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Standard User jamied
(newbie) Fri 12-Oct-12 00:00:01
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load balancing router


[link to this post]
 
Hi,

I currently have a 120mb virgin connection which has been going down frequently of late. This has been due to virgin network issues in the area and is not specific to my line. As I work from home it's really important for me to have internet access all the time so I've been looking at getting a fibre connection to go along with the cable connection.

I'm a little unsure which load balancer to go for as I'm concerned that a lot of the load balancing routers on the home/small office end won't actually support the throughput capable on these lines. With virgin being 120mb down an 10mb and the fibre connection around 70mb down and 20mb up that means that the router would need to be able to support 190mb down and 30mb up. (note: yes I do understand that a single connection will only go over one line and so the maximum speed for a single download will not be 190mb).

I've been looking at some of the draytek load balancing models with the throughput in this review states 147 Mbps (http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-reviews/31354-draytek-vigor-2920-reviewed?start=3). I'm always a bit fuzzy on the speed terminology, my understanding is that this router would not be as fast as the combine connection speeds (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

It looks like there is a Netgear SRX5308 mentioned in the same review that would have a suitable throughput at a reasonable price. I've also seen there is peplink balance, although it looks like the price of these is rather high for the throughput I need.

Would anyone be able to sugest a suitable load balancing router I would be able to use?

Thanks
Standard User sandacol
(newbie) Fri 12-Oct-12 00:38:05
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Re: load balancing router


[re: jamied] [link to this post]
 
I have a TP-link TL-R470T+

Not a particularly up-market bit of kit, but it seems to work OK for home use, and it cost £30, so not much lost if it doesn't suit.

If you're looking for max throughput, then this probably isn't for you, but if you just want to have 2 lines coming in with 'invisible' sharing and switching between then it may be a reasonable cheap option.

As you said, any one session must go through a single line, but I have certainly seen cases where I have one device with multiple browser sessions that are split between the two lines. (although you can stop this happening in the config).

All the normal QoS, VPN, DoS protection etc. stuff is there, and prioritising devices to lines with fail-over to the other all available. (So, I split my sons to a line each. If one wants to stream sky-go on his laptop, it doesn't [censored] the other's XBOX game.)

Probably not what you're looking for, but for me, it works OK.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User jamied
(newbie) Fri 12-Oct-12 13:54:14
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Re: load balancing router


[re: jamied] [link to this post]
 
I spoke to one of the guys at broadband buyer today and he said the only router they carry that would be able to handle the combined line speeds throughput would be the as yet unreleased Draytek 2960 http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?... which can handle 600Mb/s. It's a bit pricy at just over £400, but cheaper than the peplink stuff.

Does anyone know of something similar to compare it to?


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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 31-Oct-12 09:56:31
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Re: load balancing router


[re: jamied] [link to this post]
 
Hi Jamie

I've been looking for exactly the same thing as we have Virgin Media 100 and BT Infinity 2 - which we have connected through a D-Link DI-LB604 Dual Wan Router.

Until the recent speed upgrades from VM and BT we weren't aware that our router would have a throughput limit, but when I test the connections directly we are getting typically 94Mbps on the Virgin and 72Mbps on the Infinity - but through the router these drop to about 49Mbps each.

The DI-LB604 only has 100Mbps WAN ports so I didnít expect any higher than that but I was surprised it topped out at half that.

I've been looking at firstly the D-Link DSR-500N, but that says the max throughput through the firewall is 70Mbps then I saw the DSR-1000N was rated at 130Mbps but even at 130 I was worried it would max out below the Virgin at 120Mbps when we get that upgrade.

Now that I've seen the Vigor 2960 in your message it looks like just what we're after ourselves so I'm going to see what more I can find out. Especially as I'm purely going on my limited understanding of how these things work with respect to throughput.

On a practical level, having the resilience of Dual WAN is lovely. Although connections like Virgin and Infinity are extremely resilient compared to the days of regular ADSL they do go wrong sometimes, like the Virgin engineer snapping our connection off in the cabinet which took a week to get fixed, so I fully understand your thinking.

The other thing to say is that our DI-LB604 was less than 100 pounds imported from Taiwan as it's not a UK unit and apart from the speed restrictions it works brilliantly - much the same I expect as the TL-R470+ etc. Once you get up to about 50Mbps the Internet is much faster than most people have at home so the resilience is where you gain the most.

Like you though, I don't want to spend circa 400 pounds only to find it's unable to cope so thanks for posting this and giving me a new lead.

Kind regards

Stephen
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 31-Oct-12 10:29:20
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Re: load balancing router


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Hello again

I'm also curious about the way the speed is described as it says "High-Performance Router/Firewall with a throughput up to 600Mb/s", but I want to find out if that's somehow achieved by turning off the firewall or something Ė if it is truly 600Mbps through the firewall then that looks impressive and ideal.

The Vigor 2960 looks remarkably similar to the D-Link DSR-1000N (which has added WIFI) so I'm going to talk to DrayTek and D-Link to see if I'm missing something - especially as 600Mbps is more than 4 times as fast as 130Mbps etc.

Thanks once again and I'll post anything more I find of interest.

Kind regards

Stephen
Standard User jamied
(newbie) Wed 31-Oct-12 11:00:33
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Re: load balancing router


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Hi Stephen,

I've not ordered my BT connection yet, I'm still uming and aaring if it's worth the extra £35/month on top of the virgin connection. Although every time the virgin connection goes down I get closer to ordering the new line.

During my research I've come across another option that is much cheaper, the TP-Link TL-ER5120 http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?... from what I've read it works quite well but won't have the same configuration abilities as the draytek. I'm not sure which one to go for, it almost seems worth trying the TP-link as it's so much cheaper. I've not managed to find any other routers that can handle the throughput without going into the enterprise level kit which starts at a few grand!

If you do end up getting one I'd be very interested in hearing what your experience are.
Standard User jamied
(newbie) Wed 31-Oct-12 11:06:09
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Re: load balancing router


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
I spoke to the Draytek guy at broadband buyer and he said that draytek are one of the only companies to sit in-between the consumer and enterprise markets. He said it should be fine to support the level of throughput you can get from a virgin and fibre connection combined.

He also pointed out that the average speed of broadband in the UK is 7-8mb so why would most manufacturers produce consumer equipment that can support 200-300mb connections.
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Wed 31-Oct-12 21:23:11
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Re: load balancing router


[re: jamied] [link to this post]
 
How about a PC running pfSense? Then you can make it as high-spec as you want.


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Standard User gmoorc
(committed) Wed 31-Oct-12 22:40:37
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Re: load balancing router


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Agree with that. Some scaling info here

Or ClearOS would be another option.

If you have an old pc lying around easy enough to give it a go for little to no cost.
Standard User xela
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 01-Nov-12 12:40:07
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Re: load balancing router


[re: jamied] [link to this post]
 
if you are load balancing two connections to provide greater resilience and reliability, the maximum throughout may not be a problem.

The cheaper drayteks can handle the load balancing but you won't be able to use both lines at full speed simultaneously. ie the max throughput will be limited by your router (whereas in most home broadband situations it is limited by the connection speed)
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