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ePipe VPN and Security Family:
Key Networking Concepts

Part 5 - Connection Bundles, Filters and NAT Rulesets

Connection Bundles

Connection Bundles are a grouping of link types into a single data stream. Typically, a connection bundle contains more than one link type. The various ePipes support different point-to-point link types, including:

Connection Bundles support link aggregation (or bonding) to increase available bandwidth for web access (I2B) and site-to-site tunnels (E2B).

For example, it is possible to bond up to 8 dial-up internet connections, depending on the model, into a single Connection Bundle.

Each Connection Bundle must be assigned a unique name. The ePipe Management Assistant relies on the name to identify what traffic can pass through a bundle.

Using the ePipe Management Assistant, Connection Bundles are only configured once the links (or dialers) are all created. Even if you are connecting to the Internet with only a single dialer or link, a Connection Bundle is still required.

Dialers and Links

A Dialer connects the ePipe to an ISP through a modem or a TA using PPP. Each dialer requires all the necessary information about the ISP account to be entered into the dialer configuration. Dialers also control modem characteristics, including initialisation scripts.

A PPPoE link connects the untrusted Ethernet port to a bridging Internet access device (eg ADSL modem). In order to initiate a PPP connection over ADSL to your ISP, the PPPoE link will require account details as supplied by your ISP.

An IPoE link connects the untrusted Ethernet port to an access router (eg ADSL router, leased line router, etc). The access router provides the ePipe with an IP address using the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) mechanism, after which the IPoE link is established.

Connection Bundle Filters

Connection Bundle filters control the types of traffic flow through a Connection Bundle, as well as on-demand bandwidth in situations where multiple dialers are configured.

Connection Bundle filters are important as they can prevent unwanted traffic from flowing in or out of your private network (refer Part 2 - Network Security Packet Filtering).

Bandwidth controls allow you to set traffic thresholds in order to activate dialers as traffic increases, and deactivate them as traffic decreases. This helps to minimise connection costs when using multiple dialers in a Connection Bundle.

Each Connection Bundle filter is also assigned a unique name. This is useful to differentiate bundles in situations where multiple Connection Bundles allow different traffic types.

Connection Bundle NAT Rulesets

Connection Bundle NAT Rulesets can allow external access to an internal node (host) on the private network for selected traffic types. This is useful for internal email servers, internal web servers, internal DNS servers etc.

NAT achieves this through IP address translation and TCP / UDP port redirection. For example, if all email traffic destined for the ePipe public Internet address is to be redirected to the internal email server on the private network, the NAT Ruleset would examine the TCP port number and redirect the traffic to the internal IP address of the email server.

To facilitate Shared Internet Access, a specific outgoing NAT Ruleset is generated. This allows http requests from all internal Internet addresses to external public sites and is enabled through the ePipe Management Assistant.

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