NetEqualizer News: July 2013


July 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss our new NetEqualizer Leasing Program and talk about improvements to both our GUI and our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

I have been focused on technical projects lately, such as our 64-bit release, art_smallour new Dynamic Real-Time Reporting, and also some improvements in our NetEqualizer Caching Option (NCO). While taking a break from thinking about technology, I became involved in a leasing deal for a customer acquiring a NetEqualizer, and thought – we can do that better!

So… this month we are introducing the NetEqualizer Leasing Program, offered directly from APconnections on a trial basis. If you find this of value, we will keep this program around. Leasing gives you another way to manage your cash flow and capital expenditures, so that you can solve your network congestion issues with a NetEqualizer today.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

Lease a NetEqualizer!

We are happy to announce a brand new way to get all the benefits a NetEqualizer can provide without having to front the initial cost: the NetEqualizer Leasing Program!

How it workslease

NetEqualizer offers three leasing programs which vary based on the number of users in your network. Each program has an associated monthly fee that includes licensing, software updates, and support. Here are the prices of the three programs:

Small (less than 300 users): $300/mo.
Medium (300 to 1000 users): $450/mo.
Large (more than 1000 users): $750/mo.

Lessees can cancel at anytime provided the unit is in good condition once it is sent back.

This is a great way to get a NetEqualizer into your network for a low monthly fee and very little money upfront.

For complete details, take a look at our Leasing Program Agreement here. There is also information located on our How to Buy page.

If you have any questions about our NetEqualizer Leasing Program, contact us today at:

sales@apconnections.net


Reminder: 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!APconnections 10 Year Celebration

As part of our 10 Year Celebration, we will be donating $25 to one of four charities of the buyer’s choice for each unit sold from now until August 31, 2013. Address your bandwidth issues while helping a great cause! Contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net


New GUI Features Coming This Fall!

Over the next few months, we’ll be adding some requested features to the NetEqualizer GUI to help improve user experience and increase functionality.

Here are some of the changes you are likely to see:
* Show all rules for an IP – be able to look up all associated rules for a given IP or subnet.
* Choose units for dashboard display – multiple options for bandwidth units beyond bytes/sec.
* See the top 10 offenders – this is already a feature in our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool, but it will soon be available to all.
* Priority by whois – Give priority to connections based on a whois lookup of their IP.
* And more!

We are continuing to invest in adding features to the new GUI, based on user requests and all the positive feedback we have received. We are excited to continue our commitment to providing you with the best tools to manage your network. Now that many of you have used the new GUI for 10+ months, let us know if there is something that you would like to see included this fall!

These features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

QoS Over the Internet: Is it Possible? Five Must-Know Facts

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

I had an inquiry from a potential customer yesterday asking if we could monitor their QoS. I was a bit miffed as to what to tell them. At first, the question struck me as if they’d asked if we can monitor electrons on their power grid. In other words, it was a legitimate question in a sense, but of what use would it be to monitor QoS? I then asked him why he had implemented QoS in the first place. How did he know he needed it?

After inquiring a bit deeper, I also found out this customer was using extensive VPNs to remote offices over DSL internet circuits. His WAN traffic from the remote offices was sharing links with regular Internet data traffic, and all of it was traversing the public Internet. Then it hit me – he did not realize his QoS mechanisms were useless outside of his internal network…

Photo Of The Month

pb4
Dog Days of Summer
One of our friends recently adopted a dog from an animal shelter, as she wanted a companion animal to play with her hyperactive terrier puppy. Here they are, already mimicking each other on Day 2 after the adoption. I am sure that they will both enjoy their new life together during these hot, dog days of summer!

NetEqualizer News: June 2013


June 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our new Dynamic Real-Time Reporting Tool, announce our quarterly FlyAway Contest winner, celebrate our 10th Anniversary, and discuss our upcoming Technical Seminar! As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Ten years ago this summer I was feverishly developing the original DPI version of the NetEqualizer, and gettingNetEQ_story_icon ready to release it to customers. It is both humbling and gratifying to be a part of growing my big idea into the company that we are today. If you want to see into the mind of an entrepreneur during start up, you can read all about my journey and how the technology was developed in “The Story of NetEqualizer”, available as a PDF or eBook.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

Software Update 7.1: Dynamic Real-Time Reporting is Here!

We are excited to announce that our built-in version of the Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR) tool is ready for release to all customers on Software Update 7.0+!

One of the things that differentiates the NetEqualizer from other monitoring and shaping tools is that we have the actual data for every user accurately updated by the second.

The reporting tools on most other devices tend to slog along and show you aggregate usage of 5 minute averages. Even the charge back mechanisms that ISPs use to figure out if you are over your allotted bandwidth do 95th percentile sampling – meaning they estimate your usage from sporadic sampling.

One thing we have not been good at, until now, is making this wealth of real data available to the end user in a nice organized usable presentation.

As of this week that is going to change.

In our 7.1 Software Update we have upgraded to a more robust Apache Web server shipping with every system. This has allowed us to take some of real time data and offer the administrator some nicer tools. For example, you can:

– View active connections running through your NetEqualizer and search or sort them however you like.
– Figure out the country associated with a specific IP address.
– View the top 10 flows running through your network – those that are using the most bandwidth.

top10

– View the state of all currently penalized flows. See which flows are newly penalized, which have had their penalties increased, and which have had their penalties decreased.

flows

– View, search and sort all running processes to easily spot problems with your device.

Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for updates on new features!

The RTR tool is free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.0+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Fall Technical Seminar

We are starting to plan for our next Technical Seminar!

This popular seminar brings our CTO, Art Reisman, directly to you. In this half day event, Art explores the NetEqualizer technology in detail, and answers your technical questions. We will also be discussing and answering questions about our NetGladiator security appliance! Lunch will be provided to all attendees.

In this Technical Seminar, you will experience the following:neteq seminar logo with border
  • Deep dive on NetEqualizer bandwidth shaping
  • Learn how NetEqualizer Caching Option works
  • See the new Software Update (7.1)
  • Walk through a NetEqualizer Live Demo
  • Get your technical questions answered
  • Participate in a brainstorming session on future direction of bandwidth control
  • Learn more about the NetGladiator web application security appliance

Please note that this is NOT a marketing presentation – it is run by & created for techies!

Whether you are an existing customer or just starting to think about bandwidth shaping, come learn more about the NetEqualizer technology and share your experiences with other customers.

We are also currently looking for a location to host the seminar sometime around October of this year. If you or your organization is interested, please contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net


And the FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

Every few months, we have a drawing to give  away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo.

The time has come to announce this round’s winner.

And the winner is…40

Terrence Shipclark of Humber College.

Congratulations, Terrence!

Please contact us within 30 days (by July 17, 2013) at:

admin@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


10 Year Anniversary Celebration – All Summer Long!

We are celebrating 10 years in business this summer, thanks to you, our loyal customers! Our first NetEqualizer sale was a CD version, way back on July 13th, 2003. We have come a long way since then. We have rolled out NetEqualizer appliances to offer a consistent, standard, supportable framework to make it easy for you to own and operate your NetEqualizer.APconnections 10 Year Celebration

We have built out our core technology, equalizing behavior-based shaping, and added tons of features along the way – such as our Professional Quota API, CALEA, the NetEqualizer Caching Option (NCO), NetEqualizer Directory Integration (NDI), and a new GUI – just to name a few.

And we have leaped into the web application security world, introducing our NetGladiator IPS appliances last year.

Thousands of installations later, NetEqualizers are deployed across six (6) continents in small and large businesses, universities, schools, libraries, and internet providers.

So, as part of our 10 Year Celebration, we will be donating $25 to one of four charities of the buyer’s choice for each unit sold from now until August 31, 2013. The charities are:

1) United States Fund for UNICEF

(http://www.unicefusa.org)

2) Habitat for Humanity

(http://www.habitat.org)

3) Doctors Without Borders

(http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org)

4) Global Hunger Project

(http://www.thp.org)

Contact us today at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (800-918-2763),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

CALEA: A Look Back and Forward

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

It has been 4 years since the most recent round of CALEA laws took effect. At the time, our phones rang off the hook for several days with calls from various small ISPs worrying that they were going to be shut down if they did not invest in a large expensive CALEA compliant device.

Implementation of the law was open to interpretation.

