we are EXTREMELY happy with what it’s doing for our network. If you have the capital to purchase this piece of equipment YOU WILL NOT be disappointed.
Stephanie Dickens, Vice President of US Operations, Global Gossip, Colorado, USA
(from joint press release http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120302005149/en/NetEqualizer-Selected-Global-Gossip-Support-High-Speed-Internet Mar, 2012)
Global Gossip’s Vice President of US Operations, Stephanie Dickens, says “The use of the NetEqualizer greatly diminishes the need for hands-on bandwidth management. Our customers are located in areas where bandwidth is not easy to come by, and the NetEqualizer helps control that bandwidth so that one single user is not monopolizing it. We are thoroughly satisfied with the NetEqualizer’s remote management capabilities and its ease-of-use. We currently have NetEqualizers deployed at the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park, throughout guest and employee accommodations in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and five Ohio State Parks. The NetEqualizer will be deployed with the Global Gossip system in several more US locations before the end of 2012.”
Global Gossip currently manages and maintains over three hundred wireless networks and kiosk internet sites around the world. Their wireless installations include some of the most remote and challenging locations on Earth, from central Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, to Yellowstone, Wyoming, the UK and Spain. Global Gossip’s unique HSIA product integrates seamlessly with NetEqualizer technologies to provide a highly structured internet access gateway, cloud based management tools, and 24/7 technical support. Global Gossip has offices in Sydney, Australia, Denver, Colorado, and London, England. Global Gossip can be found online at http://hsia.globalgossip.com.
Karl Childress, Information Technology Manager , Powell River School District 47, British Columbia, Canada
(from Educational Technology Management Association (ETMA) listserv, Feb, 2012)
We've started using these (NetEqualizer) too. So far everything is working great. (Haven't tried the cache function yet though.)
Geoff Wilson, Manager of Information Technology , Campbell River School District 72, British Columbia, Canada
(from Educational Technology Management Association (ETMA) listserv, Feb, 2012)
We are using Layer 7 bandwidth arbitrators http://www.netequalizer.com/index.htm. They can also run a caching proxy server with the latest OS. They are very affordable, simple to use, and a powerful tool on our network.
Christopher Stave, Computing and Network Services, Drew University, New Jersey, USA
(from email to APconnections, Dec, 2011)
At Drew our NetEqualizer continues to work very well, so thanks for making an excellent product that just works and does what it says it will very well. It is usually one of the things I mention to people as a “best thing we’ve bought” type device, as it really is SO easy to use and configure and really does keep everything usable. Thanks for making an excellent product!
Dan Spechtenhauser, Network Technician, Palo Verde College, California, USA
(comment, YouTube NetEq Online Demo, Oct 2011)
This truly is a set it and forget type appliance. I used another vendors product years ago and I was always in there working on it, finding heavy use users and products, and tweaking and geeking out on it. With Neteq, I have spent maybe 2 or less hours doing administrative task over the last 4 or more years. I would spend 2 hours per day before noon most of the time when using the purple companies product. NETEQ ROCKS!
In the UK there is an advertising slogan for paint that says: ”It does exactly what it says on the tin”. Well the NetEqualizer does exactly what they claim on their website: we took it out of the box, plugged it in to our network, and 10 minutes later, all our bandwidth problems disappeared. No more dropped VoIP calls, and no more complaints about slow internet access or stuck emails. We did get a couple of unhappy users – but those were the folks who were downloading movies on peer-to-peer or running unauthorised web-servers on our network – and they had caused all the trouble for everyone! NetEqualizer was automatically throttling back their bandwidth usage. Easy. We have 100 tenants in our serviced office, and the internet just HAS to work 24/7 – NetEqualizer has made them, and us, happy!
… We have the 45Mbit NetEqualizer model. Works simply awesome, just like black magic.
Tim Buller, Bethel College, Kansas, USA
(From email to APconnections, Nov, 2010)
… Thanks again for such a great, easy to use product.
Tim Payne, Network Administrator, Macalester College, Minnesota, USA
(From EDUCAUSE Network Management (NETMAN) Listserv, Mar, 2010)
… We just bought a new NetEQ unit here as well when we upgraded our internet pipe to 130Mbps. It has worked perfectly for us, as did our old one….
Nathan P. Hay, Network Engineer — Computer Services, Cedarville University, Ohio, USA
(From EDUCAUSE Network Management (NETMAN) Listserv, Mar, 2010)
… We have the NE3000-350 on a 150 Mbps pipe. We bought it the same time we had a large increase in our pipe, so I am just recently starting to see the graphs plateau at 120 Mbps (80% of 150, the point where neteq kicks in). It took our users a while to catch up to our larger pipe size, so I think the Neteq didn’t do anything for about a year because we never hit 80% usage.
