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Combining a Wired and a Wireless network for faster speed

Posted on 2010-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I've asked this many times before and researched it many times online and never found a solution.
I'd like to combine my wireless connection with my wired one (two different services) to get a faster download speed.
I've read it can be done with 3rd party software but haven't come across that.

Any solutions?
Question by:cornerit
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Expert Comment

ID: 33642550
Unless you're good with Linux/Unix your best bet is to buy a multi-wan router or a Link Balancer. I just purchased a 4 WAN link balancer for the company I work for. We have a 10mbps T1, 2Mbps t-1, and two DSL lines. Now all 4 of them are in use on the network. If you're downloading like 4 or 5 files... Two will be downloading over 1 of the connections then each other one will go over the other ones.

One thing you should know about Combining two different ISP's is that if you're downloading a single file it will only be able to use one of the connections. Because of the TCP handshake that's happening with the server you're retrieving the file from if you were to try and download the same file from two different ISP's the server would think it's two different people asking for the same file.

Just want to make sure you're clear on that... But if you're downloading multiple files, browsing the internet, and gaming all at the same time a link balancer is perfect.

If you want me to send you some links to different products that will help you out let me know. They combine the two ISP's into one LAN line for the inside. Or even more than 2...

Author Comment

ID: 33642613
Thanks for your in depth reply.
I am not looking to spend a massive amount and was hoping to do it with software.
I am willing to take a look at what products you mentioned so please send them over.
Is there not a Linux Distro that does the job; but nothing overly complex?


Expert Comment

ID: 33642676
There's this cisco one which new for around 200 but they have some used here on amazon for $115.

$300 netgear

All though I'll tell you what... If you want to contact me off the site at keith (at) opswat (.) com I will be more than happy to help you with a linux setup.

You would need a box with at least 3 LAN Ports and a some linux experience. I don't have a LOT of experience with this but I have done it before. I can send you a link to a site that will walk you through it and any extra questions you have on the side you can message me personally at the address I sent you.

So if you'd like to do that just let me know otherwise you can pick up one of the devices above like I said or search for more Dual WAN routers. That's what it is.. Dual WAN router.

So some of the dual wan routers only have one LAN port... If you get one with only one LAN port and you have wireless and wired computers then you need to makes sure that your wireless router has a switch so you can plug the single LAN cable from your Dual port WAN into the switch part of the wireless router. Other wise you'll need to plug the LAN cable from the dual wan router into a hub or some other switch then split it from there into your wireless router and wired computers.

Good luck, and please don't hesitate to e-mail me. It could be kind of fun to try and help someone set up link balancing over a linux box.
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Expert Comment

ID: 33652477
I thought I would just mentioned that I agree with keith.

Without substantial skills, it would be worth spending the money on a dual wan router. It means it will be a simplified solution for any of your PC's

Accepted Solution

keith_opswat earned 2000 total points
ID: 33652507
Yeh, cause either way you will increase your total bandwidth the same and with a dual WAN router it's one less thing to worry about configuring wrong. Obviously you can still configure the router wrong but it won't take near as much planning to setup iptables properly and tweak all the configs as well as installing all the correct modules. You could use an older machine to use as a router but you don't want it to be too slow cause you need it to be able to process all the packets.

So here's a cost differential between the two... Rough estimate. Very rough.

For Dual-WAN router:
Anywhere from probably 100-400 maybe less and you could spend upwards of $20k if you wanted too. But you can do everything you need plus, QOS, basic firewall functions, balance traffic between the links, and if one was to go down then the other will take over 100% of the traffic.

Build your own linux-server router:
Base machine you can use something laying around your house probably that's older if you have something, but either way the worth of it would probably be around $100-150. Maybe more maybe, less depending on what you actually put in.

I'd recommend minimum 500mhz processor but I'd say 1Ghz is better. Cause it's not only filtering packets it's gotta keep the OS up and running. RAM is obviously important because it can process data a lot faster through ram so minimum 256mb ram to be on the very low end I'd recommend 1gb or slight amount more. (The Cisco ASA 5505's that I use at work have 256mb and they do VPN, firewall, and no packet filtering. So most of the traffic is just passed through and they need more ram) So I'd say 1GB-2GB if you can afford it.

You only need a hard drive large enough to hold an OS and some other stuff. You could probably use DSL (Damn Small Linux) which would fit on a CD and you could run everything out of RAM if you had enough but I'd say small hard drive with a full version of linux CLI only not the xwindows installed.

Then lastly, you're gonna need 3 network interfaces. They don't need to be 1GB cause you're not gonna have even close to that going ot your ISP's. I mean say each of your itnernet lines are 10mbps each you'l have 20mbps total which isn't even close to the bandwidth of a normal 100mbps nic. (Unless you have old old 10mbps then that will definitely choke you down)

So just go with the router... You'll save yourself a lot of time and heartache.

Author Comment

ID: 33662409
I really don't want to spend a lot of time setting up a dedi Linux box neither do I want to spend any money.
This is not for business purposes and is for home use, I am looking for something more straight forward using software based solutions. I will accept the above answer shortly (which Is of very high quality but I wish to do this for free) if I don't receive any more input


Expert Comment

ID: 33662437
Well send me an e-mail or give me your e-mail address and I'll create a walkthrough with possibly another way you can do it without purchasing stuff or a walkthrough for the simplest way to set up a computer as a router.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33694307
Cheers for input, Wasn't easy and won't be purchasing a router but thanks.

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