Confusion over what CALEA was, stemmed from the fact that the CALEA laws themselves do not contain a technical specification. In essence, they are just laws. Suppose the Harvard Law school became the front end design team for all projects in Harvard’s engineering school. Lawyers write laws,  not engineering specifications. And so it was with CALEA, congress wrote a well intended law, but the implementation and enforcement part had to be interpreted. The FBI took the lead and wrote an extremely detailed specification as to what they wanted. The specification covered every scenario possible and thus the scope was costly to implement. Vendors willingly took the complex FBI specification to heart as part of the actual law, and built out high dollar CALEA certified devices. As vendors will do, their sales teams ran with it as gospel and spread fear in order to sell expensive equipment with large margins. Fortunately calmness prevailed at some point, and the FBI consultants worked with us and some of the smaller ISPs on a reasonable scaled down version of their CALEA requirements.

Ironically, even the current law has now become problematic for the FBI and they are requesting additional requirements.

The complexity of implementing the new CALEA laws are a reflection of the way we communicate with the Internet.

Prior to the Internet, the wire tap precedent for old phone systems was much simpler to implement. And, I suspect this simplicity played a role in the surprise confusion implementing an updated law. Historically a wire tap was just a matter of arriving at the central office with a search warrant and a tapping device, a wire splice, then listening in on a customer phone call. The transition of the law to implementation was fairly obvious…

Photo Of The Month

photo(12)
World Series of Poker – Las Vegas, Nevada
Each summer, thousands of poker players from all over the world descend on the desert oasis of Las Vegas, Nevada for the World Series of Poker. The WSOP consists of over 50 bracelet events and culminates in a Main Event that annually turns out to be the biggest tournament of the year. This picture was taken recently by a staff member who is staying in Vegas for
the summer and participating in some of the events.

NetEqualizer News: May 2013


May 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our upcoming integration of our Microsoft Excel Dynamic Real-Time Reporting Tool into NetEqualizer, discuss our new Hotel Management System Integration Offering, and feature a story from a happy NetEqualizer Customer. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallIn May, my thoughts turn to the BolderBoulder, a large 10K running race that I compete in each year. The race has 50,000+ participants, and is split into two, a “people’s race” and  a “professionals race” (International Team Challenge). I compete first and then watch the professionals race, which is usually won by someone from Ethiopia or Kenya, as professionals fly in from all over the world for this race. By May my goal is always to train hard, so that I am at my peak performance on Memorial Day for the run. I work hard to get ready, and plan to run a personal best this year!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

New! Our Hotel Management System Integration Offering

APconnections is excited to announce our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO). We have partnered with Global Gossip, LLC, a leader in the lodging managed network services industry, to offer an end-to-end network managed services solution for our hotel & lodging customers.
hmsio_data_sheet
We are combining strengths to offer NetEqualizer, the best in bandwidth shaping, with Global Gossip’s world class managed network services offering. We now can offer our hotel and lodging customers a full suite of capabilities to manage your wireless network, such as authentication, 24/7/365 support, cloud-based monitoring access, and network design services.

Hotel Management System Integrated Offering has grown organically from Global Gossip’s own use of NetEqualizers in its wireless services solutions in remote places all over the world, including many U.S. National Parks.For more details, check out our HMSIO Data Sheet, or contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


NetEqualizer Featured Customer

Every so often, NetEqualizer News features a customer who has benefited greatly from our technology and has told us about it!

This month, we feature Gordon College, and Russ Leathe, Director of Network and Computing Services.Here is what Russ had to say about his experience with NetEqualizer:

“We had an incident over the weekend I wanted to tell you about:
gordon_collegeOne of our web servers got hit with a ‘zero-day’ malware. We noticed our bandwidth was completely pegged even though our student population was on, or leaving for Spring-Break (so our bandwidth 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 bandwidth was saturated, which was unusual and we pinpointed it to one machine. We quickly wrote a bandwidth 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!!”

Thanks Russ!

Coming Soon: Microsoft Excel Dynamic Real-Time Reporting Integration

One of our most popular unpublished tools that we release to customers who request it is our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool which sends data from your NetEqualizer to Excel so that you can monitor usage from your local PC.

The next generation of this software has arrived.

Coming soon, we will be releasing our built in version of this tool so that you can get the same benefits of its reporting features right on your NetEqualizer. It will require no setup and will be completely web based.

Here is a quick screenshot preview:

micro

You’ll be able to view active connections, connections which are bandwidth hogs, IP to country translation, and more!

This tool is free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

You Heard it Here First, Our Prediction on How Video Will Evolve to Conserve Bandwidth

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Editors Note:

I suspect somebody out there has already thought of this, but in my quick Internet search I could not find any references to this specific idea, so I am taking journalistic first claim and unofficial first rights to this idea.

The best example I think of to exemplify efficiency in video, are the old style cartoons,  such as the parody of South Park. If you ever watch South Park animation, the production quality is done deliberately cheesy – very few moving parts with fixed backgrounds. In the South Park case, the intention was obviously not to save production costs. The cheap animation is part of the comedy. That was not always the case, the evolution of this sort of stop animation cartoon was from the early days before computer animation took over the work of human artists working frame by frame. The fewer moving parts in a scene, the less work for the animator. They could re-use existing drawings of a figure and just change the orientation of the mouth in perhaps three positions to animate talking.

Modern video compression tries to take advantage of some of the inherit static data from image to image , such that, each new frame is transmitted with less information.  At best, this is a hit or miss proposition.  There are likely many frivolous moving parts in a back ground that perhaps on the small screen of hand held device are not necessary.

My prediction is we will soon see a collaboration between production of video and Internet transport providers that allows for the average small device video production to have a much smaller footprint in transit.

Some of the basics of this technique would involve…

Photo Of The Month

IMG_0456
This picture of downtown Helsinki, Finland was taken on a recent visit to a customer site by one of our staff members.

NetEqualizer News: April 2013


April 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss our new 7.0 Software Update, announce our FlyAway Contest winner, and preview our new “Equalizing Explained” video. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallSpring has sprung! As I write this today, it is raining in Colorado, which is great for my garden. Grass is greening up here, and soon everything will be budding out or in bloom. Just like our spring release, Software Update 7.0, which is now ready! We talk more about the release, and how to get it, in this month’s newsletter.

And with April Fool’s Day just past, I got a little creative and updated a Beatles song with a NetEqualizer spin. Check it out below. It is featured as our “Poem Of The Month”.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

7.0 Software Update: NDI and 64-Bit Release

We recently released our latest NetEqualizer Software Update, further improving our existing technology. The update from 6.0b to 7.0 has the following enhancements:

NetEqualizer Directory Integration (NDI) 

Level 1
Level 1 of NDI is now GA. This version allows you to view directory user names in the Active Connections table so that you can associate each connection with a particular user.

ad

Level 2
Level 2 of NDI is now in beta testing. This version allows you to view directory user names in quotas and set quota restrictions for users based on directory user name.

quotas

NDI requires a one-time setup fee of $1,000. This includes activation and setup of the NetEqualizer to prepare for incoming directory results via our API. Because each directory implementation varies drastically, gathering the required information on the directory side will require some development work.

64-Bit Processing

As part of our commitment to keeping our product supported on the latest hardware, we have upgraded our Linux kernel and re-certified the NetEqualizer software.

This kernel upgrade was also undertaken to take advantage of 64-bit processing. This will position us to offer enhanced capabilities to our core equalizing platform, without sacrificing speed and response times.

In previous releases, as we moved to multi-core hardware, we have split out key processes across cores, so that equalizing does not have to compete with other processing. With this 64-bit processing release, we will see increased speed for all processes across all cores.

Remember, Software Updates are available for free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software & Support (NSS) – the NDI setup, however, has an initial fee.

At this time, most customers likely DO NOT need to update to 7.0 unless you are interested in NDI and/or are a NE4000-10G customer who needs faster performance.

For more notes on this Software Update, check out our release notes.

If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


New NetEqualizer Demo Video

Our previous “Equalizing Explained” video was great, but we felt it was necessary to create a new video that only focused on Equalizing and was short and to the point.

So, here it is on our YouTube channel.

equalizing

Even if you have already seen our old video, go ahead and take a look! It never hurts to have a quick refresher!

We will continue to develop and enhance this video over time – please feel free to send us your thoughts!