So it is working well for us. I barely touch it as far as management goes.
It lives up to the sales pitch for us and the price easily convinced us when we outgrew the PacketShaper we had.
Vince Stoffer, Reed College, Oregon ,USA
(From Educause SECURITY list, Jan 19th-20th, 2010)
… We’ve had the NetEqualizer in place at Reed since the beginning of this year. So far, so good. It’s lived up to the promise of being a set it and forget it type of appliance. It was replacing a Packetshaper and while we do miss the increased visibility into the traffic (including better monitoring and reporting) of the Packetshaper, the Netequalizer has been trouble-free at doing its job of equalizing traffic in a protocol-agnostic fashion. It requires very time little beyond the initial setup and bit of fine tuning. The unit will also allow us to continue upgrading our bandwidth without needing to upgrade the hardware (the reason our Packetshaper had to go). …
Jason Lavoie, Bowdoin College, Maine, USA
(From EDUCAUSE Small College Constituent Group Listserv)
…Bowdoin was in a similar position this summer. We were happy with our Packetshapers, but were not able to renew the service/software contract on our pair of 9500′s. I believe the Bluecoat acquisition was to blame for them pushing out the slightly-old hardware. The “special” upgrade pricing was excessive, so we looked into alternatives. After some testing with on site demo units, we selected the NetEqualizer. We’ve been using them since mid-August, and have had no issues since the initial installation.
Years ago, I had made the determination that playing whack-a-mole with Packeteer DPI and chasing down the latest classification plugin or software upgrade was more operational overhead than the gains warranted. Our attempt at using Dynamic Partitions failed — the box couldn’t keep up with our bandwidth/session demands. We had been running our Packetshapers in a dumbed-down configuration that had High/Medium/Default/Low priority class trees. Administration time was relatively low, but we weren’t using much of the DPI functionality we were paying for. Netequalizer fits our needs almost perfectly for the right price.
The other major factor that led to the decision were how cooperative and helpful they were with pre-sales support. We were able to augment their standard option with optical interfaces for essentially the price of the cards. All of our questions were answered promptly and with technical understanding of the product. In pre-production testing, the few problems we ran into were quickly and thoroughly addressed whether they were our implementation problems or a NetEqualizer issue (there was one with an incorrect license key). …
Dave Barker, BroadLinc Communications, Kentucky, USA
I just wanted to let you guys at Netequalizer know how much I depend on my NE2000. I am a small ISP with about 360 customers and I would be lost without the Netequalizer. The people there are always very friendly and quick to respond. Keep up the great work.
Kevin Kershner, CS&T Inc, Wyoming, USA
I admin several NetEqualizers in hospital and county couthouse networks and the clients love them. They let employees have freedom from whitelists and yet keep data lines open for legit traffic, makes for happier employees.
Damien McNabb, Ronald Communications, Manitoba, Canada (ronaldcom.ca)
We provide IT support and services for a large hotel and conference center here in Russell Manitoba. Since installing the NetEqualizer our Internet Congestion during peak usage has disappeared. I was so impressed with the NetEqualizer that we are now installing two more NetEqualizer units at other smaller resort properties here in town.
Craig Mackay, Director, Mascon Cable Systems, AirSpeed Wireless Inc, British Columbia, Canada
We just returned from the cable operators convention here in Canada. We were surprised to learn that similar operators without the benefit on a NetEqualizer often needed as much as 250 megabits sustained bandwidth to keep 650 users running. We on the other hand run about 4000 on 60 megabits made possible by the unique abilities of our NetEqualizer to distribute out the load over time more efficiently. That translates to the NetEqualizer investment paying for itself many times over…
I’d also recommend you look at the NetEqualizer. We evaluated it this summer along with several other packet-shaping solutions. We also needed to upgrade our NetEnforcer to handle more than 100M for our ResHalls, but we weren’t impressed with its P2P classification. As a matter of fact, we haven’t had much success using L7 packet inspection of P2P traffic with other solutions: either using our Fortigate firewalls, the Packeteer box we used before, or the NetEnforcer we just retired. We don’t block P2P, but we do want to throttle it. You can be diligent about updating your policies from the manufacturer as soon as they’re released; however, we found a significant amout of P2P traffic still bypassed the filters right after an update because it wasn’t identified properly.
Our work-around with the NetEnforcer was to throttle the number of connections per second and limit the total amount of bandwidth per IP. But we always felt we were constraining our available resources, particularly by reducing bandwidth per IP, as we were limiting a person’s bandwidth to DSL/Cable-like levels just because of lack of L7 capabilities.
With the NetEqualizer, we’re still limiting the number of connections per second, but we’re using the “behavior” algorithms to dynamically adjust bandwidth per IP so all users are given a fair amount of bandwidth. But at the same time, we’re still able to throttle P2P traffic just as effectively without it affecting quality video streaming or anything else non-P2P related.
