Is ISDN2 dead?
November 8, 2005 6:26 AM   Subscribe

My company has an ISDN2 link with one of our suppliers to allow the transfer of large files. The link has been in place for about 5 years now. Lately the size of the files has been growing and subsequently the time taken to transfer the files has now increased to the point of it sometimes being quicker to actually bike a copy of the file round to them. What are the other options for us? In the UK if that has any bearing.
posted by lloyder to Technology (6 answers total)
If you're making changes to the same set of files, I'd recommend rsync.

Otherwise, compress the hell out of the files if you can.
posted by oaf at 6:37 AM on November 8, 2005

Where you wanting suggestions for a faster line?
posted by alexst at 6:44 AM on November 8, 2005

You might be able to get a 'dry pair' or 'alarm line' from the phone company. It's basically a direct, telephone wire connection between two places. You can then plug in some special modems that work like DSL modems.

Very fast, and very cheap, which means the phone company probably won't give it to you, but it doesn't hurt to ask. I have no idea if it's even available in the UK.

Just out of curiosity, why don't you both get broadband and transfer the files over the internet? I can't imagine it would be that expensive. And you can encrypt them with PGP or something to keep it secure.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 AM on November 8, 2005

How large are these files, and what kind of files are they? If you use something like rsync or svn, only the changes you make are transmitted. If you're sharing work on a collection of source code files, for instance, only today's revisions will be transmitted.
posted by odinsdream at 6:53 AM on November 8, 2005

The internet has kind of made lines like this obsolete if all you're doing is transferring files. Set up an SFTP drop box at your end and it'll be perfectly secure.
posted by cillit bang at 7:42 AM on November 8, 2005

The trouble is, upstream DSL in the uk is usually capped at 256k. Sure it's double the 128k of ISDN2, but may not be worth all the arsing about setting it up for a measly 2x speed increase.

Some DSL suppliers are installing their own equipment at exchanges, mainly in big cities. For example Bulldog can now serve central nottingham at 2000k each way for £200/month. The basic pack allows 512k upstream for £50 month. Might be worth it for a 4x speed increase.

Of course if your supplier is sending you the files, they will need the fast upstream connection. Your downstream connection will also have to be as fast as their upstream to get maximum benefit.

You can check whether your supplier's exchange is enabled by going to this site. You might be able to find a cheaper broadband supplier as well.
posted by derbs at 9:46 AM on November 8, 2005

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