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Airplane777

join:2004-06-20

1 edit

Combining two DSL lines for more bandwidth ?

Lets say I have one DSL line at a hotel and usage is going up to where I need more bandwidth.

I need to add a second DSL line for higher capacity.

Exactly how do I add that second line to give me twice the capacity of just one line ?

Same question could be asked if I used a T1 line.

I only have one WAN port in my Internet gateway to take the one DSL line, but now I'd like to add a 2nd DSL line for more bandwidth. How do I do that ?

Thanks,


normanzhang

join:2004-09-03
Calgary, AB
Basically you need a router that supports multiple WAN connections. »Questions about Dual WAN Routers


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
reply to Airplane777
It would be helpful to know what kind of internet gateway you're currently using, your current bandwidth usage, etc. However, as the previous poster mentioned, buying a dual WAN router is probably the best solution. Most cheaper dual WAN routers, like the Hawking line:
»www.hawkingtech.com/prodList.php ··· FamID=44

may advertise "load balancing" but that usually isn't the case. Generally, you'll find most cheaper dual WAN routers use one WAN port until it's maxed out and then switches new internet requests to the 2nd WAN which should be fine in your situation.

The Hawking dual WAN routers are really the "cheapies" of dual WAN routers and can be found for under $50 or $100 and their performance might be OK or it might not suit your needs, depending on how many users you have at one time and how much bandwidth demand is. Xincom model XC-DPG502 is a higher quality dual WAN router designed for office/business use. Cisco, Nexland, Actiontec, and other manufacturers also make dual WAN routers of varying degrees of quality. Go to www.shopper.com and search for "dual wan router" and take a look at some current offerings along with their prices. Good luck.

DejanCDN

join:2004-11-17
Kuwait
I have no experience with using Routers for this application. Instead, we use Foundry Networks ServerIron XL (a Layer 4-7 Switch) with ISP Link Load Balancing (mind you, typically we do this for very large networks of 1000+ users). It can balance up to 8 WAN links, each at up to DS3 speeds. Each link can be from a different ISP, with different IP addresses. Box will do NAT to a private IP range inside your networks. Balancing can be done based on up to 7 criteria arranged in the order of importance. It also balances incoming traffic to your servers (if you have any). Great box.. but expect to pay around $8K.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to Airplane777
Nice DejanCDN, sounds like a mondo network. In Airplanes case he needs a smaller hotspot setup vice a mini ISP .

I would look at two solutions..
(1) Xincom 500 series dual wan router.
Reasonable price point (Tech support an unkown for me)
Reported to be stable appliance. Suggest download the user manual and do search in networking forum for Dual WAN performance. I cannot recall seeing any negative posts and recommend this unit for a non VPN/Firewall solution.

THey have a higher model (600 series but starting to get a price point that I recommend the Z35 below)

(2) ZyWALL 35/70 VPN firewall routers.
Higher price point, but loaded with features.
Suggest download the user manual and read.
- can dictate which interface outgoing traffic uses
- 3 different load balancing algorithms
- full bandwidth management by IP/service and priority
- access cerberian content filtering
- dmz to separate public side (hotspot) and private (office lan)
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins". Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner" - (Llama Works Equipment ) -


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to Airplane777
Important to note.

Dual WAN ROUTERs, primary purpose is redundancy. In other words to provide continuous service, in case one ISP goes down. On that note, I recommend using two different ISPs for a dual WAN router. If DSL goes down, its less likely that cable service will also go down!!!

(This redundancy can get quite complicated considering one may have SUA/NAT rules (port forwarding), VPN Tunnels, in-place BWM/QoS rules and public servers.)

Secondly, one does not double the speed of a single query. One simply makes an aggregate amount of throughput up and down, available behind one controlling router. Very convenient and dependent upon the routers ability to
- manage congestion on the WAN interfaces (load balancing)
- provide dedicated throughput for computers, services and to a further degree prioritizing same (BWM or QoS)
- ability to dictate which interface outgoing traffic uses
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins". Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner" - (Llama Works Equipment ) -


wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY
Does a load balancing router effectively combine the bandwidth? If not, what would a router that would aggregate two or more connections be called? I know that a company called FatPipe sells devices that do this, but I dont know how much they cost or much about them.
--
I like dogs, guns, and cheeseburgers. Whats your malfunction?


