What NetEqualizer Users Are Saying (Updated September 2010


Editor’s Note: As NetEqualizer’s popularity has grown, more and more users have been sharing their experiences on message boards and listservs across the Internet. Just to give you an idea of what they’re saying, here a few of the reviews and discussion excerpts that have been posted online over the past several months…

Tom Phelan, Peddie School
From 2nd week in Feb, 2010 ISED-L listserv archive

For QoS we used several different traditional QoS solutions over the years. We have Websense, but we don’t use it to manage QoS issues, just access to certain sites. After years of constantly tweaking QoS rules and never being completely satisfied with the results we decided to go a completely different direction and bought NetEqualizer (http://www.netequalizer.com/) in Sept 2008 I think. Once we set it up we haven’t touched it and we’ll never go back. We haven’t tweaked a rule in well over a year. You can read about how it works on their website, but in a nutshell it takes a completely different approach to QoS. Rather than using a complex set of rules, it takes a protocol and URL agnostic approach to QoS and focuses exclusively on bandwidth usage.

Basically, it works by slowing down only the top bandwidth users once usage hits a defined percentage of overall bandwidth. For example, when our bandwidth usage is less than 85% the NetEqualizer does nothing. When it goes over 85% the NE puts a slight delay on packets from top users and progressively adds a delay to their packets to ensure bandwidth stays below the defined connection max. The effect is that the vast majority of users see no degradation of service and bandwidth hogs have their connections slowed. It takes into account bursty traffic like HTTP by calculating bandwidth based on several seconds of traffic so web browsing is rarely affected. There are some rules to allow exceptions for servers or special devices, facilitate low bandwidth streaming, put caps on certain IP addresses, etc., but we have found that a minimalist approach to configuration works best.

In addition to providing a better experience for our users, we’ve also seen our average bandwidth usage go way up because during off peak times nobody is getting slowed. We pay for the bandwidth, why not use it? I highly recommend it and its simplicity makes it relatively cheap. It is a fraction of the cost of many other QoS solutions.

I recommend using the NetEqualizer for QoS and let ISA stick to what it does best which is to control access not manage QoS.

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Dave Barker, Broadlinc Communications

I just wanted to let you guys at Netequalizer know how much I depend on my NE2000. I am a small ISP with about 360 customers and I would be lost without the Netequalizer. The people there are always very friendly and quick to respond. Keep up the great work.

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Kevin Kershner, CS&T Inc.

I admin several NetEqualizers in hospital and county couthouse networks and the clients love them.  They let employees have freedom from whitelists and yet keep data lines open for legit traffic, makes for happier employees.

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Damien McNabb, Ronaldcom.ca

We provide IT support and services for a large hotel and conference center here in Russell Manitoba. Since installing the NetEqualizer our Internet Congestion  during peak usage has disappeared. I was so impressed with the NetEqualizer that we are now  installing two more NetEqualizer units at  other  smaller resort properties here in town.

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Craig Mackay, Director, Mascon Cable Systems, AirSpeed Wireless Inc

We just returned from the cable operators convention here in Canada. We were surprised to learn that similar operators without the benefit on a NetEqualizer often needed as much as 250 megabits sustained bandwidth to keep 650 users running. We on the other hand run about 4000 on 60 megabits made possible by the unique abilities of our NetEqualizer to distribute out the load over time more efficiently. That translates to the NetEqualizer investment paying for itself many times over…

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Mike Ferguson, Chapman University

I’d also recommend you look at the NetEqualizer. We evaluated it this summer along with several other packet-shaping solutions. We also needed to upgrade our NetEnforcer to handle more than 100M for our ResHalls, but we weren’t impressed with its P2P classification. As a matter of fact, we haven’t had much success using L7 packet inspection of P2P traffic with other solutions: either using our Fortigate firewalls, the Packeteer box we used before, or the NetEnforcer we just retired. We don’t block P2P, but we do want to throttle it. You can be diligent about updating your policies from the manufacturer as soon as they’re released; however, we found a significant amout of P2P traffic still bypassed the filters right after an update because it wasn’t identified properly.

Our work-around with the NetEnforcer was to throttle the number of connections per second and limit the total amount of bandwidth per IP. But we always felt we were constraining our available resources, particularly by reducing bandwidth per IP, as we were limiting a person’s bandwidth to DSL/Cable-like levels just because of lack of L7 capabilities.

