Home Office 11,000 Kilometres from home
In today’s business world, the perfect HomeOffice set-up is considered by many as a necessity. Especially as flexible working environments become more sought after, and in some cases, like the recent legislation in the UK, a legal requirement, the perfect HomeOffice is simply essential. Regardless of whether you need to work from home for family reasons or the daily commute to your office is simply too far or too long, working from home is becoming standard practice in many industries – or at least it should be. Unfortunately, for many organisations the option of HomeOffice working does not exist for a variety of reasons.
Of course there is an issue of trust here, whereby employers can better monitor and supervise employees within the office environment. But truth be told, if the employer does not trust and believe that their employees will work just as hard from home, then there is another problem that even the best IT infrastructure in the world cannot not fix.
Another reason could be the technical setup required. For everything to work smoothly and efficiently, the right infrastructure must be available. Once that is in place then the distance between your HomeOffice and the Company Offices become secondary. As this post will show, even the connection between Deggendorf – Lima/Perú can be mastered perfectly, to allow my colleague Dennis to set up his HomeOffice in Perú.
Home Office Setup – What is important?
Stable Internet is essential
One of the most important components when setting up a HomeOffice, or any kind of office, is of course the internet connection. Drawing on my experience in Perú, we are able to report that a high Bandwidth is not the only important aspect and 8 Mbit is a good starting point for standard activities. Should larger or more numerous files be uploaded / downloaded, then a higher bandwidth is a must. Should you, like us, also want to conduct additional telephony in ISDN quality over your internet connection, then stable latencies (low volatility), low packet loss rates and a good QoS configuration are definitely more important than bandwidth. Even with latencies around the 200 ms mark, interference free and in good quality calls are possible.
A good tip is to do plenty of research before you start and use the customer reviews of the providers in your area, as they can be extremely useful and therefore recommended.
Which technological devices are required?
Dennis’ HomeOffice Setup consists of the following devices:
- MikroTik (Routerboard) Router RB2011 UiAS-2hnd-in
- snom 760 SIP Desktop Phone
- Additional Monitor
- A Devolo 500Mps in order to connect the MikroTik Router to the Provider Router
In countries where there are strong electrical current fluctuations, we would also recommend a UPS, on which to connect at least the router and telephone (should PoE not be available). In this way, your setup will continue to function even if there is a short power cut.
Location Networking via IPsec
Connections that run over the Internet, protection against unauthorised access is absolutely essential. IPsec tunnels which encrypt the data streams offer one of the most secure options. However, setting up a IPsec tunnel is in principle, especially when using Linux Systems, is not exactly simple. Thankfully, we can simplify this by using the MikroTik Router – as with just a few mouse clicks, one can quickly have a fully setup IPsec tunnel.
QoS – Quality of Service
One of the most important setup features must be QoS (Quality of Service). As default, a IP network will handle all data packets equally. When surfing the internet or using a streaming service, the delay or loss of individual data packets will not have a massive negative impact. However, in order to seamlessly run a real time communications service like Voice over IP or Video Telephony, these services must be prioritised through using Quality of Service. The diagram below illustrates how QoS reserves the necessary bandwidth for your prioritised services.
For anyone who would also like to put together a setup similar, get in touch and we will be happy to provide you with some pointers.