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Author Topic: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?  (Read 1201 times)

oliver022

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Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« on: October 30, 2020, 03:08:38 PM »

I'm working in an office in Vietnam currently. The connection we have is ~50 Mbit. I'm wondering if there's a hardware solution that allows us to aggregate the speed of multiple lines into 1.


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« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 01:38:09 PM by oliver022 »
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j0hn

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 03:22:38 PM »

Bonding requires the ISP or network operator to have equipment at their end also.
They need to specifically sell a bonding product.
Bonding essentially makes multiple connections appear as a single connection, combining the upload and download speeds.

You may find load balancing easier. It can be done with just a router at your end with multiple WAN ports.
For the majority of applications the upstream and downstream will be combined.
For single threaded applications it will use a single connection.
There are various Draytek and TP-Link routers that can do load balancing.

There are much more technical ways to do bonding without the ISP being involved but these can involve paying for and setting up a VPN
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2020, 03:33:31 AM »

You may find load balancing easier. It can be done with just a router at your end with multiple WAN ports.
For the majority of applications the upstream and downstream will be combined.
For single threaded applications it will use a single connection.
There are various Draytek and TP-Link routers that can do load balancing.

There are much more technical ways to do bonding without the ISP being involved but these can involve paying for and setting up a VPN

For the majority of applications the downstream will be combined but the upstream will not as there is no mechanism I'm aware of for multi-threaded uploads, unfortunately.
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Weaver

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 06:01:38 AM »

I use a Firebrick router to IP-bond four DSL lines distributing traffic in the upstream direction and my ISP, Andrews and Arnold - aa.net.uk, splits  the packets in the downstream direction and distributes them over my four lines. This means that a single download or upload goes four times faster.

AA offers an L2TP-based VPN service so that customers using other ISPs can still use the facilities of the AA network. AA can host a Firebrick router at their facility and that could talk to a similar router at your end.

Talk to them and tell them what you need and they may well be able to set you up. It won’t be cheap, but if you need superb speed then this is a good way to go.
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Ronski

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 10:04:01 AM »

Weaver, I think you missed the bit where they said they were working in an office in Vietnam, although I suppose in theory it would work there would be other complications.
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Weaver

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2020, 10:18:07 AM »

No, I noticed that, hence the mention of L2TP VPN. The latency might be scary, but alternatively the principle of hosting a router out there in the internet plus another matching one at your site, that remains the same.
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hushcoden

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2020, 11:05:14 AM »

I'm wondering if there's a hardware solution that allows us to aggregate the speed of multiple lines into 1.
Have a look at Peplink Balance models or Cisco 897VAB - as j0hn has already said, bonding requires 'special' hardware at both ends of your connection, which means you have to get your ISP involved (and it's usually quite expensive).

In the UK AA is a perfect example of an ISP that fully supports their customers to achieve channel bonding (see weaver posts).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 11:07:45 AM by hushcoden »
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j0hn

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2020, 11:08:05 AM »

No mention of the fact it has a 100Mb/s cap either, and that's for domestic customers.

Every thread doesn't have to turn in to an AAISP recommendation.

They don't even want a UK service  :no:
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Chunkers

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2020, 10:16:14 PM »

As Alex says, you can load balance two or more lines using pretty much any reasonable pfsense / opnsense / openwrt router.  I do it with two adsl lines, when you have multiple users it works pretty well.  The easiest cheap way would be to use an old PC with a 4 port NIC.

The limitation compared to a bonded service is basically that only certain multi-threaded applications will be able to use all the band width of all connections at one time (e.g torrent) and a single connection is typically limited to the maximum speed of one connection. On our network the users are completely oblivious to the fact we have 2 connections and the advantage is that you don't need any kind of 'special' deal, I used to use two different ISP's for years and it worked great.

Just one warning, if my experience of the TP-Link load balancing routers is anything to go by (I had a TL-ER5120) , I would avoid. The firmware very flakey and unreliable and TP-Link were unable to fix it (they sent me beta firmware but eventually gave up and stopped supporting it less than a year after they stopped selling it)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 10:21:40 PM by Chunkers »
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Weaver

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2020, 04:18:02 AM »

@j0hn I forgot about the 100Mbps cap, good point.

A lot depends on whether or not you want to do the router setup yourself or you want someone else to do it for you.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2020, 06:45:11 PM »

@j0hn I forgot about the 100Mbps cap, good point.

A lot depends on whether or not you want to do the router setup yourself or you want someone else to do it for you.

What put me off is they have so little information on their website about how the service works and no mention of bonding at all.  I just didn't have the energy to discuss it with a real-life person, I think I tried asking in IRC and do not recall getting any response.
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Weaver

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2020, 08:52:20 AM »

Alex - Are you talking about L2TP ?

agreed - I couldn’t find any mention of bonding on the website, but perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough. Mind you, it shouldn’t be that hard.
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jelv

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2020, 09:20:17 AM »

Are you talking about AAISP's website, if so I can't understand your comment as I found information on the knowledge base in seconds by just searching for bonding! https://support.aa.net.uk/Category:Bonding

Edit: Many pages about L2TP as well. Is the comment regarding information about bonding in conjunction with L2TP?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 09:29:09 AM by jelv »
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j0hn

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2020, 10:59:27 AM »

Are you talking about AAISP's website, if so I can't understand your comment as I found information on the knowledge base in seconds by just searching for bonding! https://support.aa.net.uk/Category:Bonding

I believe he's talking about non customers using AAISP's L2TP service to bond multiple lines as suggested above.

I'm not sure there's much documentation on that. I'm not even sure it's something they offer as a standard service.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 12:27:05 PM by j0hn »
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Hardware solution for broadband bonding?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2020, 11:06:43 AM »

I believe he's talking about non customers using AAISP's L2TP service to bond multiple lines as suggested above.

I'm not sure there's much documentation on that. I'm not even sure it's something the offer as a standard service.

Correct.
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