With the NetEqualizer, we’re still limiting the number of connections per second, but we’re using the “behavior” algorithms to dynamically adjust bandwidth per IP so all users are given a fair amount of bandwidth. But at the same time, we’re still able to throttle P2P traffic just as effectively without it affecting quality video streaming or anything else non-P2P related.

Last, the cost is 1/4th to 1/7th less than a comparable L7 solution. We were able to buy 2 NetEqualizer units and hook them to both our public core boxes for redundancy. The total price was astoundling less than any other solution we looked at, except one which didn’t meet our requirements. For the other solutions, the price you’re paying is to invest in their R&D efforts to classify L7 traffic accurately and manage it effectively. But our experience using the NetEqualizer for the last 2 months has been that it manages bandwidth just as well, if not better.

In our case, we have just less than 2000 residents, but we also have wireless clients on the Academic side that go through the same NetEqualizer (NE3000). Our second unit is strictly for failover. I’ve seen up to 4500 active users, which at night we give 150M of bandwidth. Even at peak (100%) utilization of the allotted bandwidth, the NetEqualizer gives great results.

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Daniel. K. Biodun
VPN / Support
Network Operation Center Dept (NOC)
Coollink Nigeria’s ICT powerhouse.

We use NetEqualizer to manage our growing broadband network across Nigeria. It definitely gave us a return on investment right away.

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To see what more customers are saying, click here.

APconnections’ NetEqualizer Reaches Three Million Users and Growing


LAFAYETTE, Colo., November 16, 2009 — APconnections, a leading supplier of plug-and-play bandwidth shaping products, today announced that over three million Internet users have been served by companies implementing its NetEqualizer technology.

The NetEqualizer is a plug-and-play bandwidth control and WAN/Internet optimization appliance that is flexible and scalable. When the network is congested, NetEqualizer’s unique “behavior shaping” technology gives priority to latency sensitive applications, such as VoIP and email. It does it all dynamically and automatically, improving on other bandwidth shaping technology out there. It controls network flow for the best WAN optimization.

Since being introduced in 2003, the NetEqualizer has been successfully installed in businesses, libraries, universities, ISPs, and office parks around the world. Administrators have found the technology to be extremely effective in networks both large and small.

“We switched to a NetEqualizer in 2006 after previously using a high-end solution and have been very pleased with the results ever since. It’s been exactly what we were looking for and has worked just as advertised,” said Derrick D’Gama, director of Information Services at Lewis University. “We provide Internet service to over 5,000 students and have now effectively minimized any bandwidth issues. To have such a low-maintenance product work so well has made my job that much easier.”

In order to match its proven track record, the NetEqualizer is constantly evolving to meet the developing demands of the technology industry. Over the past two months, NetEqualizer has released software capable of name-based shaping and shaping over VLAN. The NetEqualizer is also now able to serve as a CALEA probe, offering ISPs an affordable, yet effective, answer to recently introduced law enforcement regulations.

To better demonstrate the NetEqualizer’s capabilities, APconnecitons is now offering a free online live demo of the technology at its Web site, http://www.netequalizer.com.

APconnections is a privately held company founded in 2003 and is based in Lafayette, Colorado.

How much money does a NetEqualizer Save an ISP or cable internet operator?


Just got this e-mail in unsolicited from a customer. We hear this all the time.

The context of the thread was that our customer had just gotten back from a convention and had told a couple of their peer companies (Canadian Cable Operators) about the NetEq and his improved margins.

Ya I’m sure they have to go home and pitch the deal to the management but
they are soooo wasting bandwidth.

6500 customers using 250M sustained

We on the other hand have 4000 using 60M sustained

Crazy!

What NetEqualizer Users Are Saying (Updated June 2009)


Editor’s Note: As NetEqualizer’s popularity has grown, more and more users have been sharing their experiences on message boards and listservs across the Internet. Just to give you an idea of what they’re saying, here a few of the reviews and discussion excerpts that have been posted online over the past several months…

Wade LeBeau — The Daily Journal Network Operations Manager

NetEqualizer is one of the most cost-effective management units on the market, and we found the unit easy to install—right out of the box. We made three setting changes to match our network using the web (browser) interface, connected the unit, and right away traffic shaping started, about 10minutes total setup time. The unit has two Ethernet ports…one port toward your user network, the other ports toward your broadband connection/server if applicable. A couple of simple clicks and you can see reporting live as it happens. In testing, we ran our unit for 30-days and saw our broadband reports stabilize and our users receiving the same slices of broadband access. With the NetEqualizer, there is no burden of extensive policies to manage….The NetEqualizer is a nice tool to add to any network of any size. Businesses can see how important the Internet is and how hungry users can be for information.