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
said by wifi4milez:

Does a load balancing router effectively combine the bandwidth?
Sorta kinda. Remember with dual WAN routers, the outgoing request for data from inside the network has to use a single IP address for the returning data packets. Two WAN IP addresses can't be used so that data comes back using both WAN ports, the internet doesn't work that way. With load balancing, requests for internet data should alternate between the WAN ports in an attempt to use both IP addresses equally and eliminate bottlenecking. However, in the original posters question, he simply wants to be able to have enough bandwidth to meet increased patron demand. Load balancing really isn't necessary, just enough bandwidth availability. So during low peak periods, if one IP meets bandwidth, a cheaper dual WAN router without load balancing should do the job just fine and when bandwidth requirements increase, the cheaper dual WAN router would simply switch over to the 2nd WAN IP port when needed, still meeting patron's needs for data but without load balancing.

The question unanswered is how much bandwidth is needed and how fast his DSL lines are so people can make a good recommendation for a dual WAN router. I suspect the cheaper Hawkings probably aren't up to the task of serving a hotel and a more expensinve Cisco or Xincom router should do the trick but he should still be able to do this for under $200 or $300 dollars. He also fails to state how his rooms are connected (wireless or wired?) and whether switches are used, etc. Would he have to eliminate his current internet gateway, or just turn off the PPPoE login for the DSL and let the new dual WAN router do it and plug the dual WAN router into his old internet gateway. Does his current internet gateway have a wireless AP built in? Are there switches located on the other side of the current internet gateway? A little more info is needed to help give clear answers to what he needs to do to solve his bandwidth problem.

Airplane777

join:2004-06-20

4 edits
reply to Airplane777
Wow. This stuff is more complicated then I thought...lol. I guess thats why I'm more into the rf and our networking guys do the networking at our place...lol.

I guess I was origianlly thinking that if I had two DSL lines, both 1.5 Meg down, I could combine them some way, to wind up effectively with a DSL line capable of 3.0 Meg down. But from reading what prestonlewis said, it won't work that way since "the network has to use a single IP address for the returning data packets."

Gee...that kind of makes sense. So I don't get twice the speed...even when using two 1.5 Meg DSL lines on a dual WAN port router. I guess what I get is redundancy, a second line to switch to if the first line is used too much (whatever that may mean), a backup ISP line but not higher speed.

I guess the only way to get higher speed is to hopefully live close to a CO so that I can get the Verizon 3.0 Meg DSL in a single DSL line. Seems 2 or more broadband lines can't be combined to get higher speed.

This seems to say if I have two T1 lines combined in some special T1 dual WAN port router, that my top speed still won't be higher then 1.54 Meg ? That seem right.

How would I get higher speed then if I wanted higher speed then a single T1 or single DSL would give?

Originally I wasn't thinking of redundancy so much as getting more speed. But now I see that maybe I'm mixing things up when I say I wanted more bandwidth to give me more speed.

The following paragraph is part of what preston lewis said. Very insightful presentation.

"So during low peak periods, if one IP meets bandwidth, a cheaper dual WAN router without load balancing should do the job just fine and when bandwidth requirements increase, the cheaper dual WAN router would simply switch over to the 2nd WAN IP port when needed, still meeting patron's needs for data but without load balancing."

This leads me to question: What does it mean when we say that "one IP meets bandwidth"...? What is happening when the bandwidth increases to where the dual WAN router switches over to the 2nd WAn IP port? I would guess that the speed on the first port would start reducing the more WiFi people use that port. So then is there some low speed point at where other people then are routed out port 2 so they can have higher speed? And then the more people that use port 2 the lower the speed there will go?

What is happening when we say we have a "low peak period"? Does that mean the speed of the broadband line is operating at max, since other people aren't on the line to share the speed and thus reduce the speed?

I feel kind of inadequate at asking the questions, since I'm what you would say "network challanged"...lol. But with the great answers you all have here, I think I might actually catch on.

Thanks to you all.


prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA
"So I don't get twice the speed...even when using two 1.5 Meg DSL lines on a dual WAN port router."

Right, you get twice the bandwidth so you can have more patrons using their computers without waiting. Imagine a garden hose compared to a fire hose.

"I guess what I get is redundancy, a second line to switch to if the first line is used too much" If the first DSL line is maxed out, it would switch to the 2nd DSL line. Redundancy would be if one line failed, the 2nd line would take over. In this case, you're just providing more bandwidth in case your customer's bandwidth demands are greater than your 1.5 DSL line can provide at any given time.

"I guess the only way to get higher speed is to hopefully live close to a CO" No cable where the hotel is? Most cable connections are a lot faster than 1.5 DSL. Personally, I have a 4.2 cable connection at my home. Fastest DSL for me is under 1.3 so cable for me is almost 4x faster.

"How would I get higher speed then if I wanted higher speed then a single T1 or single DSL would give?"

T1's are usually more expensive than DSL or cable but who knows in your area. I'd think 2 DSL lines would be as cheap. Cable would be my first choice is your local cable provider offers 3.0 or up at reasonable prices.

"This leads me to question: What does it mean when we say that "one IP meets bandwidth"...?"

