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signalfishin

join:2011-11-24

Load-balancing multiple wireless networks

These questions are about load-balancing multiple WiFi connections with N-based wifi routers running DDWRT.

THE GOAL: is to increase throughput by concatenating the bandwidth of the “external” links.

(*) We are dealing with three N-routers (A,B,C) who are all running DDWRT
(*) Routers A & B's radios are running in the mixed mode (to pick up both N & G signals)
(*) Router C's radio is strictly running in the N-mode

»farm8.staticflickr.com/7015/6397···099f.jpg

HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK: routers A & B are connected to multiple “external” WiFi connections simultaneously and present this bandwidth to router C who supplies an internal network.

THE QUESTIONS:

(1) Will such topology work with only three routers?

(2) Can I use any N-routers for A, B, and C routers or do I need special equipment?

(3) [related to question above] Can only two antennas on a N-router pick up more than two signals simultaneously? If not, is there a way to add more antennas to the router's radios?

MY RELATED EXPERIENCE:

CCNA cert ~ decade ago (still remember all the layers in the OSI model )
Fairly new to wireless, but can tinker and solder and possess rudimentary observation and problemsolving skills.

Thank you so much to everyone that took the time to read my post! Your responses are greatly appreciated!


mozerd
Light Will Pierce The Darkness
Premium,MVM
join:2004-04-23
Nepean, ON
Your questions are complex to answer -- you may find the following link helpful Lessons learned
--
David Mozer
IT-Expert on Call
Information Technology for Home and Business

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
Thank you! I will start reading this document!

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
reply to mozerd
I have read the whitepaper, but it didn't provide any answers. I don't think it is very on-topic. It was an interesting read nevertheless.

Thank you for trying to help!

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to signalfishin
@signalfishin
If you remember the OSI model from CCNA, then basically :
- your physical layer medium is going to be whatever band you are using.
- wireless currently uses the 2.4Ghz (B/G) and 5Ghz (A) bands.
- N gear can use 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, or both frequencies depending on the manufacturer.
- IIRC, to get max performance out 2.4Ghz / N wireless, it has to use all 3 nonoverlapping
channels from the 2.4Ghz range (channels 1, 6, 11) ergo mixing N and G gear nulls out your
attempt to loadbalance anything using only 2.4Ghz-capable equipment.

As a really dumb question, just what in the heck are you expecting be able to do with this
setup when all is said and done? I did read THE GOAL, but I seriously think there's easier
ways of doing this than what you have right now.

Whether you could get this to work or not is a VERY big "it depends." Off the top of my head,
if you got time, money and sweat to give it a crack, go nuts.

Regards


DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2
reply to signalfishin
Ive load balanced 4 wireless connections before using pFsense. But you can do as many as you want.

Get a few multi port Lan adapters and install them into the pFsense box and just setup multi-wan load balancing.

You can have fail-over and round robin balancing. Works great!

»www.intel.com/network/connectivi···abit.htm
»www.pfsense.org/
--
Hating ignorance since 1984.


clarknova

join:2010-02-23
Grande Prairie, AB
kudos:7
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
said by DaMaGeINC:

Get a few multi port Lan adapters and install them into the pFsense box and just setup multi-wan load balancing.

Or get a vlan switch if you prefer.
--
db


DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2
I could never get the VLAN load balancing to work... And im pretty smart when it comes to this... Only reason I suggest the multi port..
--
Hating ignorance since 1984.

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
reply to DaMaGeINC
Could I run pfsense box with ethernet ports with Linksys routers on them instead of mini Pcie solution?


DaMaGeINC
The Lan Man
Premium
join:2002-06-08
Greenville, SC
kudos:2
said by signalfishin:

Could I run pfsense box with ethernet ports with Linksys routers on them instead of mini Pcie solution?

If im understanding what you are asking:

You want each port on the pFsense box to link to a "wlan router"(that pulls in a wlan signal) and have them load balanced and aggregated for the internal network...

This is easily done with pFsense the way I described. BUT!!

From your diagram, you have several wlan signals terminating into a single router.. You are then limited by the bandwidth of that router and no matter how many wlan signals you get, you will still only achieve the max speed of the radio of that unit!