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DSL Reports, April 2009

The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers. Most of the time, our customers are seeing their full bandwidth. The only time they don’t see it now is when they’re downloading big files. And, when they don’t see full performance, its only for the brief period that the AP is approaching saturation. The available bandwidth is re-evaluated every 2 seconds, so the throttling periods are often brief.

Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance (although that wasn’t one of my priorities).

Click here to read more.

NetEqualizer-Lite Revolutionizing WISP Performance


After just over a month in the field, NetEqualizer-Lite users are reporting they can now easily increase Internet subscribers by 30 to 50 percent at once congested towers and access point (AP) sites. For example, a customer with an 802.11 B radio now has 100 subscribers on his network and is still running smoothly. In the past, this customer’s norm for saturation stood at roughly 20 users, but he is now enjoying a 500-percent increase after installing the NetEqualizer-Lite. This is translating into both higher revenues and a more satisfied customer base.

Although the core technology behind the NetEqualizer has not changed, with the latest release price point, many users are deploying the NetEqualizer-Lite closer to customers or just behind their congested wireless access points. Customer satisfaction with the new release has been consistent across the board, with users voicing their reviews to us directly as well as online. One user on DSLReports.com commented:

“The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers….Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance” (dslreports.com).

In addition to offering users the same services available through previously released NetEqualizer models, the NetEqualizer-Lite is Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), handling up to 10 megabits of traffic and 200 users. Furthermore, the NetEqualizer-Lite also serves to solve hidden node issues without customers having to change their existing APs.*

The NetEqualizer-Lite lists at $1499, but we are currently offering volume discounts. Please contact us for more information at 1-800-918-2763 or admin@apconnections.net.

*Hidden nodes are a problem frequently encountered by commercial wireless operators that has previously been solved using APconnections’ AirEqualizer technology. The NetEqualizer-Lite’s capability to offer similar solutions is simply one of the multiple benefits of the technology for administrators of networks of many different types and sizes.

What NetEqualizer Users Are Saying (updated June 2009)


Editor’s Note: As NetEqualizer’s popularity has grown, more and more users have been sharing their experiences on message boards and listservs across the Internet. Just to give you an idea of what they’re saying, here a few of the reviews and discussion excerpts that have been posted online over the past several months…

Wade LeBeau — The Daily Journal Network Operations Manager

NetEqualizer is one of the most cost-effective management units on the market, and we found the unit easy to install—right out of the box. We made three setting changes to match our network using the web (browser) interface, connected the unit, and right away traffic shaping started, about 10minutes total setup time. The unit has two Ethernet ports…one port toward your user network, the other ports toward your broadband connection/server if applicable. A couple of simple clicks and you can see reporting live as it happens. In testing, we ran our unit for 30-days and saw our broadband reports stabilize and our users receiving the same slices of broadband access. With the NetEqualizer, there is no burden of extensive policies to manage….The NetEqualizer is a nice tool to add to any network of any size. Businesses can see how important the Internet is and how hungry users can be for information.

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DSL Reports, April 2009

The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers. Most of the time, our customers are seeing their full bandwidth. The only time they don’t see it now is when they’re downloading big files. And, when they don’t see full performance, its only for the brief period that the AP is approaching saturation. The available bandwidth is re-evaluated every 2 seconds, so the throttling periods are often brief.

Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance (although that wasn’t one of my priorities).

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Loyola University — Chicago

At Loyola University Chicago, we are on our 2nd iteration of the NetEqualizer. We used the product happily for a number of years when we had a T3. We upgraded our internet pipe to 100MB and after about 6 months we noticed 100% saturation and students complaining of slow internet for various applications. We knew then that we needed another NetEqualizer. Once we plugged the box in it started managing the bandwidth, our pipe has not been saturated since, and more importantly the complaints have ceased.

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Alan Leech, Orlean Invest West Africa Limited, January 24, 2009

Gentlemen

We purchased 3 of your devices last year and I have to say we are very impressed by them.

They have matched our requirement perfectly and allow us to provide fair usage to our clients whilst reducing our overall OPEX.

You can be sure we will be purchasing in the future.

Alan Leech

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Illinois Wesleyan Replaces Packeteer with NetEqualizer as Part of Bandwidth Upgrade, January 19, 2009

By tshort

Network Services has completed the Network Upgrade Project.  The Internet bandwidth available to the Campus was doubled from 45MBs (DS3) to 90MBs in December.  Along with the additional bandwidth, a new bandwidth sharing device call a NetEqualizer replaced the existing Packeteer.  The NetEqualizer uses bandwidth sharing fairness rules based on network usage to share bandwidth and balance the available bandwidth between all users.  The project made a dramatic improvement to Internet access for the campus community.