And the FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

Every few months, we have a drawing to give  away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo.40

The time has come to announce this round’s winner.

And the winner is…

Michael Bamsey of Santel Communications.

Congratulations, Michael!

Please contact us within 30 days (by May 9, 2013) at:

admin@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


Best Of The Blog

The Wireless Density Problem

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Recently, we have been involved in several projects where an IT consulting company has attempted to bring public wireless service into a high density arena. So far, the jury is out on how effective these service offerings have fared.

The motivation for such a project is driven by several factors.

1) Most standard cellular 4G data coverage is generally not adequate to handle 20,000 people with iPhones in a packed arena. I am sure the larger carriers are also feverishly working on a solution, but I have no inside information as to their approach nor chance of success.

Note: I’d be interested to learn about any arenas with great coverage…

Poem Of The Month

To the tune of “Imagine” – by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no congestion
It’s easy if you try
No hidden fees surprise us
Above us high speed guy
Imagine all providers, giving bandwidth away

Imagine there’s no quotas
It isn’t hard to use
No killer apps that die for
A lack of bandwidth too

Imagine all the gamers living Layer-7 free
You may say, I’m a streamer
But I’m just gonna download one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And your speed concerns will be done

NetEqualizer News: March 2013


March 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss AD integration into NetEqualizer, the results of our recent Educause conference, and new NetEqualizer features coming in 2013. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallSpring is almost upon us, and yet in Colorado it is just starting to feel like winter. We get our snowiest weeks typically in late February and early March. So far for this year, that is proving to be true. However, with spring coming soon we look forward to beginning again!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

2013 Software Update Features

We are already in the process of implementing exciting new features for our first Software Update of 2013!

Here is a quick preview of what you can expect this year:

64 Bit Processing: This change will allow current customers to operate on existing hardware and attain 20 to 50 percent improvements in performance.

Sortable Active Connections Table: You will now be able to sort the Active Connections table by any of the columns you choose.

Caching Service Updates: We will be updating and expanding our available caching services.

Port-Based Equalizing: Check out our blog article on bandwidth management on the public side of a NAT router.

Active Directory Integration: Now, administrators will be able to see AD user names in their Active Connections table.

Other Minor Enhancements

Check back with NetEqualizer News for updates on each of these new features and their scheduled releases!
Remember, new software updates (including all the features described above – except AD Integration) are available for free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software & Support (NSS).

If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Educause Conference Poster Session Update
educause logo

Sandy had a great time at the West/Southwest Regional Educause Conference in Austin  February 12-14th, 2013!

Here she is in front of her Poster Session materials:

wsw educause photo 1

Sandy talked about the “Future of Bandwidth Shaping” with the attendees. One professor, who also runs a ISP for colleges, even came from South Africa!

Most of you know that NetEqualizer is the future of bandwidth shaping, but if you need to convince anyone else (your boss, the powers that be, etc.), we recommend printing out our updated 1-2 page Executive White Paper and sharing that. If you are in Higher Education, you can also check out our newly revised College & University Guide.

Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for updates on upcoming conferences!


AD Integration Beta and Support Update

We are close to releasing our new Active Directory integration feature and are nearing the end of our beta tests!

Thanks to all of those organizations that have helped us out thus far.

As an additional note, because Active Directory is a complicated environment which varies from customer to customer, the AD Integration feature will be an additional charge beyond NSS. This fee will include support in getting you up and running with the new feature.


Best Of The Blog

How Much Bandwidth Do You Really Need?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

When it comes to how much money to spend on the Internet, there seems to be this underlying feeling of guilt with everybody I talk to. From ISPs, to libraries or multinational corporations, they all have a feeling of bandwidth inadequacy. It is very similar to the guilt I used to feel back in College when I would skip my studies for some social activity (drinking). Only now it applies to bandwidth contention ratios. Everybody wants to know how they compare with the industry average in their sector. Are they spending on bandwidth appropriately, and if not, are they hurting their institution, will they become second-rate?

To ease the pain, I was hoping to put a together a nice chart on industry standard recommendations, validating that your bandwidth consumption was normal, and I just can’t bring myself to do it quite yet. There is this elephant in the room that we must contend with. So before I make up a nice chart on recommendations, a more relevant question is… how bad do you want your video service to be?

Your choices are:

  1. bad
  2. crappy
  3. downright awful

Although my answer may seem a bit sarcastic, there is a truth behind these choices. I sense that much of the guilt of our customers trying to provision bandwidth is based on the belief that somebody out there has enough bandwidth to reach some form of video Shangri-La; like playground children bragging about their father’s professions, claims of video ecstasy are somewhat exaggerated…

Photo Of The Month

photo-3

Snow Geese in Kansas

If you look closely at the lake you can see a gaggle of white Snow Geese in the water. Though they typically live in colder climates, they’ll come to warmer states in the winter to breed. This photo was taken in Kansas on a recent trip by one of our staff members.

NetEqualizer News: February 2013


February 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we discuss AD integration into NetEqualizer, our upcoming Educause conference, the new NetEqualizer Dashboard feature, and the history of P2P blocking. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallIn February, our thoughts turn to love and friendship. Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, a great day to celebrate those in your life that you love. So this month we celebrate you, our customers!

This Newsletter is our valentine to you! As candy is fattening, we are instead fattening up your mind. Our gifts to you include an opportunity to participate in our AD Beta Test, a chance to learn more about the history of P2P, and the opportunity to pick up some bling at Educause!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

AD Integration Update and Beta Testing

We are well underway with beta testing our new and exciting NetEqualizer feature – Active Directory integration. The feature is being broken down into two release phases:

In the first phase, we’ll allow administrators to see the Active Directory username associated with the IP Address in the connection table (assuming the user used Active Directory to authenticate). We’ll also allow you to sort the table by username and IP for quick analysis of a specific username.

This screenshot shows how usernames will be displayed in the connection table:

ad

In the second phase, which will be released in the summer of 2013, we’ll allow administrators to set rate limits by username as well as give priority to certain users. This way, users don’t have to be part of a certain subnet to gain priority access.

If your organization uses Active Directory for user authentication, you have had a NetEqualizer for at least one year, and you’d be willing to assist us in our testing, let us know by sending an email to:

sales@apconnections.net

Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for more updates and GA release details!


See You at Educause!

And get a cool NetEqualizer pen!

We are conducting a Poster Session on Wednesday, 2/13 at the West/Southwest Educause Regional Conference in Austin, Texas.educause logo

If you are at the conference, stop by to see us!  If you do, and mention this Newsletter, we will give you a fabulous NetEqualizer pen!

pens3

Here is our abstract for the conference:

Maximizing Your Internet Resource: Why Behavior-Based QoS Is the Future of Bandwidth Shaping

Higher education is tasked to do more with less, particularly when managing a scarce resource like bandwidth. Behavior-based QoS, an affordable bandwidth shaping technology, is coming to the forefront. It’s also gaining mindshare as a superior bandwidth shaping technology, as encrypted traffic thwarts deep packet inspection. This poster will delve into the differences between DPI and behavior-based QoS, explaining where each is best suited for networks. Learn how to reduce P2P and HEOA/RIAA requests on your campus and see behavior-based QoS in action.

We will offer a live online demonstration of our affordable NetEqualizer:

(www.netequalizer.com).

We hope to see you there!


Don’t Forget to Upgrade to 6.0!

With a brief tutorial on our Dashboard

If you have not already upgraded your NetEqualizer to Software Update 6.0, now is the perfect time! We have discussed the new upgrade in depth in previous newsletters and blog posts, so this month we thought we’d show you how to take advantage of our new Dashboard features!

If you have not explored it, here is what you can expect to see:

– You can immediately tell which key processes are running, through our green (on)/red (off) icons. This helps you to make sure that everything is running as expected.
– You can Run Diagnostics directly by clicking on the icon at the top right of the Dashboard.
– You can see how much bandwidth is being consumed both from the Internet (% Bandwidth Down) and to the Internet (% Bandwidth Up). One great side affect of this is that you can tell if your cables are set-up correctly too. Typically, Bandwidth Down is much higher than Bandwidth Up.  If you see the opposite, you should consider reversing your cables. Contact our Support Team if you have questions.
– You can quickly see what version you are running, which will help you to determine if you need to upgrade.  You can always see what is available in each software update on our blog by clicking on the Software Updates page.
– If you are using Pools to limit bandwidth, you can select which Pool to view the Pool Traffic Up and Pool Traffic Down.To keep the Dashboard relevant and clean, we limit what we show there. However, we are open to suggestions! If there are other key items that you think warrant Dashboard status, let us know. Just send an email with your ideas to:

sales@apconnections.net.

