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VPN vs fixed IP connection to BIMserver - any speed and reliability testing?

Paul King

Has anyone done any testing to to compare the performance of using a Static IP vs VPN  for a remote Archicad workstation connection to a BIMserver?


Intuitively VPN seems like it should be slower for Teamwork operations particularly with large projects (2Gb+), because VPN adds another layer of processing, with its own bottlenecks and potential failure points between Archicad, and the same server IP address that use of a static IP goes to directly - but the IT consultant, used by the practice I am (remote) freelancing to, suggests that may not be the case.


A downside for me with VPN is it blocks traffic to other devices on my own internal network - including a NAS device I use for backup, and my access speed to the internet is effectively throttled - but rather than reinventing the wheel, it would be good to know if anyone has already spent any time methodically testing the performance impact on Archicad teamwork operations between the two options.


ArchiCAD 8-27 | Twinmotion 2023
Windoze 11 PC | Intel Core i9 10900K | Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080 | 32 Gb DDR3 | 2x4K monitor extended desktop

The “speed” or reliability of BIMcloud  syncing depends on the ping, not so much about connection speed, according to the Graphisoft BIM manager course (which I took previously). 

If you look at the log of each reserve and send event in the BIMcloud, the data sent / received normally are very small, rarely above 1Mb, unless you’re doing first time sync. 

MacBook Pro (16 inch, 2021) Apple M1 Max 64GB macOS Monterey Archicad 26 MBP trackpad Logitech Master MX3
Noemi Balogh
Community Admin
Community Admin

It's true, latency is more important in most cases than bandwidth. On the other side, performance depends on many many other factors too on both client and server end. 


I believe the firm you remotely work for suggests VPN because BIMcloud Basic is legally not allowed to go on the web. (In case they use BIMcloud it is not a problem though.) 

Noémi Balogh

Community Expert, Admin


Sometimes companies have their own NDA's and the fear of the data being breach that's why they want to use their own servers to host the teamwork file and there are unforeseen factors team members might want to access the files and work on it out of the office. 

In the end what is your Objective?
ArchiCAD 9 onwards

Thanks guys.

 I can ping the BIMserver internal IP via cmd window, when connected via VPN (33ms)

With VPN off, attempting to ping the BIMserver directly via the fixed IP It supposedly uses results in a timeout. 

I understand some servers are set not to respond to pings however.


Using a stopwatch, a simple send and recieve (no changes since previous send and recieve) with VPN on takes just over a minute to complete, and without VPN it takes over 2 minutes.

This is complicated by the fact that the fixed IP I was given not only doesnt respond to pings, it also fails Archicad's network diagnostic, reporting 'The BIMcloud Server at the specified address does not respond...', and according to the diagnostic,  communication is instead happening via BIMcloud Manager. 


When I open BIMcloud manager, the home screen there contains an advisory near the bottom which confusingly says 'log in from Archicad using http:// (=fixed IP and port I was given that fails to respond in the diagnostic check or ping)' - not sure why the apparently conflicting information - unless perhaps the diagnostic relies on pinging the BIMserver, and BIMserver is set not to respond to pings.

Does the fact that communication is reportedly going via BIMserver manager impact speeds in itself?


I checked the BIMserver Manager Activity Log and can see the actual data transfer involved was tiny - 168K in each case.


Monitoring Windows Task Manager, during a send and recieve almost all CPU and network activity ceases within a few seconds of hitting send and recieve, with the remaining minute(s) reporting almost no activity until Archicad finally becomes responsive again.




ArchiCAD 8-27 | Twinmotion 2023
Windoze 11 PC | Intel Core i9 10900K | Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080 | 32 Gb DDR3 | 2x4K monitor extended desktop

This is definitely a problem. Communication should go through both components - if Archicad can access Server only via the Manager, it causes performance issues not only for you, but for all members working on the same BIMcloud. IT should make BIMcloud Server available via VPN too, it will probably help a lot on the performance too, as well as the BIMcloud is gonna work much more healthier.

Noémi Balogh

Community Expert, Admin