Do you have any more information you can give us on what hardware you have to perform this function? Thats basically what it comes down to...
--
Hating ignorance since 1984.


mozerd
Light Will Pierce The Darkness
Premium,MVM
join:2004-04-23
Nepean, ON
reply to signalfishin
said by signalfishin:

These questions are about load-balancing multiple WiFi connections with N-based wifi routers running DDWRT.

THE GOAL: is to increase throughput by concatenating the bandwidth of the “external” links.

(3) [related to question above] Can only two antennas on a N-router pick up more than two signals simultaneously? If not, is there a way to add more antennas to the router's radios?

Specific to your question (3) perhaps the following article can help to answer your question.
802.11n 802.11a/g Multipath the Site Survey and Beamforming

Understanding HOW 'N' works is important -- there are many [4] N implementations out there -- non are equal so very little compatability exists between N gear REGARDLESS of the IEEE ratified standards for "N".
--
David Mozer
IT-Expert on Call
Information Technology for Home and Business

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by mozerd:

said by signalfishin:

These questions are about load-balancing multiple WiFi connections with N-based wifi routers running DDWRT.

THE GOAL: is to increase throughput by concatenating the bandwidth of the “external” links.

(3) [related to question above] Can only two antennas on a N-router pick up more than two signals simultaneously? If not, is there a way to add more antennas to the router's radios?

Specific to your question (3) perhaps the following article can help to answer your question.
802.11n 802.11a/g Multipath the Site Survey and Beamforming

Understanding HOW 'N' works is important -- there are many [4] N implementations out there -- non are equal so very little compatability exists between N gear REGARDLESS of the IEEE ratified standards for "N".

The first declaration of scope would suggest this is a networking topic, not a wireless one. #3 however, muddies that.

Notwithstanding the compatibility issues WRT N gear, I have to wonder how all those radios will share the limited spectrum.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey


Da Geek Kid

join:2003-10-11
::1
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to signalfishin
Not sure if you are trying to increase the bandwidth of a b/g... N can handle around 300mbps thruput in a perfect scenario so I am not quite sure...

Are you attempting to push 10Gbps thru a 802.11b/g???

Loadbalance is a heavily used incorrect word of choice. As HF has mentioned, you'd need to clear up the real goal. The loadbalancing (i.e. juggling of singals in the air) is not a technique... Again, as HF has stated, try splitting your Cat5 cable, connect the RX portion of it to one switch and the TX portion to another...

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
I think loadbalancing was a correct term, but I won't contest it.

I would like to increase the internet bandwidth pipe of one network by combining the bandwidth of several other Internet connections.

I want to spread a network load over several connections.

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
reply to signalfishin
I didn't find the article very useful:
Things like: "If you use 14 to 3 antenna elements you tend to receive a better S/N of which is based upon all the same output of the transmitter and received receiver." are not very useful to me as I need a solid understanding of the basics.

I found a good article for my #3 needs:»djw.cs.washington.edu/papers/mim···mies.pdf


Da Geek Kid

join:2003-10-11
::1
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to signalfishin
said by signalfishin:

I think loadbalancing was a correct term, but I won't contest it.

I would like to increase the internet bandwidth pipe of one network by combining the bandwidth of several other Internet connections.

I want to spread a network load over several connections.

Still 100% unclear of what you are asking... If you are asking to increase your Wireless ISP's B/W by using multiple WISPs and combining the WISPs to make a bigger pipe? If that's the case no DD-WRT router will be able to accomplish that... You would need a high performance multi I/O Wireless Mesh Router (NOT A WAP).

You would have to set up multiple routing protocols so you could "load share" NOT "load balance". each WISP will give you an IP to each separate Mesh Router. Mesh routers will than connect to each other internally using a routing protocol will load share the traffic. You'd need a third router to manage the load.

This has been done and not cheap. you could look at some info about these on Aruba Networks website... But this is silly!

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24

1 edit
I think you are misunderstanding the scale of this small project.

»doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Multi_···alancing


mozerd
Light Will Pierce The Darkness
Premium,MVM
join:2004-04-23
Nepean, ON
reply to signalfishin
said by signalfishin:

I found a good article for my #3 needs:»djw.cs.washington.edu/papers/mim···mies.pdf

Excellent reference source -- signalfishin See Profile thank you.

I would encourage anyone interested in MIMO to read this superbly written document.
--
David Mozer
IT-Expert on Call
Information Technology for Home and Business

signalfishin

join:2011-11-24
reply to signalfishin
Thanks! I'm glad I could be of service.