Remember, new software updates (including all the features described above) are available for free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software & Support (NSS).

If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

A Brief History of Peer to Peer File Sharing and the Attempts to Block It

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

The following history is based on my notes and observations as both a user of peer to peer, and as a network engineer tasked with cleaning it up.

Round One, Napster, Centralized Server, Circa 2002

Napster was a centralized service, unlike the peer to peer behemoths of today there was never any question of where the copyrighted material was being stored and pirated from. Even though Napster did not condone pirated music and movies on their site, the courts decided by allowing copyrighted material to exist on their servers, they were in violation of copyright law. Napster’s days of free love were soon over…

Photo Of The Month

signs

Photo by Casey Sanders

A Slower Pace

When people picture the state of Texas, most think of vast ranches, cattle, and cactus. While much of the state does resemble this type of landscape, the northeastern part is actually heavily wooded and contains many lakes. Life in this rural area of the country moves a bit slower than our high-speed, high-tech lives in Metro Denver, Colorado. Sometimes it is cathartic to put all the work aside for a bit and just stare off into the woods.

NetEqualizer News: January 2013


January 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview new features and hardware changes for NetEqualizer coming in 2013, discuss a recent NetGladiator Hacking Challenge security assessment, and announce 2013 NetEqualizer pricing. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallFor many, January is a time of new beginnings (good luck with all your resolutions!) and preparing for the future. Here at APconnections, we are thinking about what is important to achieve in 2013, what we should resolve to do to best meet our customers’ needs, and how to continue our leadership in giving you the best solutions for achieving faster, more secure networks.

As part of our planning, we have resolved to continue to stay abreast of advances in technology so that we can leverage them to give you, the customer, the best bandwidth shaping and web application security products!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

Coming Soon: Faster NetEqualizer Platforms

We’re constantly trying to keep our units up-to-date and on the forefront of bandwidth shaping technology. In support of this mission, 2013 will see the retirement of the NE2000 as a new unit. Current NE2000 customers, do not fear. We will continue to support and develop updates for NE2000 boxes just like we will for the new units.

The lowest throughput license will now be 20 Mbps and the -20 and -50 units will be moved to the NE3000 platform. This will provide faster processing to users at these bandwidth levels and will ensure that our hardware is kept inline with industry advances.


NetGladiator Hacking Challenge: Case Study

We’ve had a good amount of interest in our Hacking Challenge since we launched the proposal a few months ago. One recent assessment effectively illustrated the need for third-party security checks by a security expert:

This particular application had done a good job overall of putting protections in place. SQL characters were blocked in login pages and web forms, Javascript in the URL was properly removed and encoded, SSL was used to transmit data, etc.

While it appeared the application was good to go, near the end of the assessment our security experts discovered a hole that eventually led to full compromise of the site. It turns out that the registration form did not properly block SQL characters from all entries. While the freeform text fields did block SQL characters, drop down menus like State and Country did not.

Because of this one lapse in protection, the entire database schema was discoverable, which led to the database content being saved and downloaded. This then led to user password compromise of an administrator account which resulted in super user access to the administration area. Luckily, this was all part of the Hacking Challenge, so no actual harm occurred!

This example goes to show how important a third-party audit is. Even when precautions are taken, all it takes is one vulnerability to completely compromise a site.

Take our Hacking Challenge today!

To learn more about NetGladiator, check out our video here.

Or, contact us at:

ips@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300 x123


2013 NetEqualizer Pricing

As we begin a new year, we’re making some minor changes to the NetEqualizer product line. To start, we’ll be deploying new features and faster hardware – see the other articles referenced in this newsletter for details.

We’re also releasing our 2013 Price List for NetEqualizer, which will be effective February 1st, 2013. However, all Newsletter readers can get an advance peek here! The price list can be viewed here without registration for a limited time. You can also view the updated Data Sheets for each model once in the 2013 Price List.

Current quotes will not be affected by the pricing updates, and will be honored for 90 days from the date the quote was originally given.


Coming Soon: New Features for NetEqualizer

We’ll soon be releasing new features for NetEqualizer.

Our commitment to continuous feature development supports our goal of providing as much value as possible to our customers. Here are some sneak peaks of new features coming soon:

Bandwidth Control on the Public Side of a NAT Router (Port-based Equalizing) 

We have done some significant work in our upcoming release with respect to managing network traffic from the outside of private network segments. The bottom line is we can now accomplish sophisticated bandwidth optimizations for segments of large networks hidden behind NAT routers.

One basic problem with a generic bandwidth controller is that they typically treat all users behind a NAT router as one user. Coming soon, we will shape not only on IP address, but on an IP/Port combination, so that we can optimize connections even in heavily NAT’d networks.

For more information on this approach, check out this blog article.

Active Directory Integration

For customers that use Microsoft Active Directory in their organizations, we have added the ability to correlate IP addresses to user names. This will help administrators view the user names associated with IPs in the Active Connections table and more easily enforce and analyze bandwidth usage.

We are currently looking for beta testers for this feature. If you have Active Directory and are interested in participating in the Beta, send an email to sales@apconnections.net.

Remember, new releases (aka “software updates) including all the new features described above, are available for free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software & Support (NSS).

If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

Wireless is Nice, But Wired Networks are Here to Stay

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

The trend to go all wireless in high density housing was seemingly a slam dunk just a few years ago. The driving forces behind the exclusive deployment of wireless over wired access was two fold.

  • Wireless cost savings. It is much less expensive to strafe a building with a mesh network  rather than to pay a contractor to insert RJ45 cable throughout the building.
  • People expect wireless. Nobody plugs a computer into the wall anymore – or do they?

Something happened on the way to wireless Shangri-La. The physical limitations of wireless, combined with the appetite for ever-increasing video, have caused some high density housing operators to rethink their positions…

Photo Of The Month

hemingway house

Hemingway House

Key West’s second highest site (16 feet above sea level) is the former home of American author Ernest Hemingway. It is now a tourist attraction and museum. If you look closely below the bushes you can see a couple of the six and seven-toed cats that roam around the residence. The house was visited by one of our staff members on a recent jaunt to Key West in an attempt to escape the frigid weather in Colorado.

NetEqualizer News: December 2012


December 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview feature additions to NetEqualizer coming in 2013, offer a special deal on web application security testing for the Holidays, and remind NetEqualizer customers to upgrade to Software Update 6.0. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

artdaughterThis month’s picture is from Parent’s Night for my daughter’s volleyball team. In December, as I get ready for the Holidays, I often think about what is important to me – like family, friends, my health, and how I help to run this business. While pondering these thoughts, I came up with some quotes that have meaning to me, which I am sharing here. I hope you enjoy them, or that they at least get you thinking about what is important to you!

“Technology is not what has already been done.”
“Following too closely ruins the journey.”
“Innovation is not a democratic endeavor.”
“Time is not linear, it just appears that way most of the time.”

What are your favorite quotes? We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a quote or a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

NetEqualizer: Coming in 2013

We are always looking to improve our NetEqualizer product line such that our customers are getting maximum value from their purchase. Part of this process is brainstorming changes and additional features to adapt and help meet that need.

Here are a couple of ideas for changes to NetEqualizer that will arrive in 2013. Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News and our blog for updates on these features!

1) NetEqualizer in Mesh Networks and Cloud Computing

As the use of NAT distributed across mesh networks becomes more widespread, and the bundling of services across cloud computing becomes more prevalent, our stream-based behavior shaping will need to evolve.

This is due to the fact that we base our decision of whether or not to shape on a pair of IP addresses talking to each other without considering port numbers. Sometimes, in cloud or mesh networks, services are trunked across a tunnel using the same IP address. As they cross the trunk, the streams are broken out appropriately based on port number.

So, for example, say you have a video server as part of a cloud computing environment. Without any NAT, on a wide-open network, we would be able to give that video server priority simply by knowing its IP address. However, in a meshed network, the IP connection might be the same as other streams, and we’d have no way to differentiate it. It turns out, though, that services within a tunnel may share IP addresses, but the differentiating factor will be the port number.