This is tricky. For normal web surfing, bandwidth shouldn't be that high even with quite a few computers running. What you want to avoid in a hotel situation is people download from the newsgroups or using Bit Torrent or Kazaa to download which exposes you to liability issues. You want to block pretty much every port except the standard port 80 (web browsing), port 21 (ftp file transfers). You probably don't want port 25 (e-mail sending) open due to spamming. You don't want to increase bandwidth to provide your patrons with the opportunity to happily download movies, songs, and send spam emails with infected computers, etc. If you don't know what ports you have open and which ones are closed, you need to hire a consultant to help you figure these issues out. Being a hotel, you're responsible for what your patrons do and you really probably only want to offer web surfing and email checking only with all other ports closed. After that issue has been resolved, then you need a way to measure bandwidth use so you'll know if 1 DSL line is sufficient or not. There's ways to do that or you can just browse the internet yourself during high peak bandwidth time (usually 6-10PM) and see if the speed satisfies yourself. If it doesn't, then you may need more bandwidth.

"What is happening when we say we have a "low peak period"?"
Low peak periods are usually from roughly 10PM - 6PM which is the time people are either asleep or out working/doing things and are not likely to be on their computer. Peak bandwidth usage time is usually in the evening, from 6pm - 10pm.

"Does that mean the speed of the broadband line is operating at max, since other people aren't on the line to share the speed and thus reduce the speed?"

No, you'd have idle bandwidth. You might be using 500kbps at peak moments instead of the full 1500 your DSL can provide.

Lastly, I'd suggest that if your patrons aren't complaining about "slow" speeds, that you're probably OK. Also, get online yourself during peak periods (evenings) and see if you're satisfied with the responsiveness of your web requests. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you definitely do not want to be offering open ports to your patrons that either are used for spam or bandwidth hogging (Kazaa/eDonkey ports, etc along with emailing sending port 25). Patrons who want to send emails should be able to do it using their email service via a web page (port 80), not using their own email server which requires port 25. Closing nearly all ports except for port 80 and possibly 21 would be a priority in my opinion. A consultant experienced in hotel internet use would have a better idea which ports are "safe" and which ports should be blocked by your router.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to Airplane777
Very tough to limit programs such as P2P etc.
One needs rate limiting VLAN switches, or routers with bandwidth management. That will curtail downloading such that it will effect the minimum number of users and also discourage such practices if the pipe is restricted.....
No problem with browsing or emails etc......

Otherwise your looking into layer 7 control appliances to shutoff apps causing the issues. This may or may not be palatable to those paying for a service!
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins". Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner" - (Llama Works Equipment ) -

DejanCDN

join:2004-11-17
Kuwait
Some APs have bandwidth management features...that could also be a good solution.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
Can you provide a list of such AP's DejanCDN, I would like to read up on them.

DejanCDN

join:2004-11-17
Kuwait
I know of 3 - SmartBridges, Demarctech RWV and Osbridge 24XL.


macyh
Ex-Isp
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-24
Medina, OH
Reviews:
·Armstrong Zoom ..
reply to Airplane777
said by Airplane777:

Lets say I have one DSL line at a hotel and usage is going up to where I need more bandwidth.

I need to add a second DSL line for higher capacity.

I setup this very thing a couple of years ago using a fairly low cost dual port WAN router (mumble, forgot name, router co that got bought by Symantec) Pro Turbo 800 and it worked out pretty well.

In this case, we installed two residential phone lines in two different names, then ordered residential high speed tier ADSL service on each phone line.

The router distributed usage on a request by request basis between the two ADSL lines fairly well. There was no attempt at speed or router optimaztion, only distribution of load by dividing up the outbound connections.

Like any ADSL connection, a user who was a bandwitdth hog could affect speed on one of the two ADSL legs, but it really worked fairly well from a user experience standpoing IMO. (I note that the Zywalls and some other newer models do offer some bandwith limiting capabilities based on port and service definitions, but they are certainly not as capable as Packeteer or other bandwith grooming systems at bandwidth control. There is a open source product used by WISP's that might help you out, ask in the WISP forums about this.)

I presume the dual port WAN routers mentioned elsewhere a would work in a similar manner and provide similar results, but check. Traditionally, routers used a second WAN connection for "fail over" but not load distribution. The latter is a newer feature that isn't obvious.
--
Macy Hallock, Medina, OH and Lutz, FL
Ex-telco tech, network engineer and former ISP Owner


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
I suggest your knowledge of routers is limited.


DaniBoy

@cox.net
reply to Airplane777
I also wanted to join two DSL lines and have the users expereince the whole bandwidth... Some people told me about connecting both lines on two different interfaces, than do a bridge on a third interface using both interfaces with the dsl lines. Never tried it, maybe it works maybe not.. Anyway about the P2P control, I use the mikrotik router software. www.mikrotik.com this is a great software!! it does hotspot, firewall ect... Its great... If anyone finds a way to get both dsl lines to act as one, please let me know..

