Linking Remote Offices (VPN) & VoIP

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Project Overview

Organisation: Maguire Jackson Estate Agents

Partner: Abussi Ltd

Solution: Web Content Filtering, High Availability, VPN, VoIP

Products Used: Vigor 2820Vn router

Case Study Summary

  • DrayTek selected to connect Maguire Jackson branch and remote workers to head office systems

  • The solution offered high availability, VPN, Web Content Filtering and VoIP options


About Maguire Jackson

Maguire Jackson is an established leading independent estate and letting agent. They have professional understanding of the residential and commercial property market in central Birmingham. They specialise in city centre apartments and commercial property in Birmingham for sale or rent.

The Requirements

Maguire Jackson operate from a head office with 8 staff and a branch office in The Jewellery Quarter with 7 more staff. As well as typical IT functions, they use two specialist systems for house sales and for lettings. Both systems are hosted at the main office, require continuous Internet access and all company employees need uninterrupted secure access from either of the two offices or home.

In addition to the data networking requirement, Maguire Jackson wanted to take advantage of VoIP (Voice over IP) to make free calls between the two offices and employee’s homes.

The main objectives were therefore identified as follows:

  • Connecting staff from home or branch office securely to the head office systems using thin client (Citrix)
  • High availability of Vebra and Eurolink to offices and home
  • Security between the offices whilst harnessing the low-cost medium of the Internet rather than costly leased-lines
  • Minimising phone call costs between offices
  • Restricting ‘time-wasteful’ web access during working hours

The Solution

Maguire Jackson’s IT providers, Abussi, set up two ADSL lines in each office. In normal use, one would be for voice and the other for data, however, in the event of a temporary failure of the ADSL or Internet connection, the remaining connection can be used for all traffic.

For the intra-office link, a secure VPN tunnel was configured between two DrayTek Vigor2820Vn using IPSEC with high-level AES encryption. This allows users at the branch office to have secure access to Vebra and Eurolink and other shared resources.

In addition, all staff can log into the office securely from home either using another Vigor router, or a software VPN client. Using DrayTek's CSM (Content Security Management), the routers block any web sites which might waste employee time during the working day (e.g. Social networking, video streaming). Finally, the phone ports on the Vigor routers enable free calls between the offices.

“For small businesses looking to utilise the Internet for branch communication I believe there is no better solution than DrayTek. We know them to be highly reliable with feature rich products that offer great value. When DrayTek is installed you know it's going to work and stay in place for years that's why we only sell DrayTek for business Internet requirements!”

Craig Sharp, Abussi Limited

Maguire Jackson - Network Topology

Within the main office are the office PCs. These have Internet connectivity from the Vigor2820Vn which has access in turn to two separate ADSL lines. This means, should that fail, the other can automatically take over. The same arrangement exists in the branch office. Additionally, the Vigor2820Vn model selected also has two phones connected. These phones make use of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology so that staff in either office can call each other (for free) using their Internet connection. They can also use the VoIP ‘lines to make calls to regular phone users at very low VoIP rates, with no extra line rental.

“We wanted something that worked with no fuss and we've been delighted with the DrayTek solution which has delivered everything we've asked of it. We really like the flexibility of being able to log in securely from home and the branch network has been completely solid.”

Philip Jackson, Director, Maguire Jackson

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