Thus, in 2013 we will no longer shape just on IP to IP, but will evolve to offer shaping on IP(Port) to IP(Port). The result will be quality of service improvements even in heavily NAT’d environments.

2) 10 Gbps Line Speeds without Degradation

Some of our advantages over the years have been our price point, the techniques we use on standard hardware, and the line speeds we can maintain.

Right now, our NE3000 and above products all have true multi-core processors, and we want to take advantage of that to enhance our packet analysis. While our analysis is very quick and efficient today (sustained speeds of 1 Gbps up and down), in very high-speed networks, multi-core processing will amp up our throughput even more. In order to get to 10 Gbps on our Intel-based architecture, we must do some parallel analysis on IP packets in the Linux kernel.

The good news is that we’ve already developed this technology in our NetGladiator product (check out this blog article here).

Coming in 2013, we’ll port this technology to NetEqualizer. The result will be low-cost bandwidth shapers that can handle extremely high line speeds without degradation. This is important because in a world where bandwidth keeps getting cheaper, the only reason to invest in an optimizer is if it makes good business sense.

We have prided ourselves on smart, efficient, optimization techniques for years – and we will continue to do that for our customers!


Secure Your Web Applications for the Holidays!

We want YOU to be proactive about security. If your business has external-facing web applications, don’t wait for an attack to happen – protect yourself now! It only takes a few hours of our in-house security experts’ time to determine if your site might have issues, so, for the Holidays, we are offering a $500 upfront security assessment for customers with web applications that need testing!

If it is determined that our NetGladiator product can help shore up your issues, that $500 will be applied toward your first year of NetGladiator Software & Support (GSS). We also offer further consulting based on that assessment on an as-needed basis.

To learn more about NetGladiator, check out our video here.

Or, contact us at:

ips@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300 x123


Don’t Forget to Upgrade to 6.0!: With a brief tutorial on User Quotas

If you have not already upgraded your NetEqualizer to Software Update 6.0, now is the perfect time!

We have discussed the new upgrade in depth in previous newsletters and blog posts, so this month we thought we’d show you how to take advantage of one of the new features – User Quotas.

User quotas are great if you need to track bandwidth usage over time per IP address or subnet. You can also send alerts to notify you if a quota has been surpassed.

To begin, you’ll want to navigate to the Manage User Quotas menu on the left. You’ll then want to start the Quota System using the third interface from the top, Start/Stop Quota System.

Now that the Quota System is turned on, we’ll add a new quota. Click on Configure User Quotas and take a look at the first window:

quota1

Here are the settings associated with setting up a new quota rule:

Host IP: Enter in the Host IP or Subnet that you want to give a quota rule to.

Quota Amount: Enter in the number of total bytes for this quota to allow.

Duration: Enter in the number of minutes you want the quota to be tracked for before it is reset (1 day, 1 week, etc.).

Hard Limit Restriction: Enter in the number of bytes/sec to allow the user once the quota is surpassed.  

Contact: Enter in a contact email for the person to notify when the quota is passed.

After you populate the form, click Add Rule. Congratulations! You’ve just set up your first quota rule!

From here, you can view reports on your quota users and more.

Remember, the new GUI and all the new features of Software Update 6.0 are available for free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software & Support (NSS).

If you don’t have the new GUI or are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

Internet User’s Bill of Rights

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

This is the second article in our series. Our first was a Bill of Rights dictating the etiquette of software updates. We continue with a proposed Bill of Rights for consumers with respect to their Internet service.

1) Providers must divulge the contention ratio of their service. 

At the core of all Internet service is a balancing act between the number of people that are sharing a resource and how much of that resource is available.

For example, a typical provider starts out with a big pipe of Internet access that is shared via exchange points with other large providers. They then subdivide this access out to their customers in ever smaller chunks – perhaps starting with a gigabit exchange point and then narrowing down to a 10 megabit local pipe that is shared with customers across a subdivision or area of town.

The speed you, the customer, can attain is limited to how many people might be sharing that 10 megabit local pipe at any one time. If you are promised one megabit service, it is likely that your provider would have you share your trunk with more than 10 subscribers and take advantage of the natural usage behavior, which assumes that not all users are active at one time.

The exact contention ratio will vary widely from area to area, but from experience, your provider will want to maximize the number of subscribers who can share the pipe, while minimizing service complaints due to a slow network. In some cases, I have seen as many as 1,000 subscribers sharing 10 megabits. This is a bit extreme, but even with a ratio as high as this, subscribers will average much faster speeds when compared to dial up…

Photo Of The Month

sandybike

Kansas Clouds

The wide-open ranch lands in middle America provide a nice retreat from the bustle of city life. When he can find time, one of our staff members visits his property in Kansas with his family. The Internet connection out there is shaky, but it is a welcome change from routine.

NetEqualizer News: November 2012


November 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we talk about the release of our new User Guide that accompanies the 6.0 Software Update, discuss lessons learned from our recent Technical Seminar at Washington University – St. Louis, and reiterate our big savings on shipping deal for international customers. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Tuesday of November. At this time of year, we celebrate by having a huge meal with friends and family, which I try to reduce the impact of by running a 5k in the morning. We also pause to count our blessings and give thanks for all that we have. So, it is only appropriate to take a moment to THANK YOU, our loyal customers! I am grateful for your business, and hope to continue to earn it each and every day!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

New User Guide Now Available

We have completed the User Guide for the 6.0 Software Update, so the update is now officially GA!

Contact us today if you have not yet upgraded! The process is quick and easy, and you’ll love our new GUI and feature offerings.

Once you upgrade, check out the 6.0 User Guide to learn more about our newer additions, including:

Smart Connection Limits: Utilize a fairer model for limiting connections to clamp down on P2P.

Professional User Quota API: A GUI interface to help configure user quotas.

Email Notifications: Have alerts sent to an email account of your choice.

The new GUI is also now compatible with all common browsers, including Internet Explorer 9.0+.

As always, the 6.0 Software Update will be available at no charge to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS).

For more information on the NetEqualizer or the upcoming release, visit our blog or contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103.


BIG Savings on Shipping

Our Halloween shipping deal is still on!

As part of the celebration, we want to offer a shipping credit for all of our international customers! This means that we will ship anywhere in the world and apply a maximum $275 credit toward shipping costs.

From now until December 1, 2012, take advantage of this great savings opportunity!

For more information on the Halloween shipping promotion, contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net


Midwest Technical Seminar – What We Learned: Why NetEqualizer may be the killer application for those stubborn wireless dead spots

We had a great day meeting with customers at our latest Technical Seminar, held recently at the beautiful Washington University campus in St. Louis.

While the primary purpose of these meetings is to impart technical knowledge to customers, we love that we get to learn a lot too. Here are two major takeaways from this seminar:

1) NetEqualizer may be the killer application for those stubborn wireless dead spots: One of our major discussions during the meeting surrounded wireless access points and inevitable dead spots – despite spending countless hours adding and placing AP’s. This is a common problem for situations in which additional users are flooding the network. It turns out that NetEqualizer may be the best way to get rid of the issue. Check out our blog article on improving wireless network quality:

More Ideas on How to Improve Wireless Network Quality

2) Layer 7 shaping is dead: The effectiveness of Layer 7 shaping as a method to arbitrate bandwidth in the future was also discussed. As encrypted traffic over SSL becomes the norm, traditional Layer 7 approaches are becoming more and more useless. In order to remain a viable solution, Layer 7 shaping providers are having customers install decryption modules so that traffic can be analyzed. There are multiple issues with this approach, which we have detailed in this blog article:

Layer 7 Application Shaping Dying with Increased SSL

Thanks to everyone who came out for our seminar, and stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for details about our Technical Seminar!


Best Of The Blog

Wired Bandwidth Prices, and What to Expect in the Future

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Editor’s note: This article is an opinion piece. Do you have your own ideas about this topic? Email me, or comment on our blog!

Bandwidth prices traditionally have a very regional component, and your experience may vary, but in the US there is a really good chance you can get quite a bit more bandwidth for a much lower price than what it would have cost you a few years ago.

