Does VPN affect Jigsaw performance?

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Overview

One of the factors that can lead to Jigsaw performance degradation is using VPN software. This article provides information on how VPN affects Jigsaw operations and the solutions to fix potential VPN-related issues.

Information

Just being connected to a VPN is NOT necessarily a problem, so long as Jigsaw’s traffic is not being routed through the VPN. But what happens when Jigsaw traffic is flowing through the VPN tunnel?

Slowing down

When using a company VPN, there are usually VPN servers/network devices that concentrate all of the incoming connections, decrypt, and then route that traffic to its intended destinations (like Jigsaw). And that causes problems for high-speed, high-bandwidth training/meeting applications like Jigsaw:

  • All company traffic being routed through can create a bottleneck if there is no prioritization
  • All of this traffic flows through a “tunnel” created using 256-bit AES encryption. Ie, it is encrypted coming in and decrypted coming out, adding both processing and timing overhead for those video packets coming from your camera into your browser and trying to get to the Jigsaw servers.

Reconnects due to Network Disruptions sensitivity

Another problem is that VPNs are known to be very sensitive to network disruptions. Because they form an encrypted tunnel between your computer and your company’s VPN device, any disruption in connectivity will close this tunnel, stopping all streams in both directions, forcing the tunnel to be recreated, then attempting to resume the streams.

If your local internet or local equipment is having any problems or you are using WiFi, this tunnel “collapse, disconnect, and reconnect” cycle will happen quite frequently, resulting in really bad audio/video performance in the training session or meeting.

Poor Performance in peak/working hours

Most VPNs simply do not handle load-balancing or scaling of a lot of people using them at the same time. The internet connectivity of the company, and especially the “part” of that connectivity that has been devoted to VPN usage, must be very good to handle a high number of simultaneous connections using a lot of bandwidth.

If everyone sends just 5mb/s of data each through their local connection, and say there are 50 people doing this, the company internet would need to handle 250mb/s, and the VPN server/device has to be able to handle this amount, both going into it and out to the internet.

Solution

If you experience any issues while on the VPN, apply one or more of the solutions below:

  • Turn off the VPN while attending Jigsaw trainings/meetings
  • Configure the VPN so that it does not try to route Jigsaw traffic through the VPN (most VPN software allows this). Jigsaw traffic is already fully encrypted from end-to-end, enforcing the highest protocols and standards possible, it does not need to be encrypted twice and routed through the company VPN.
  • If you really have to go through the VPN - use a VPN provider instead of point-to-point dedicated VPN devices. Providers usually have thousands of connection points and are built to be scalable and fault-tolerant.

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