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This question has been raised numerous times regarding multiple DSL/cable connections.

Load balancing is the process of spreading out data streams across different connections. For example, say that we are on a two user network and user one is downloading an ISO. His data will go through connection one (assuming two ISP connections). When user two tries to use the internet, the load balancing router/software senses that connection one is busy and routes user two's data across the second ISP connection. In this situation, having two 1024kbps circuits does not mean that each computer has 2048kbps available to them, only 1024kbps (each computer only can use only one ISP circuit).

Circuit bonding*/muxing is a very different approach to increasing your bandwidth. Unlike load balancing, the bits of all clients are spread across all connections. So, unlike the above example, two 1024kbps circuits will equal 2048kbps (and each computer has all of that bandwidth available, unlike above). However this approach is much more expensive. Circuit bonding requires two routers and two devices called "muxs". One router and "mux" is placed at the ISP end and the other router and "mux" is placed at the customer end. You ISP must support this configuration as well, and often times providers will only do this type of connection with T1 circuits.

*Channel bonding is actually not what happens. Channels refer to a different aspect of communications.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • THis is a silly FAQ that doesnt belong here. Its a wikipedia entry at best. What is needed is a simple title that says. BONDING DUAL-MULTI WANS A FALLACY. THe text as follows. It is not possible to bond connections from two ISPs or two separate lines from a single ISP at the home. Only if the ISP(s) can and are willing to provide Bonding services will this be possible. If available from the ISP it is likely to be an extremely expensive proposition (enterprise business costs). Suggest simply asking your provider for a bigger pipe. Using two or more ISPs is a viable option via a dual or multi-wan router. They are designed to primarily provide redundancy (24/7 internet access) or to have more overall throughput available to share amongst users or services. Most routers of this ilk have the ability to push data (users or services) through a specific WAN. They also are able to load balance as per the admins direction so that usage of the two connections is optimized iaw requirements.

    2014-09-05 07:06:50 (Anav See Profile)

  • The above information is not quite correct. There are multiple forms of load balancing. Some are "per session" and work as described in this section. However there are others such as "per packet" that allow the bandwidth of both circuits to be available to a single machine or session. source http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk365/technologies_tech_note09186a0080094820.shtml

    2013-06-21 15:05:09

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by bmn See Profile edited by graffixx See Profile
last modified: 2002-10-27 19:11:41