To site one example, we have a customer that contracts Internet services to supply several large residential housing units. Currently, commercial class business Internet service for 50 megabits runs $120 per month, which is the same price they were paying for 10 megabits 3 years ago…

Photo Of The Month

Colors of Fall

During the transition from fall to winter, the trees in Colorado undergo a beautiful transformation. Within a few weeks, they will have gone from summer green, to yellow, orange, and red, before eventually falling off until spring.

NetEqualizer News: October 2012


October 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we announce availability of our new NetEqualizer GUI, remind you about the upcoming Midwest Technical Seminar at Washington University – St. Louis, and offer a shipping credit to our international customers as part of a spooky NetEqualizer Halloween celebration. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

During October in the United States, all things become about Halloween. This is big business here, rivaling Christmas in sales, particularly of costumes, candy, and scary decorations. I must admit that I love Halloween and do go all out each year decorating my yard with spooky animatronic figures, a mini fake cemetery, and pumpkins from the garden!

As I have read that many countries love Halloween, we are offering our own “treat” this year to help our international customers celebrate! For a limited time, we will ship internationally at a scary good price ($275 max shipping credit). Read more about this promotion below. Happy Halloween!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

New NetEqualizer GUI Now Available

Over the last couple issues of NetEqualizer News, we’ve discussed our 6.0 Software Update, and in particular our new GUI, quite a bit. Well, our beta testing was a big success, and the GUI is now available to those who wish to have it. The actual GA release will be available in one to two weeks.

Here are some of the exciting new features you’ll see in the new GUI:

New Dashboard Feature

Menus Aligned by Key Functions

Consistent Look and Feel

Professional Quota API

Check out the previous issue of NetEqualizer News for details on each of the above features.

Our beta also resulted in great recommendations from our customers. Here are some additional features we’ve added based on feedback thus far:

Dashboard Auto Refresh on three different time intervals.

– A Bytes/Bits Conversion Calculator to help you set up your NetEqualizer.

– An Old GUI/New GUI Map that helps you see where interfaces in the old GUI now reside in order to make the transition to the new GUI easier.

Please email us if you would like to have the new NetEqualizer GUI! All new units will ship with the new GUI, and, as stated above, the GA release will be in one to two weeks.

To view a live demo NetEqualizer, with the new GUI installed, click here to register.

And, as always, the 6.0 Software Update will be available at no charge to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS).

For more information on the NetEqualizer or the upcoming release, visit our blog or contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103.


Midwest Technical Seminar Reminder

There is still time to register for the Midwest Technical Seminar on Monday, October 29th at Washington University – St. Louis!

The half-day seminar will include lunch after the event concludes. If you are in the area, we’d like to see you there!

Click here to register and learn more!


A Halloween Shipping Treat

As part of our Halloween celebration, we want to offer a shipping credit for all of our international customers! This means that we will ship anywhere in the world and apply a maximum $275 credit toward shipping costs.

From now until December 2012, take advantage of this great savings opportunity!

For more information on the Halloween shipping promotion, contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net


Best Of The Blog

Editor’s Choice: The Best of Speeding Up Your Internet

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Over the years we have written a variety of articles related to Internet Access Speed and all of the factors that can affect your service. Below, I have consolidated some of my favorites along with a quick convenient synopsis.

How to determine the true speed of video over your Internet connection:

If you have ever wondered why you can sometimes watch a full-length movie without an issue while at other times you can’t get the shortest of YouTube videos to play without interruption, this article will shed some light on what is going on behind the scenes.

FCC is the latest dupe when it comes to Internet speeds:

After the Wall Street Journal published an article on Internet provider speed claims, I decided to peel back the onion a bit. This article exposes anomalies between my speed tests and what I experienced when accessing real data.

Photo Of The Month

Autumn Walk in the Aspens

Winter is coming here in Colorado. We’ve already had a few very light snows in the area. Despite the onset of cold weather, it really is one of the most beautiful times here. The trees are at their most brilliant and the snow-capped mountains contrast scenically with the bare foothills. If you’ve never been up to the mountains to check out the changing aspen trees, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

NetEqualizer News: September 2012


September 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our new GUI for NetEqualizer, discuss a recent NetEqualizer case study we conducted with one of our customers, and announce our next technical seminar at Washington University – St. Louis. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Fall is officially in the air in Boulder, Colorado! Cool nights are now the norm and my backyard garden is full of ripe zucchinis and tomatoes. As promised in last month’s newsletter, our NEW NetEqualizer GUI is almost ready for harvest! We will be conducting our Beta Test in September with a limited number of participants. We expect our GA release to be available in October. If you are interested in being part of our Beta Test, please email me!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

New NetEqualizer GUI
The new, highly-anticipated NetEqualizer GUI is here, and we are ready for Beta testers!

The new GUI is part of the 6.0 Software Update, and includes the same functionality that you already know, with enhancements in the following areas:

New Dashboard Feature

Our new Dashboard provides an intuitive visual display of the status on critical data and settings within NetEqualizer. The Dashboard contains on/off statuses for Equalizing, ntop, Packet Capture, Quotas, and Caching, so that you can quickly tell if your key functions are running. It also contains statistics about traffic running through your NetEqualizer.

Menus Aligned by Key Functions

We have redesigned our menus to better support your workflow. For example, if you are setting up and configuring your unit, all key functions related to this are now in the “Setup and Configuration” Menu section. Other key menus are Management and Reporting, Troubleshooting and Support, and Maintenance and Reference.

Consistent Look and Feel

We’ve enhanced our look and feel by modernizing the interface and improving error messages, buttons, and colors.

Professional Quota API 

The Professional Quota API functionality introduced in 5.8 has been incorporated into our 6.0 GUI. The Professional Quota API helps you to quickly and easily utilize our NetEqualizer User-Quota API toolset commands via a GUI interface.

Please email us if you would like to be part of our Beta Test! Tests will run throughout September, with our GA release sometime in October.

To view a live demo NetEqualizer, with the new GUI installed, click here to register (because of security reasons, we can’t give the password to the live demo machine here).

As always, the 6.0 Software Update will be available at no charge to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS).

For more information on the NetEqualizer or the upcoming release, visit our blog or contact us at:

-or-
toll-free U.S.(888-287-2492),

Library Case Study
Washington County Corporate Library Services (WCCLS) recently agreed to participate in a NetEqualizer case study.

The case study expands on our already-existing Testimonials section of our website by discussing the challenge that was faced by the customer, what other solutions were considered, and what the benefits and results were with NetEqualizer.

Take a look at the WCCLS Case Study here!

If your organization would like to participate in a similar case study, we’d love to talk to you! Email sandy@apconnections.net if you are interested.


Midwest Technical Seminar at WUSTL
Our CTO, Art Reisman, is coming to Washington University – St. Louis (WUSTL) for a NetEqualizer Technical Seminar!

The half-day seminar will be hosted by WUSTL on Monday, October 29th and will include lunch after the event concludes. If you are in the area, we’d like to see you there!

To learn more, and to register, click here.


Best Of The Blog

Just How Fast Is Your 4G Network?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

The subject of Internet speed and how to make it go faster is always a hot topic. So that begs the question, if everybody wants their Internet to go faster, what are some of the limitations? I mean, why can’t we just achieve infinite speeds when we want them and where we want them?

Below, I’ll take on some of the fundamental gating factors of Internet speeds, primarily exploring the difference between wired and wireless connections. As we have “progressed” from a reliance on wired connections to a near-universal expectation of wireless Internet options, we’ve also put some limitations on what speeds can be reliably achieved. I’ll discuss why the wired Internet to your home will likely always be faster than the latest fourth generation (4G) wireless being touted today…

Photo Of The Month

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock, located in Cannon Beach, Oregon, is a 72 meter-high sea stack. A stack is a geologic landform consisting of steep rock along the coast that has been isolated by erosion. There are lots of accessible and interesting tide pools surrounding this rock that are constantly being studied by a full-time team of biologists.

NetEqualizer News: August 2012


August 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our new NetEqualizer GUI, introduce P2P Blocking on the NetGladiator, and ask for your help compiling NetEqualizer user experiences. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

With August comes the beginning of the fall harvest. Farmer’s markets are just beginning to fill up with summer squash, corn, and tomatoes in our area! Seeing nature’s bounty gets me thinking about how to enrich our products and offer our own bountiful harvest.

