How can you Build a Bigger Network for a Smaller Price?

Tom Daly
May 17, 2023
Discover how to build a bigger network without breaking the bank with Big Network. Learn how our Cloud Networks disrupt the wide area network industry, reduce total cost of ownership, and rekindle innovation at the network level.

Run a Bigger Network for Less Money


Are you tired of wasting time and money on outdated network solutions that don't meet your needs? Are you still buying expensive hardware to manage IPSec tunnels or rolling out SD-WAN with a bunch of features you’re paying for but not using? You are not alone!

We hear from customers every day that they are caught in the crossfire of choosing expensive SD-WAN connectivity or using VPNs – which require hours of configuration, business class connectivity, and endless troubleshooting–who are just discovering Cloud Networks.

In this week's blog, we’re going to break down how Cloud Networks are disrupting the wide area network industry and changing how networks are designed and built. But most importantly, we’re tackling how Cloud Networks dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership for operating a network, rekindle innovation at the network level and allow network administrators to build best-of-breed solutions to exceed their needs.

Overview: What’s the Problem?

If you run a network in more than one cloud or physical location, you’ve probably had to deploy a solution to extend networking among those locations. Technologies like Frame Relay, MPLS, VPN and SD-WAN are all common solutions that work reasonably well to help organizations connect disparate locations to one another. However, these technologies each incur various costs and penalties for seamless implementation, from a lack of carrier flexibility to high costs, complex deployment and management, and hidden fees for static IPs required to make connections, the costs really add up over time.

At Big Network, we saw this as an opportunity; our hardware and software can connect any network to any other network and unify their presentation to each other in a seamless manner. Big Network doesn’t care if it’s in a cloud on a public or private IP or in a home office behind DHCP and NAT or a dedicated fiber connection – as long as Big Network has internet connectivity, it can establish it’s SD-MESH and extend your network to that location.

Where the costs add up

When it comes to building networks, we think about 6 buckets of cost:

  1. Equipment: The hardware you need to buy in order to run your network starts to get expensive when you have to deploy proprietary, complex, and high-availability solutions to locations.
  2. Connectivity : The connectivity you need. The technology you choose above can often define the connectivity you need and often force you into the more expensive choices (for example, needing public IPs on every WAN connection).
  3. Necessary Software: The software licenses you need to buy to operate your network. This includes the software to manage the end-points as well as things like monitoring.
  4. Unnecessary Software: The software vendors sell you as part of the license that you don’t need but have to pay for because it’s bundled.
  5. Planned Labor: The work you anticipate for installing equipment and configuring connectivity to build your network.
  6. Unplanned Labor: The work you didn’t plan for when you find a network isn’t terminated the way you expected, or you have intermittent transit or routing issues at a location and it’s hard to troubleshoot.

The Cloud Network Paradigm: What is it?

Big Network allows you to deploy Cloud Networks. Cloud Networks are an extension of a network (via hardware or software) on any Internet connection. Big Network forms an SD-Mesh that is highly resilient and continually optimized to bring your network anywhere with no requirements greater than simply having an Internet connection.

Cloud Networks are centrally-managed and enforce network policy – they bring up consistent standardized network inside each of your locations and they are aware of routing options to optimize the path traffic is delivered over.

How does Big Network Reduce your Network TCO?

We built Big Network to take the hassle out of building and operating a network – with Big Network you save on a whole host of areas:

a. Hardware

  1. Big Network is available as Hardware and Software. Our edge devices start at just $20 per month, with our Pro version starting at $125 per month. Our Virtual Edition (BYOD) costs just $25 per month.
  2. Contrast this with hardware from Fortinet, Cisco or any other major networking vendor and you’ll save hundreds of dollars per month per location from the get-go.

Big Network hardware and software is at a very compelling price-point and hundreds to thousands of dollars cheaper than competitor solutions. Compare us to Cisco, Fortinet and other big-box vendors.

b. Internet Connectivity

  1. Many of the technologies deployed today require business class internet access that provides a dedicated public IP for the devices. Big Network does not. It works through all grades of NAT, and as long as a Big Network device has one or more internet connections, it will work. You can use consumer grade internet, LTE, or even someone else's connection.
  2. With Big Network, we encourage you to drop expensive business class connectivity in favor of adding a redundant provider – Big Network takes care of the rest to ensure your network is highly available. We believe two or three low cost providers working together can obtain better availability than a single high cost provider with high availability as a sole sourced product offering.

