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As the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) becomes increasingly prevalent, ensuring their efficient, speedy, and reliable performance is crucial. Synthetic monitoring allows organizations to create simulated scenarios to evaluate and measure VPN performance, enabling them to optimize user experience and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Exoprise provides a suite of products which work together for highly effective VPN performance gains. Here’s a list of concerns for VPN monitoring and how Exoprise solutions are used to address them.

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This article will explore the key aspects of monitoring VPN gateways for achievable, comprehensive performance and support gains using the Exoprise “better together” DEM framework.

VPN Trouble Spots

Typical VPN pain points affecting user experience (UX) include:

  1. Bandwidth and Throughput
    To gauge the efficiency of a VPN, it is important to test its bandwidth and throughput capabilities by simulating data transfers of varying sizes. By doing so, organizations can assess how effectively the VPN handles different loads. Using dedicated bandwidth sensors, such as those provided by CloudReady synthetics, from various branch offices can help with this assessment.
  2. Latency
    Latency, or the time it takes for data packets to travel between the source and destination through the VPN, plays a significant role in user experience, particularly for real-time applications. By measuring and evaluating latency, organizations can identify any potential bottlenecks that may impact performance. Service Watch’s Active Test WGET sensors can be employed to test access to business-critical applications behind the firewall.
  3. Packet Loss
    Simulating scenarios where packets are lost during transmission allows organizations to assess how well a VPN handles packet loss. Understanding the impact on data integrity and application performance is crucial. Service Watch, for instance, monitors UDP or TCP/IP-based VPN software, such as Cisco, OpenVPN, and WireGuard, to track packet loss, latency, and jitter in real-time.
  4. Connection Stability
    Ensuring a stable connection over an extended period is vital for a VPN. Organizations can test a VPN’s ability to cope with network disruptions such as temporary outages or fluctuations in connectivity to assess how quickly it can reestablish a stable connection.
  5. Protocol Performance
    Different VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IPsec, and IKEv2, may offer varying performance capabilities. Evaluating these protocols can help organizations identify the most suitable option for their specific use cases, considering factors such as speed and efficiency.
  6. Concurrency and Scalability
    For organizations with a large user base or experiencing spikes in VPN usage, scalability is crucial. Synthetic testing enables organizations to assess how well a VPN scales with multiple users or devices simultaneously connecting. This helps identify potential bottlenecks and ensures seamless performance.
  7. Cross-Platform Compatibility
    To ensure consistent VPN performance, evaluating its compatibility across various operating systems and devices is essential. Testing VPN performance on platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux can provide valuable insights. Exoprise, for example, allows VPN tests to be run on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms within as little as 15 minutes.
  8. Geo-Diversity Testing
    Simulating connections from different geographical locations allows organizations to assess how a VPN performs over long distances. This is crucial for global organizations with distributed teams or users accessing resources from various parts of the world. Geo-diversity testing ensures reliable performance, regardless of location.
  9. Load Testing
    Applying load testing to evaluate VPN performance under heavy usage is critical. Preventing slow VPNs before the next crisis is critical to helping the business. By simulating scenarios where many users connect simultaneously, organizations can identify potential bottlenecks and ensure smooth operations during peak periods.
  10. Security Impact
    VPNs employ encryption to protect data during transmission. However, different encryption algorithms and key lengths can impact performance. Evaluating VPN security and performance is crucial to meeting an organization’s specific requirements.
  11. Failover and Redundancy
    Ensuring a VPN can handle failover scenarios and maintain redundancy is crucial for maintaining uninterrupted connectivity. Organizations should test a VPN’s ability to switch seamlessly between servers and connections in the event of failure.
  12. DNS Resolution
    Efficient DNS (Domain Name System) resolution is vital for smooth VPN performance. Delayed resolution can lead to a poor user experience. Monitoring DNS resolution performance, caching, and start of authority (SOA) response times can identify and address any issues that may arise.

Better Together with Exoprise

The two main products from Exoprise are CloudReady and Service Watch, each providing essential monitoring from different digital perspectives. However, there are additional aspects of Exoprise Digital Experience Monitoring which together provide actionable information for support and client performance gains. Here’s how Exoprise products work together:

  • CloudReady delivers synthetic monitoring with sensors covering a wide range of continual testing for applications, physical networks, security implementations, cloud-hosting, and much more.
  • Meanwhile, Service Watch is a browser add-on which provides Real User Monitoring for User Experience telemetry covering physical device status, application performance on user devices, and local network testing with status telemetry.
  • Additionally, Service Watch Active Test runs from the local device synthetically testing VPN performance as part of Service Watch which is ideal tool available for deployment for home office users with 24/7 monitoring.
  • What’s more, Exoprise also provides anonymous, crowd-sourced information which assists IT support to improve computing experiences for users using comprehensive baseline and benchmarking data to achieve real performance gains.
  • Furthermore, Exoprise operates in the cloud with SaaS monitoring which provides dashboard information, even for individual devices on home networks. Support calls can provide effective resolution by determining the source of an issue whether it is local, application, or network in nature.

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Effective Support with “Better Together” Solutions

With Exoprise products deployed together, support can be cut resolution in minutes rather than hours. Some issues can be addressed before a widespread problems are even noticed by users with comprehensive DEM.

CloudReady synthetic sensors regularly test for issues, even with applications such as Teams, Zoom, and other video call applications. In the case of VPN gateways, various sensors can be employed together, covering VoiP with a UDP sensor while bandwidth is tested with a TCP/IP synthetic at the same time. Exoprise CloudReady DNS sensors can measure DNS resolution performance, caching, and SOA (start of authority) response times, which is especially important with VPN monitoring.

When synthetically testing VPN performance, it’s essential to use a combination of these tests to obtain a comprehensive understanding of how the VPN behaves in various scenarios. Additionally, consider using dedicated tools designed for network testing to automate and streamline the testing process.

Meanwhile, a home office user would have Service Watch installed. This add-on gathers a multitude of data-points about the home office environment both network and device related. Such information is available to support personnel to determine where problem areas exist.

Taking RUM and Synthetic monitoring a step further, Service Watch now includes Service Watch Active Test where synthetic testing is done from the user’s device. Service Watch Active Test is the ideal source of telemetry about VPN performance from the UX perspective.

Results are reported back to client dashboards and the Exoprise crowdsourced data pool. This information provides both support details to resolve issues while sourcing a wider set of data points for organizational performance gains. All the elements of Exoprise DEM products work together for a better UX while alerting IT support to issues, often before they are even noticed.


The Exoprise “better together” DEM framework provides comprehensive IT support and management tools for significant improvements to user experience and ROI.

In the case of VPN gateway monitoring, various synthetic sensors work cohesively for performance gains was well as widespread problem detection. Service Watch (now with Service Watch Active Test) provides IT support with useful RUM data to resolve issues, especially those related to VPN, at the level of user interaction. Performance is improved while outage resolutions can be reduced by hours, if not avoided altogether. Meanwhile, actionable, crowdsourced data is plentiful for overall organizational ROI.

The unity of a “better together” DEM platform overcomes previously insurmountable challenges for essential digital experience improvements.

Jason Lieblich Photo

Jason Lieblich leads Exoprise and loves helping customers get started proactively monitoring their clouds.

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