Daniel

DejanCDN

join:2004-11-17
Kuwait
As I said earlier, Foundry Networks' ServerIron XL will properly load balance up to 6 ISP links, each at 34MBPS. F5 Networks and RadWare have similar boxes but with somewhat less functionality. These boxes will allow you to agreggate bandwidth from different ISPs, of different type - for example, Cable, T1 and ADSL, and will allow you to control how load balancing is done. They will also provide automatic switchover in case one link fails. Not sure about RadWare and F5, but Foundry box won't even drop a single packet in a situation like that.

michaelr7

join:2004-03-26
Tucson, AZ
quote:
As I said earlier, Foundry Networks' ServerIron XL will properly load balance ...
Virtually all enterprise class routers do the same thing. Most of them do not have artificial limit of 6 WAN links. They are usually limited to a maximum throughout value (maximum number of packets and/or maximum number of packets per second passing through the router).

DejanCDN

join:2004-11-17
Kuwait
Virtually all Enterprise routers I know will do that IF YOU USE BGP4. I don't know about USA, but outside of USA (and possibly Europe), good luck finding ISPs who will provide you with BGP4. Here in the Middle East, not ONE will do it.

So...you have two (or more) ISP links, each with it's own IP range...how is router going to handle this? Answer is...they don't. At best, they may handle two links from the same ISP, which is not much use if ISP goes down.

The limit is not 'artificial'. Remember that since we don't have BGP4, box has to NAT on each link back to your own IPs..that's a lot of work if you have a LAN with thousands of users, servers and hosts.

michaelr7

join:2004-03-26
Tucson, AZ

1 recommendation

quote:
Virtually all Enterprise routers I know will do that IF YOU USE BGP4.
Funny - I don't use BGP in any form and my router does it. And it appears to be doing an excellent job. What leads you to believe you need BGP.
quote:
So...you have two (or more) ISP links, each with it's own IP range...how is router going to handle this? Answer is...they don't. At best, they may handle two links from the same ISP, which is not much use if ISP goes down.
Again my router is doing it. Two ISP with different address ranges. It is very common and has been for awhile. Of course you can't control inbound traffic so some users may find the initial connection slow while each of the IP addresses in turn is tried. But the connection will be made . Outbound traffic takes between 10 and 30 seconds to determine one ISP is down.

Perhaps you might want to take a look at some of the technical documents from some of the enterprise router vendors and see what they can do.

jonxy

join:2001-09-07
Potomac, MD
altho all these technologies do similar things, they are not at all equal.

true load balancing BGP requires that both isps/lines are setup on both sides for it and routing setup on both . this is the most ideal setup and allows for true sharing of the bandwidth as the same ip can be reached from both wan connections. this is also not supported on dsl or cable, only on T and higher business connections.

that type of setup is really if you want increased bandwidth for services running or need for redundancy on the same ip (multi-routes to an ip or ips)

now on the more small business / power user , practical side. there are really two things you need to look for, does the unit do actual load balancing and does it allow for multiple ips and static nat.

if you dont need support for multiple ips or static nat from multiple ips then its even easier.

Airplane777 , what do you need to use this for? you mentioned hotel at the start of the thread, if you would like to add a second connection to allow users in the hotel to have a faster overall connection then that's easy, if you wish to do that AND run additional services (www or mail or other services)

i'll be happy to recommend a solution as i have used several levels of low end to high end "load balance's"


wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY
I cant say what his personal goal is but I can tell you that I would love any suggestions about a cheap bandwidth aggregator! We now have 4/384 from TWC and Verizon is offering 3/768 for $29.99 so if I could get 7/1.15 that would be awesome.
--
I like dogs, guns, and cheeseburgers. Whats your malfunction?

jonxy

join:2001-09-07
Potomac, MD
if cheap load balancing is all you want then most any of these devices are all you need, on the low end (most band for the buck) i would recommend the XiNCOM 402, its being discontinued and you can get it for well under $100

if you want more function and wish to use multiple ips and more robust traffic control i would say the a hotbrick is more suitable.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
I recommend you stay away from the Xincom 402 and stick with the Xincom 500 series. Other than Jonxy, I have not read one good DSL Reports feedback from a 400 series user. On the other hand the Xincom 500 series has been reported to be stable (first requirement of any router) and its features work reasonably well. If not looking for a smb/Firewall VPn router, the Xincom 500 is the best bet.

Now apparently theyre practically giving away the Xincom 402 for --
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins". Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner" - (Llama Works Equipment ) -