Stop paying for public IPs and other expensive upsells to build SD-WAN. Big Network operates on any network and through NAT with no special configuration.

c. Licensing

  1. In the SD-WAN world, licensing can really add-up, especially with things you might not need (IDS, IPS, content inspection, etc). At Big Network, you pay for your network to be wherever you need it, highly available, optimized, and secure. This leaves you free to choose what other tools you need to build the best-of-breed, fit-for-purpose network that you need.
  2. Choose your own IDS, zero-trust, filtering and other solutions to deploy on-top of Big Network and utilize emerging tools to stay ahead of threats and avoid costly lock-ins from “all-in-one” vendors that are slow to innovate.

Low-cost licensing from Big Network means you can choose best of breed security technology without locking in to other vendor solutions.

d. Centralized Provisioning & Management

  1. Big Network is cloud and API-managed with zero-touch provisioning.
  2. Configure and update your Cloud Networks through our API or Portal at any time, deploy VLANs or segment your network to isolate traffic with the click of a mouse.
  3. Add new endpoints quickly and easily and enforce network policy, whether they are a user at home, a new retail location or a new cloud hosting location.
  4. Get deep visibility into WAN connectivity for troubleshooting and ISP service level agreement (SLA) management.
  5. Updates to firmware and software are completed automatically during maintenance windows with comprehensive automated rollback policies to ensure your network remains compliant, secure, and optimized.

Having no complex onsite deployment saves time and money on installation and travel – simply plug and play. Automatic updates save hours monthly by keeping a fleet up-to-date without any extra steps. Adding new network endpoints is quick and easy, also saving hours of configuration time per endpoint.

e. Extensibility & Visibility

As networks grow, their management becomes more and more complex. The majority of tools available to deploy VPN or SD-WAN solutions lock you in to their management portals.

Big Network is a programmatic platform . Our API can be used to configure and manage a network allowing you to bring Cloud network management into your own tools. Big Network monitoring has webhooks embedded that allow events to be sent to your monitoring and alerting tools so that you can begin troubleshooting issues immediately.

Comparison Table

VPN (IPSEC, OpenVPN, etc)SD-WANBig Network (SD-MESH)Hardware$600-$30,000 per unit capital expense$1700-$5,900 per unit capital expense or financed$20-$125 per month or Bring Your Own HardwareLicensing$250-$300,000/yr Depending on number of connections, failover, etc.$100-$1000 Per device per month$5-$25 per virtual device, bundled with hardware. Unlimited connections.ConnectivityRequires business connectivity starting at $350/moRuns on most connections but typically requires business connectivityRuns on any internet connectionSecurity ToolsAdditional $, can only use certain vendorsBundled, vendor only toolsBring any tool and additional hardware you wantCentralized ManagementMaybeYesYesZero-Touch DeploymentNoYesYesWAN TroubleshootingNoSomeYesCentral Network Management & Policy EnforcementYes, per endpointYesYesAutomated UpdatesNoMaybeYesFailoverYes, backup equipment requiredYesYesRouting OptimizationNoMaybeYesAPINoMaybeYesMonitoringLimitedLimitedYes


Distributed network deployments will always be here to stay. As remote working continues, applications become more distributed and more intelligent devices become connected, we need better ways to manage, secure and integrate our networks.

VPNs and SD-WANs have bridged much of the gap but these solutions are expensive to build , then manage, and come with many hidden and unexpected costs. By building a Cloud Network instead, you can buy basic connectivity, reduce complexity and manage your network for a fraction of the cost of other solutions today.

Here are some of the benefits of building a Cloud Network using Big Network:

  • Use any internet connectivity
  • Low license cost per end-point
  • Deploy hardware or software in the cloud, on the desktop or on any network
  • Network only, bring your own security tools
  • Zero touch deployment & management
  • Your own Secure, Private Network over the Internet.

Why not try your first Cloud Network out and see how easy it is? You can get started for free today!

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