After nine years, we felt it was time to refresh the NetEqualizer GUI. I’m excited to announce that we are redesigning our interface to improve look & feel and make it easier to use! On the NetGladiator side, we are leveraging our DPI technology to add P2P Blocking to our security capabilities. Both projects will be ready for the fall harvest! Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for updates on availability and release details.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

Coming this Fall: New NetEqualizer GUI
After 9 years we are finally revamping the GUI for the NetEqualizer!

The new GUI will provide the same functionality that the current GUI has, but it will be presented in a much more organized, intuitive, and modern way.

We will also be developing additional functionality that allows users to more easily and effectively administer their NetEqualizers.

One of the most exciting improvements is a new dashboard feature. The dashboard will be the default home page and will provide a heads up display of the most critical data and settings within NetEqualizer.

Beta testing for the new NetEqualizer GUI will begin sometime in September with a full release coming this fall. And, as always, the new GUI will be available at no charge to customers with valid NSS. Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News or our blog for announcements regarding the new GUI!


Share Your NetEqualizer Experiences!
We love it when we hear from our customers – especially messages of appreciation for the products we work so hard on.

As part of our Library Survey a few months ago, we received a message from Sara Holloway, of Handley Regional Library, asking if she could write an article about NetEqualizer for our blog. We thought this was a great idea, so Sara wrote this post. Thanks Sara!

Starting this fall, we want to open up our blog to our customers more often. Writing a post on our blog is beneficial to us, our readership, and you!

It is a great way to gain exposure for your business and to contribute to a widely-read blog.

If you are interested in being a guest contributor, email our Director of Marketing, Sandy McGregor, at sandy@apconnections.net!


Block P2P with NetGladiator
NetGladiator is already proving to be an effective hacking and botnet deterrent, but the usefulness of NetGladiator does not stop with web application security. Because of the customizable nature of the configuration, and the fact that NetGladiator is built on powerful DPI technology, the sky is the limit in what you can do with NetGladiator.

We wrote about some of the potential uses last month, and we are excited to announce an implementation of one of those ideas – P2P Blocking – available as an additional module to existing NetGladiators.

This implementation differs from our P2P feature on NetEqualizer. NetEqualizer focuses on managing the effects of P2P on a network through equalizing. With NetGladiator, we serve a security-driven need. P2P is one of the most common ways that malware gets through firewalls and enters internal machines. Thus, with NetGladiator, we actually block the protocols completely – greatly improving security.

We’ve already implemented the top 10 P2P protocols, but if your organization is facing a particular protocol outside of the top 10, NetGladiator can be configured to block it.

Take a look at this report from a NetGladiator equipped with P2P Blocking (click here for accompanying blog post). You’ll notice that NetGladiator can effectively determine traffic P2P signatures and display which protocol has been discovered, all without hampering other traffic or user experience.

For more information on this new feature or NetGladiator in general, visit our website or check out our blog. You can also send questions to ips@apconnections.net!


Best Of The Blog

How to Build Your Own Linux-Based Access Point in 5 Minutes

By Steve Wagor – COO – APconnections

A popular post from the archives!
The motivations to build your own access point using Linux are many, and I have listed a few compelling reasons below:

1) You can use the Linux-rich set of firewall rules to customize access to any segment of your wireless network.
2) You can use SNMP utilities to report on traffic going through your AP.
3) You can configure your AP to send e-mail alerts if there are problems with your AP.
4) You can custom coordinate communications with other access points – for example, build your own Mesh network…

Photo Of The Month

Bulls in a Kansas Farm Field

These bulls may be angry, but at APconnections we are happy and excited for the near future – you could even say we are “bullish.” Our exciting new NetEqualizer GUI and NetGladiator feature enhancements are all great reasons to celebrate the upcoming fall season, and we are very optimistic in the value these improvements will provide to our customers!

NetEqualizer News: July 2012


July 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview a feature that allows for smarter P2P blocking, announce the winners of two contests, and discuss how the DPI engine in NetGladiator can be creatively utilized. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Zack…
Zack Sanders, Director of Security

We’ve reached the midpoint of the year, and that is always a time I think about preventative maintenance for systems I manage. Take this time to update software versions and patch your operating systems. For an attacker, these are some of the easiest security holes to spot, but they are also some of the easiest to fix! Take a few minutes and think about which systems could use some love in July.

And, if you have any questions about securing your environment, contact me directly at zack@apconnections.net!

Smarter P2P Blocking with NetEqualizer
We’ve recently been working on and testing a new feature that improves P2P blocking by allowing for dynamic, smart connection limits in the NetEqualizer. This feature allows for more efficient networks and better user experiences for subscribers.

Here is what one of our customers who is using the feature said about the enhancement:

Overall, this is working very well for us and has saved us 10Mb per link. The overall experience for the non-abuser is significantly improved, as there is 2.5% more bandwidth for him to burst into. Also, the fact that I can remove the connection limit is extremely useful. The amount of support calls we were taking when someone who was torrenting would have his browser crash were in the hundreds per month – now that user just gets tar-pitted.

To read more about smart connection limits, check out this article on our blog: A Smarter Way to Limit P2P Traffic

This feature will be available soon for all customers with valid NSS. Keep an eye out for further details on our website, our blog, or right here in NetEqualizer News!


Contest Winners!
Every few months, we have a drawing to givefrontier away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo. And the winner is…

Carol Avent of Mountain Zone TV Systems!

$100 Amazon Gift Card!

In the June 2012 issue of NetEqualizer News, we asked for your feedback in a survey. An entry was randomly drawn, and the winner is…

Ben Whitaker of Jetset Networks!

Congratulations Carol and Ben!

Both winners, please contact us within 30 days (by August 10, 2012) at:

admin@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


NetGladiator and DPI Engine Utilization
NetGladiator was built as a capable, customizable intrusion prevention system, but because of the level of control and access we provide to our customers, NetGladiator can be much more!

NetGladiator is built on the same technology that makes NetEqualizer fast and efficient. The only major difference is the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine that is installed to monitor traffic. The DPI engine has been outfitted to pass and analyze data packets separately, which results in no increased latency. Most DPI engines slow traffic down, but no speed or throughput is lost in this implementation.

By default, the configuration for NetGladiator is meant to handle web application attacks, but because this configuration is fully adjustable and looks at all incoming data, it really can detect any pattern you want!

Possible uses include:

– Spam filtering
– Unwanted protocols in your business
– Content blocking
– Keyword spotting

To read more about different ways to utilize NetGladiator, check out this article on our blog: NetGladiator: A Layer 7 Shaper in Sheep’s Clothing

You can also contact us at ips@apconnections.net for more information!


Best Of The Blog

Wired Bandwidth Prices, and What to Expect in the Future

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Bandwidth prices traditionally have a very regional component, and your experience may vary, but in the US there is a really good chance you can get quite a bit more bandwidth for a much lower price than what it would have cost you a few years ago. To site one example, we have a customer that contracts Internet services to supply several large residential housing units. Currently, commercial class business Internet service for 50 megabits runs $120 per month, which is the same price they were paying for 10 megabits 3 years ago. Essentially, they are getting five times as much bandwidth for the same price they signed up for 3 years ago. And they are not an anomaly. I am hearing the same story in almost every market in the US. We can conclude from our empirical data that bandwidth prices have dropped 500 percent in 3 years!

To answer the question on the future of bandwidth prices, we need to get a handle on what is driving them lower today…

Photo Of The Month

Saddle Mountain

The Oregon coastline is a beautiful part of the country, as is evident in this view from Saddle Mountain. The climb to the summit provides access to mature forests as well as gorgeous wildflower landscapes – definitely something to check out if you ever have the opportunity.

NetEqualizer News: June 2012


June 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we announce the release of our NetGladiator Demo Video, highlight our NetEqualizer YouTube Channel, and discuss our new NetEqualizer Lite product. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Sandy…
Sandy McGregor, Director of Marketing

Just attended a June wedding! There is nothing like June (warm weather, beautiful flowers, sunshine) to celebrate a marriage! It is lovely to witness two people starting their lives together. This made me think about how we are starting to “marry” our different product lines. You will see more of NetGladiator tied into our NetEqualizer website, our blog, etc. Although the products serve very different purposes, both are capable of providing immense value to your organization.

We will continue to look for opportunities to leverage our technology to create products that help our customers run efficient, secure networks.