Last, the cost is 1/4th to 1/7th less than a comparable L7 solution. We were able to buy 2 NetEqualizer units and hook them to both our public core boxes for redundancy. The total price was astoundling less than any other solution we looked at, except one which didn’t meet our requirements. For the other solutions, the price you’re paying is to invest in their R&D efforts to classify L7 traffic accurately and manage it effectively. But our experience using the NetEqualizer for the last 2 months has been that it manages bandwidth just as well, if not better.
In our case, we have just less than 2000 residents, but we also have wireless clients on the Academic side that go through the same NetEqualizer (NE3000). Our second unit is strictly for failover. I’ve seen up to 4500 active users, which at night we give 150M of bandwidth. Even at peak (100%) utilization of the allotted bandwidth, the NetEqualizer gives great results.
You might want to look into a NetEqualizer. We switched to one 2 summers ago and have been very happy with it. Like you, I needed to upgrade our NetEnforcer because we were expanding our internet connection beyond what the NetEnforcer was licensed for. I decided to look into what other options were available because I was coming to the conclusion that prioritizing traffic based on being able to classify it 100% accurately is only great as long as you can classify the traffic accurately 100% of the time. Since we were finding that a lot of the encrypted P2P traffic looked like https to NetEqualizer, I was having a hard time keeping the P2P under control without having negative affects on https traffic to web pages.
NetEqualizer doesn’t prioritize traffic based on identifying traffic type, it takes a different approach. It simply tries to make everyone share the internet connection fairly. It does this by limiting the total number of simultaneous network connections that any one ip address can make, and by introducing small delays into the sessions of users that are deemed to be using more than their fair share of bandwidth. This approach means that it took a little bit of work up front to figure out what settings would work best for our users, but after that it takes very little ongoing work to keep it running. As a bonus it was much less expensive than any of the other options I considered.
We don’t have a big gamer population but no complaints on our end. Our gaming complaints pretty much disappeared when I replaced our PacketShaper with a NetEqualizer last year. No classification = no classification headaches.
Wade LeBeau, The Daily Journal Network Operations Manager, Illinois, USA
(“Leveling Your Business Network” article, page 26)
NetEqualizer is one of the most cost-effective management units on the market, and we found the unit easy to install—right out of the box. We made three setting changes to match our network using the web (browser) interface, connected the unit, and right away traffic shaping started, about 10minutes total setup time. The unit has two Ethernet ports…one port toward your user network, the other ports toward your broadband connection/server if applicable. A couple of simple clicks and you can see reporting live as it happens. In testing, we ran our unit for 30-days and saw our broadband reports stabilize and our users receiving the same slices of broadband access. With the NetEqualizer, there is no burden of extensive policies to manage….The NetEqualizer is a nice tool to add to any network of any size. Businesses can see how important the Internet is and how hungry users can be for information.
The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers. Most of the time, our customers are seeing their full bandwidth. The only time they don’t see it now is when they’re downloading big files. And, when they don’t see full performance, its only for the brief period that the AP is approaching saturation. The available bandwidth is re-evaluated every 2 seconds, so the throttling periods are often brief.
Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance (although that wasn’t one of my priorities).
At Loyola University Chicago, we are on our 2nd iteration of the NetEqualizer. We used the product happily for a number of years when we had a T3. We upgraded our internet pipe to 100MB and after about 6 months we noticed 100% saturation and students complaining of slow internet for various applications. We knew then that we needed another NetEqualizer. Once we plugged the box in it started managing the bandwidth, our pipe has not been saturated since, and more importantly the complaints have ceased.
Alan Leech, Orlean Invest West Africa Limited, January 24, 2009, Africa
We purchased 3 of your devices last year and I have to say we are very impressed by them.
They have matched our requirement perfectly and allow us to provide fair usage to our clients whilst reducing our overall OPEX.
You can be sure we will be purchasing in the future.
Illinois Wesleyan Replaces Packeteer with NetEqualizer as Part of Bandwidth Upgrade, Illinois, USA
(By Trey Short, January 19, 2009)
Network Services has completed the Network Upgrade Project. The Internet bandwidth available to the Campus was doubled from 45MBs (DS3) to 90MBs in December. Along with the additional bandwidth, a new bandwidth sharing device call a NetEqualizer replaced the existing Packeteer. The NetEqualizer uses bandwidth sharing fairness rules based on network usage to share bandwidth and balance the available bandwidth between all users. The project made a dramatic improvement to Internet access for the campus community.
Because Netequalizer simply makes things fair, i.e. gives everyone on the link the same percentage of the bandwidth “pie” the netequalizer can handle any type of traffic, because it isn’t classifying anything.
