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Using 2 NICs to get faster internet?

Posted on 2008-10-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am behind speed-limited internet.  Currently it is 768/256.  I was wondering if I could add another NIC to my computer and get double the speed?  I am in an apartment building, and the guys running the network here say it's limited for each connection.
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Question by:snoldak924
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Accepted Solution

by:
apache09 earned 167 total points
ID: 22645790
If the Speed is limited by the Providor, being the ISP or the People or Company running the network, a second Network card is not giong to increase your speed.
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by:chops_uk
chops_uk earned 167 total points
ID: 22645808
sorry, no. The bottleneck is your Internet connection.
think of a garden hose.. if you attach a bigger section of garden hose to the end of it, it won't make it run any faster..
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by:snoldak924
ID: 22645812
No, you see it's per connection.  If I use a 4-port switch, and then connect my laptop too, both can achieve 768/256 simultaneously.
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Expert Comment

by:chops_uk
ID: 22645824
aah.. sorry.. I get you.
hmm.. it's certainly worth a try for the cost.. the difficulty is that you'd have to 'aggregate' them to make the solution useful.

If they're both Intel, use Advanced Network Services to do this:

Certainly this can also be done with a firewall router ..eg watchguard, sonicwalls etc for redundancy and speed..  you can 'team' HP network cards for the same effect with their software... teaming's an an IEEE standard (802.3ab I think)..
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Expert Comment

by:chops_uk
ID: 22645826
oops, intel link here:
http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009747.htm

what NICs do you have?
hope this helps!
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Author Comment

by:snoldak924
ID: 22645833
I currently have the one that's built into my mobo, an Atheros AR8121/AR8113.  I was planning on buying whatever worked with this config.

Should I just buy 2 intel PCI NICs?  Could I use more than 2?
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 22645854

It sounds like you are talking about link aggregation / DSL bonding. This is a costly procedure which can only be performed by your ISP - using 2 NICs will not cause the same effects.

If you had 2 NICs, you would appear to the Internet as if you were connecting from two separate IP addresses. Thus, if you tried to download a file, it could only download over 1 NIC at a time, meaning your download speed would not increase. The only benefit you would see from using dual Internet connections is if you had a multi-user office, you could spread the load.

For a single-user, having 2 Internet connections is only good if you do multiple downloads at the same time, or you want high availability. 2 NICs is not the way to do it though - you would purchase a router with dual WAN ports which will have built-in capabilities to spread traffic automatically.

-tigermatt
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Expert Comment

by:chops_uk
ID: 22645856
hmm it's down to the driver software.. so you're safer with Intel than Atheros.
and I'd stick with 2 NICS.. I'm sure it's possible, but I'd go with 2 x suported Intel ones.. usually inexpensive anyway..
good luck!
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Author Comment

by:snoldak924
ID: 22645857
what about bittorrent?  would that be fast with 2 NICs?
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Assisted Solution

by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 166 total points
ID: 22645873

I think we're getting confused here. Using 2 NICs off one Internet Connection will NOT increase speeds, nor will trying to download the same file over two different Internet Connections (i.e. incoming on different lines).

If you really want two lines, you should purchase a dual WAN port router, then obviously two Ethernet modems - one for each incoming line. Connect line to modem, then modem to router, and the router will then handle load balancing of traffic between the two lines, and obviously failover should one line become unavailable. However, this CANNOT speed up one individual download, because the computer nor the router is simply not clever enough to download one part over one line and the other over the other line.

-tigermatt
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Expert Comment

by:chops_uk
ID: 22645906
..but if you have one download running over one IP address and another download, email send & recieve, browsing session or whatever over the other it should help... so an individual session won't be quicker, but it will be better overall.

I do it using a router - one route for internet browsing, another for SMTP traffic.. it works well.
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Expert Comment

by:Press2Esc
ID: 22651124
to ansewr your q, you should consider a dual WAN router with load balance, WAN/LAN aggregation.  Linksys RV042 router seems to be fairly inexpensive & work for your application.  P2E
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 23365723

There were other valid solutions provided here which deserve points.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 23367241
Split using

22645790
22645808
22645873

-tigermatt
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