LAFAYETTE, Colo., Aug. 23, 2006–A trend is developing to allow library patrons free, unlimited access to the Internet. But that freedom causes network problems.

In the 21st century, when much information comes from the Internet, most libraries are valued for their Internet services as much as their books. Because they serve the public interest, most don’t have policies that limit the usage of the Internet, and while that makes the Internet usage very desirable to the patrons, it does cause problems for the networks. Many libraries have found NetEqualizer the solution to that problem.

While most libraries have a policy against pornography, everything else is accessible.

“We’ve had a policy of trying to be as open as possible,” said Sean Hill of Henderson Library in Henderson, Nevada. But, “as the Internet got richer, the programs got larger,” says Hill. File sharing and downloads, on-line games and systems that allow an application to open lots of ports to download started to plague the Henderson network. “There were times of the day you couldn’t use the thing.”

Matt Senac of Saratoga Springs Library in Saratoga Springs, New York, agrees: “We have a wide open connection.” In his case Bearshare and especially BitTorrent Plus! patrons with Trojan viruses on their PCs were gobbling up all the bandwidth.

Kevin Getty of Warren Newport Library in Gurnee, Illinois, also did not want to police patrons but his network was getting bogged down by patrons in the library downloading larger and larger files, plus patrons on the outside of the library accessing catalogs and other services.

All three, plus more library IT administrators, have found NetEqualizer to be the way to give fair access to the Internet to their patrons. “It immediately made it better. People were able to reliably surf the Internet,” said Hill.

“The NetEqualizer really put a stop to anybody consuming all the bandwidth. I haven’t had any problems with the network getting maxed out,” says Senac.

“Immediately we saw a difference,” said Getty. “In a second I can look at the logs to see if there’s a problem. The NetEqualizer helps us troubleshoot problems on the network. It’s been really great. Solutions like NetEqualizer help me do my job better.”

Hill believes there will always be a need at Henderson Library for some bandwidth management: “I know however much bandwidth I throw at them they’ll use it. Someone will take it.” But the NetEqualizer removes Hill from the position of Internet police, and helps the patrons retain their freedom and their privacy.

Other bandwidth shapers require IT managers to input specific protocols, or target specific applications, for modification. That is both time-consuming and conceivably invasive. The NetEqualizer does not require the administrator to investigate who is using what; it works automatically.

The NetEqualizer is a plug-and-play bandwidth control 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.

APConnections is a privately held company founded in 2003
and is based in Lafayette, Colorado
(http://www.netequalizer.com).

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