We want to know what challenges you face on a recurring basis! If you have a moment, please fill out our short, four-question survey. Submissions will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

NetGladiator Demo Video
Throughout 2012, we’ve been discussing best-practice security quite a bit. Our new intrusion prevention system, NetGladiator, is the result of expert security research, rock-solid pattern inspection, and common sense.

NetGladiator cuts through the hype that other products rely on, and provides a real, effective security solution that will fit naturally into your existing security layers to protect your web applications.

We recently released a demonstration video that showcases the NetGladiator interface,  demonstrates its configuration, and discusses its attack blocking abilities.

Take a look at the video here via our YouTube channel!

 

If you have additional questions about NetGladiator, visit our website or contact us at:

ips@apconnections.net


NetEqualizer on YouTube
If you haven’t already, take a look at our NetEqualizer YouTube Channel!

Here you can find all of our Tech Seminars, demonstrations, and other videos. Start by watching our featured video, Equalizing Explained.


NetEqualizer Lite

Do you need bandwidth control without the price or large throughput? Our new NetEqualizer Lite product is just for you.

Starting at just $999, the new NetEqualizer Lite offers compelling value at a low price. We have upgraded our base technology for the NetEqualizer Lite, our entry-level bandwidth-shaping appliance.

Our new Lite still retains a small form-factor, which sets it apart, and makes it ideal for implementation in the field, but now has enhanced CPU and memory. This enables us to include robust graphical reporting like in our other product lines, and also to support additional bandwidth license levels.

NetEqualizer Lite is perfect for small SSIPs, hotels, offices, libraries, coffee shops, and more!

For more information on NetEqualizer Lite, visit our website, check out our blog, or contact us at:

-or-
toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

Best Of The Blog

Case Study: A Simple Solution to Relieve Congestion on Your MPLS Network

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Summary: In the last few months, we have set up several NetEqualizer systems on spoke and hub MPLS networks. Our solution is very cost effective because it differs from many TOS/Compression-based WAN optimization products that require multiple pieces of hardware. Normally, for WAN optimization, a device is placed at the HUB and a partner device is placed at each remote location. With the NetEqualizer technology, we have been able to simply and elegantly solve contention issues with a single device at the central hub.

The problem:

A customer has a spoke and hub MPLS network where remote sites get their public Internet and corporate data by coming in on a spoke to a central site. Although the network at the host site has plenty of bandwidth, the spokes have a fixed allocation over the MPLS and are experiencing contention issues (e.g. slow response times to corporate sales data, etc.)…

Photo Of The Month

Photo by James Dougherty

Colorado Summer Storms

Every local knows the adage, “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes.” Each season brings its own meteorological challenges to the region, and in summer, those are tornadoes and hail. Recently, a portent storm hit the Denver Metro area, causing funneled clouds and abrupt hailstones. After the chaos subsided, however, the sky was painted with gorgeous colors and textures.

NetEqualizer News: May 2012


May 2012

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we invite you to take our NetGladiator Hacking Challenge, preview features in our now live 5.8 Software Update for NetEqualizer, announce the FlyAway Contest winner, and ask our Library customers to take a short survey. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…


In Colorado, where we are located, May is the start of graduation season. Graduation always makes me think of new beginnings and future plans, which leads me to ask, how do you know when you are ready for a new beginning with NetEqualizer? If you wonder if it is time for you to upgrade your hardware, email your serial # with the subject “Please check my hardware” to admin@apconnections.net and we will determine if it is time for you to consider a new NetEqualizer.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly here. I would love to hear from you!

Case Study: A Successful BotNet-Based Attack
Because we recently released our NetGladiator Intrusion Prevention System earlier this year, we’ve been blogging a lot about security-related topics lately, and the most recent post is one of the most interesting. Go behind the scenes of a real attack to see how a botnet-based hack occurs and how the effects are mitigated. Read this post, then think about how your web infrastructure stacks up.

Not sure where you stand? Think your sites are good to go? Either way, take our NetGladiator Hacking Challenge below!

—-

NetGladiator Hacking Challenge
We bet that we can find significant vulnerabilities in your website(s) that could lead to large-scale exploitation of data.

Give us $1,000 to try and ethically hack your website(s). If we find something, we’ll give you a detailed report of what we found and how to fix it. We can then discuss security controls and appliances that will help you immensely going forward. If we don’t find anything, we’ll credit the $1,000 back to your account.

It’s that simple.

Contact us today to schedule an assessment:

ips@apconnections.net
-or-
(303) 997-1300 x. 123.

—-

NetGladiator is currently looking for value-added resellers. If you are interested in becoming a reseller of our security appliance, contact us at:

ips@apconnections.net
-or-
(303) 997-1300 x. 123.


And the FlyAway Contest Winner Is…
Every few months, we have a drawing to give away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo.

The time has come to announce this round’s winner.

And the winner is… Bill Vader of Fairmont Area Schools. Congratulations, Bill!

Please contact us within 30 days (by June 7, 2012) at:

admin@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


Library Customer Survey
Are you a Library customer or a consultant that supports Libraries? If so, we want to hear from you!

In 2012, we are targeting Libraries as part of our NetEqualizer Marketing programs, and we need your help to figure out where to best spend our time and money. We are asking for your feedback on the NetEqualizer, as well as your input on proposed marketing ideas, as we believe that this will help us to develop effective marketing programs to reach your Library peers.

If you have not already responded, please take 5-10 minutes to fill out our brief survey (we appreciate your response by Friday, May 18th, please). The questions are easy – you cannot get them wrong!

Take our NetEqualizer Library Survey

We really appreciate your time and feedback!


5.8 Software Update Now Available
Our 5.8 Software Update for the NetEqualizer has completed beta testing, and is now available for all customers. New features include:

Expanded Prioritization

Now you can dynamically allocate bandwidth, by giving priority or taking away bandwidth on the fly for domains like NetFlix, YouTube, or Hulu. This is done by entering in the name servers that you want prioritized or restricted.

This is a clean solution, as we are able to do this without violating Net Neutrality because we don’t use deep packet inspection (DPI).

We also have added in the ability to add priority hosts by entire subnet instead of just IP address. This feature is useful if you need to prioritize a section of your network, for example, a subnet where your video streaming servers are hosted.

VLAN Masking

VLAN Masking is an extension of our masking feature. Masks enable you to mark traffic to be ignored by the NetEqualizer, and are used primarily to exclude local traffic that you do not want equalized.

Advanced Quota API

The 5.8 Software Update is Quota API ready. The new Quota API tool allows you to more easily manage bandwidth caps for users by providing a much cleaner and efficient interface.

Better Caching

We are now shipping with 750 gigabyte SSD drives to enhance our caching in the NetEqualizer. This means we have the capability to hold more content and store larger videos. We also cache some smaller, more popular web pages to allow those sites to be loaded very quickly.

—-

As always, the 5.8 Software Update will be available at no charge to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS).

For more information on the NetEqualizer or the upcoming release, visit our blog or contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
toll-free U.S.(888-287-2492),
worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103.


Best Of The Blog

Do We Really Need SSL?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

I know that perception is reality, and sometimes it is best to accept it, but when it comes to security, FUD, I get riled up.

For example, last year I wrote about the un-needed investment surrounding the IPV4 demise, and, as predicted, the IPv6 push turned out to be mostly vendor hype motivated by a desire to increase equipment sales. Today, I am here to dispel the misplaced fear around the concept of having your data stolen in transit over the Internet. I am referring to the wire between your residence and the merchant site at the other end. This does not encompass the security of data once it is stored on disk drive at its final location, just the transit portion.

To get warmed up, let me throw out some analogies.

Do you fear getting carjacked going 75 mph on the interstate?

Most likely not, but I bet you do lock your doors when stopped.

Do you worry about encrypting your cell phone conversations?

Not unless you are on security detail in the military.

As with my examples, somebody stealing your credit card while it is in transit, although possible, is highly impractical; there are just better ways to steal your data

Photo Of The Month

Hiking, Biking and Spiritual Vortexes

Immediately upon arrival, it’s not difficult to see why Sedona, AZ is such an enchanting place. Even though we are spoiled by the natural beauty of Colorado, the backdrop that Northern Arizona provides is a close rival. While Boulder, CO and the surrounding mountains boast some of the best road biking in the world, the trail system in this unique area is king when it comes to mountain biking. The picture above was taken by one of our staff members on a recent trek.

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