>On Apr 30, 2008, at 4:42 PM, Green, Doug wrote:
>We are considering Netequalizer. They are claiming to be able to manage encrypted BitTorrent. Can anyone verify this?
>Manager, Network Services & Security
>University of New Hampshire
>50 College Rd
I have written on a couple of Educause lists about our experience with the Netequalizer, which has been invariably positive. It’s a snap to set up and doesn’t require anywhere near the tuning effort that a Packeteer does. For general Internet circuit coverage, I’m very pleased with it.
We just re-evaluated our systems after realizing that even with the Packetshaper in place, we’d need to increase the amount of bandwidth that we offer the community. First of all, the new Packetshaper hardware we’d need was going to cost $18,000. Second, over the 5 years that we’ve had the Packetshaper, we’ve seen its effectiveness decrease with the increased availability and academic usage of real-time streaming apps and the increasing amount of traffic that is classified as either pure web browsing traffic (whether it is or not) or “default”, the traffic class that catches all the other traffic that the Packetshaper can’t specifically identify. Furthermore, the Packetshaper can tend to be a pretty admin-intensive system to keep working effectively.
The NetEqualizer really only deals with end-user behavior in that it looks at the bandwidth that a given user is trying to utilize relative to what’s available and throttles “bad” users in order to try to maintain fair access to the bandwidth. It also throttles “bad” applications like P2P that open many connections to and from a given user. The box is nearly configuration and maintenance-free and costs a fraction of what the Packetshaper does.
I was asked to tell our experience with NetEqualizer. We purchased the box about 3 weeks into first semester when our old bandwidth control server died and support was not forthcoming from the company.
We put NetEqualizer in place and fired it up with little to no problem. For the first 5-6 hours it worked as we were told it would with NO configuration. After the first day we noticed problems with students exceeding the connection limits we set. We called the company and within 24 hours we had the configuration modified to the specific needs of our network and our bandwidth was under our control again.
In the last 4 months I have not had to make any additional changes to the configuration. In fact we have not even had the need to restart the box. The NetEqualizer box has some very good algorithms to have controlled our heavy bandwidth users with not adding significant network overhead to the rest of our low bandwidth users. Our students have seen an increase in bandwidth when they need it. The gamers are happy because the latency we used to have under our old bandwidth system has disappeared.
We’ve dumped our Packeteer device about 18 mos. ago for a NetEqualizer. It has worked as advertised and has required virtually no maintenance after initial setup (which took just a few minutes as well). There are some good technical papers on their site (http://www.netequalizer.com) describing its operation and comparing it to other products. I believe they’re worth a read if you want to see if it’s a good fit for your campus. It sure was for ours.
Gordon College switched from Packeteer to netEQ a while ago. It works flawlessly and our daily management of bandwidth decreased significantly.
They also have a CALEA probe.
When you plug in the Neteq box, it doesn’t care about IP’s or what range it is on. You set the bandwidth maximum limit for whatever your pipe size is and then plug it inline between your core router and your first main switch and you are done…
…I love this unit and I can not say enough about it. With M0n0wall and Packetteer, you have to manually setup all of the rules in order for the units to be effective. After you spend a few hours getting them setup, it only takes the user/program 10 seconds to switch ports on you and that rule is then invalid and you need to go back and redo it.
This type of setup requires you to monitor your box constantly, creating even more work. The Neteq unit doesn’t need to know all of this. It just counts connections per user (A limit you set) and the amount of bandwidth each user consumes. If the bandwidth is there and no one else is using it, that person gets it. If they are running Limewire at full throttle and another user logs in and starts to surf the net?, that user gets full priority and their pages will load quickly while the Limewire download has delay added to their packets.
IMHO, using this unit is a no-brainer for any ISP. It is a hands off setup that really works.
Our University started with PacketShapers, but also made an investment in NetEqualizer when we found the PacketShaper wasn’t completely doing the job. Today we use both products.
We have been pleased with NetEqualizer as it does what it advertises – it makes a noticeable difference in congested network.
We switched from PacketShaper to NetEqualizer this summer. NetEq is much simpler to manage and much cheaper.
We currently have the NE2000, and it works great! No other product can do what the NetEqualizer does at a great price!
I would like to order another NETEQ-POE. I have 2 of these units segmenting my wireless network and they work like a dream!
NetEqualizer has also received mention as an Educause HEOA role model.
Created by APconnections, the NetEqualizer is a plug-and-play bandwidth control and WAN/Internet optimization appliance that is flexible and scalable. When the network is congested, NetEqualizer’s unique “behavior shaping” technology dynamically and automatically gives priority to latency sensitive applications, such as VoIP and email. Click here to request our price list.