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67. IP Codecs & Spy vs Spy: The Plot Thickens by Dave Immer 9/24/15

Our LANs are exposed!

Audio quality, reliability, latency, ease of use, compatibility, cost are the usual factors that get considered and debated when talking IP audio codecs. But these days data security is also figuring in the discussion especially after the hacking debacles befalling Sony Pictures, Yahoo, AOL, etc.

If you are concerned about internet security and the threat of hackers, viruses and mal-wear, then the IP codec that you use should be carefully evaluated with regard to it’s contribution to your exposure to these threats.

Now you can set up a fast internet connection that will be capable of delivering production audio as good as ISDN. The most popular IP codecs among voiceover and production studios are software products that function within Mac OS, Windows or Google Chrome. The thing is they transceive on a computer that typically contains other sensitive information.

For the best security (and performance), set up a dedicated internet/LAN. Don’t use Wi-Fi. Use IP codec software on a computer that is restricted to this activity and contains no other sensitive data. While improving your results, dedicated circuits and hardware add expense to a software IP codec.

But these measures are unnecessary if you use a stand-alone hardware IP codec like a Telos Z/IP One or Prodys ProntoNet. Audio i/o are standard XLR connectors. With these boxes no personal/business data is exposed.

Or you could use ISDN, resulting in a secure and private connection for your use only, having a fixed, guaranteed bit-rate that is the same everywhere in the world.

Comments and questions welcome.

-Dave