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Chris Chamberlain, Oakland University in Detroit

Doug,

Because Netequalizer simply makes things fair, i.e. gives everyone on the link the same percentage of the bandwidth “pie” the netequalizer can handle any type of traffic, because it isn’t classifying anything.

Chris Chamberlain

Oakland University

>On Apr 30, 2008, at 4:42 PM, Green, Doug wrote:

>We are considering Netequalizer. They are claiming to be able to manage  encrypted BitTorrent. Can anyone verify this?

>Thank you,

>Doug Green

>Manager, Network Services & Security

>University of New Hampshire

>50 College Rd

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Charlie Prothero, CIO, Keystone College

I have written on a couple of Educause lists about our experience with the Netequalizer, which has been invariably positive.  It’s a snap to set up and doesn’t require anywhere near the tuning effort that a Packeteer does.  For general Internet circuit coverage, I’m very pleased with it.

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Ben Schworm, The Independent School Educators’ List, ISED-L

We just re-evaluated our systems after realizing that even with the Packetshaper in place, we’d need to increase the amount of bandwidth that we offer the community. First of all, the new Packetshaper hardware we’d need was going to cost $18,000. Second, over the 5 years that we’ve had the Packetshaper, we’ve seen its effectiveness decrease with the increased availability and academic usage of real-time streaming apps and the increasing amount of traffic that is classified as either pure web browsing traffic (whether it is or not) or “default”, the traffic class that catches all the other traffic that the Packetshaper can’t specifically identify. Furthermore, the Packetshaper can tend to be a pretty admin-intensive system to keep working effectively.

The NetEqualizer really only deals with end-user behavior in that it looks at the bandwidth that a given user is trying to utilize relative to what’s available and throttles “bad” users in order to try to maintain fair access to the bandwidth. It also throttles “bad” applications like P2P that open many connections to and from a given user. The box is nearly configuration and maintenance-free and costs a fraction of what the Packetshaper does.

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Ed Loebach, UVMRESNET

I was asked to tell our experience with NetEqualizer. We purchased the box about 3 weeks into first semester when our old bandwidth control server died and support was not forthcoming from the company.

We put NetEqualizer in place and fired it up with little to no problem. For the first 5-6 hours it worked as we were told it would with NO configuration. After the first day we noticed problems with students exceeding the connection limits we set. We called the company and within 24 hours we had the configuration modified to the specific needs of our network and our bandwidth was under our control again.

In the last 4 months I have not had to make any additional changes to the configuration. In fact we have not even had the need to restart the box. The NetEqualizer box has some very good algorithms to have controlled our heavy bandwidth users with not adding significant network overhead to the rest of our low bandwidth users. Our students have seen an increase in bandwidth when they need it. The gamers are happy because the latency we used to have under our old bandwidth system has disappeared.

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Douglas Hedges, EDUCAUSE Small College Constituent Group Listserv

We’ve dumped our Packeteer device about 18 mos. ago for a NetEqualizer. It has worked as advertised and has required virtually no maintenance after initial setup (which took just a few minutes as well). There are some good technical papers on their site (http://www.netequalizer.com) describing its operation and comparing it to other products. I believe they’re worth a read if you want to see if it’s a good fit for your campus. It sure was for ours.

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Russ Leathe, EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv

Gordon College switched from Packeteer to netEQ a while ago. It works flawlessly and our daily management of bandwidth decreased significantly.

They also have a CALEA probe.

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Superdog, DSLReports.com

When you plug in the Neteq box, it doesn’t care about IP’s or what range it is on. You set the bandwidth maximum limit for whatever your pipe size is and then plug it inline between your core router and your first main switch and you are done…

…I love this unit and I can not say enough about it. With M0n0wall and Packetteer, you have to manually setup all of the rules in order for the units to be effective. After you spend a few hours getting them setup, it only takes the user/program 10 seconds to switch ports on you and that rule is then invalid and you need to go back and redo it.

This type of setup requires you to monitor your box constantly, creating even more work. The Neteq unit doesn’t need to know all of this. It just counts connections per user (A limit you set) and the amount of bandwidth each user consumes. If the bandwidth is there and no one else is using it, that person gets it. If they are running Limewire at full throttle and another user logs in and starts to surf the net?, that user gets full priority and their pages will load quickly while the Limewire download has delay added to their packets.

IMHO, using this unit is a no-brainer for any ISP. It is a hands off setup that really works.

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Josh Heller, Sr. Network Analyst — Information Technology, Kutztown University

Our University started with PacketShapers, but also made an investment in NetEqualizer when we found the PacketShaper wasn’t completely doing the job. Today we use both products.

We have been pleased with NetEqualizer  as it does what it advertises – it makes a noticeable difference in congested network.

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Nathan P. Hay, Network Engineer — Computer Services, Cedarville University

We switched from PacketShaper to NetEqualizer this summer.  NetEq is much simpler to manage and much cheaper.

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George Flowers, Flint River Tech

We currently have the NE2000, and it works great!  No other product can do what the NetEqualizer does at a great price!

NetEqualizer Bandwidth Controller POE unit a hit with customers


Editors Note:  Just pulled this post off of DSL reports.

NetEqualizer POE units list at $1499 and serve as a great QOS devise for the SOHO small business user.

We’ve ordered 4 of these and deployed 2 so far. They work exactly like the 1U rackmount NE2000 that we have in our NOC, only the form factor is much smaller (about 6x6x1) and they use POE or a DC power supply. I amp clamped one of the units, and it draws about 7 watts.

We have a number of remote APs where we don’t have the physical space and/or power sources (i.e., solar powered) to accommodate the full size Netequalizer. Also, because of our network topology, it makes sense to have these units close to the AP and not at our border. These units are the perfect solution for these locations.

Our service area is mostly in a forest, so have a number of Trango 900 Mhz APs. These units can cut through the trees well, but they only have about 2.5 Mbps available on them (they’re rated at 3 Mbps, but we’ve tested their actual throughput at 2.5 Mbps). We have our customers set for 768k, so it doesn’t take too many Youtube and Netflix streams to kill the performance on these APs. We were using Mikrotiks to throttle the customers (using bursting to give them about 10 minutes @768k, then throttling them to around 300k). While this helped to keep the bandwidth hogs from individually killing the performance, it sometimes made matters worse.

For example, if a customer started downloading some 2 GB file at 10:00pm, it would take them until 1:00pm the next day to finish. As such, they would have disrupted services in the morning and early afternoon. If we had given this customer their full 768k, they would have finished this download before 4:00am and would never have been a disruption.

With the Mikrotik solution, we also had too many times that there was less than 768k available for the next customer, because there were a number of customers locked at 300k tying up much of the bandwidth. So, the customer that was hitting the casual web page was seeing poor performance (as were the hogs). In general, I wasn’t happy with the service we were delivering.

The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers. Most of the time, our customers are seeing their full bandwidth. The only time they don’t see it now is when they’re downloading big files. And, when they don’t see full performance, its only for the brief period that the AP is approaching saturation. The available bandwidth is re-evaulated every 2 seconds, so the throttling periods are often brief.

Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance (although that wasn’t one of my priorities).

I didn’t tell any customers that I was deploying the Netequalizers. Without solicitation, I’ve had a number of them comment that the service seems faster lately. It sure is fun to hear unsolicited compliments…

The only tweak of significance I made to the default setup was to change the MOVING_AVG from 8 to 29 (it can be set higher, but you can’t do it in the web interface). This makes it so that the Netequalizer considers someone to be a hog when their average data rate over the last 29 seconds is greater than HOGMIN (which we’ve left at 12,000 – 96 kbps). Given that our customers are set for 768k, this means that they can burst at full rate for a little under 4 seconds before they are considered a hog (approximately 350 KiloBytes of data). The default setting of 8 would allow approximately 1 second at full bandwidth (a little under 100K). By making this change, almost all web pages would never be subject to throttling. It also makes it so that most bandwidth test servers will not see any throttling. The change makes us more at risk that we can peak out the AP (since less customers may be subject to throttling), but we’ve seen that the throttling usually kicks in long before we see that problem.

The only feature I’d like to see in these units is to have a “half duplex” mode. The Netequalizers have separate upload and download pools. This works fine for most ISPs using typical full duplex circuits. However, most hardware that WISPs use are half duplex. So, our Trangos have 2.5 Mbps available TOTAL of upload and download. In order to have the Netequalizer throttle well, I configured it so that the Trangos had 1.9 Mbps down and .6 Mbps up. I would prefer to have a single 2.5 Mbps pool that throttles only when download + upload approaches 2.5 Mbps. If we had this feature, we could move even more data through the Trangos

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