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multiple internet connections across one network

Hi all,

Our office is running around 15 machines and we are looking at adding a second internet broadband line to the same network.

Now the reason for this is we cannot afford for the office to be without internet connection at any point. So the idea i to get the second line so that if in any case the line drops the second will be there.

At the moment the internet comes into the site and we are using a Cisco Linksys X3000 router.

The SBS server is plugged directly into the router and the router in turn is cat5e intoa w switch and piped aroundt he office.

The SBS server is handling the DHCP are we able to simply add the additional line and router to the switch? Will the router server then handle the load sharing automatically?

Many thanks in advance,

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2 Solutions

From what I can glean from your description this won't work as the traffic will not know how to get to the new router, it will still always go to the old one.

If you have a little bit of money to spend then I would recommend a solution where you have a another router (load balancer) inbetween the two routers and the SBS Server.

I have had good experience with http://www.peplink.com/balance/tech-spec/ (the 20 model should be fine for you).

This will have the added benefit that you can load balance over both lines when they are both oeprating therefore increasing your internet speed for everyone. When one of the lines fails then it will fail over to the active ones.

I have been using the 710 model for a long time and it works fantastically, is easy to configure and very stable.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
You might use a Cisco RV042 in load balance mode.  I can't suggest the failover mode because I was never able to get my brain and the machine to agree on how it should be behaving.  Some of them would fail over and then never return to the primary port without manual intervention.  That's not a problem with load balancing.  And, with load balancing you can bind certain protocols, etc. to one of the internet ports.
Your device is working as an ADSL modem, a router, a wireless access point, and a 4-port switch.  As John suggested, your existing setup won't easily support two connections to the internet.

I have used the Cisco RV042 dual-port router (around $125 online) before with success.  You can read about it at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9925/index.html  .  If that is of interest to you, check to see if there is a newer version or model that would better suit you.

To use such a device you would switch your X3000 into bridge mode so it acts like a modem and nothing more.  You would connect one output of it to one of the WAN ports on the RV042 and connect your other internet connection to the other WAN port.  One of the LAN ports would connect to your switch.  The RV042 would be configured to use both connections (load-sharing) or use one as primary and the second in case of failure (failover).  You would need to add a wireless access point (or wireless router configured as such) after the RV042 if you need wireless.
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flynnyAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

First of all many thanks for the responses.

OK, so from the responses I have two options:


I would have the two adsl lines connected to their respective routers with the DHCP turned off (SBS Server handles this anyway).

These would then both connect to the peplink (as recomended by JohnGerhardt). I assume the peplink will handle all the port forwarding (and from which connection would handle which ports)? With the Peplink then connecting to the switch.

This would then seem to be able to handle the load sharing, and fail safe of one o fthe connections dropping automatically?

2. Using Cisco RV042 dual-port router

Here Internet connection 1 would go into the X3000 router. This would be set to bridge mode and connect to the Cisco RV042 router.

The second net connection would then plug directly into the Cisco RV042 router, which would then be plugged into the switch.

From the comment made this layout would allow for loadsharing on the connection OR the fail safe (i.e.one connection dropping) and not automatically handle both.

I have the following questions

a.) In setup 1, if the PEPLINK was setup to handle load sharing we could tell the routers which net connections would handle which ports (i.e. conn one handle mail traffic, conn 2 RWW traffic, etc). For example if net 1 dropped, would the router automatically set net 2 to then pick up the mail traffic? Then if and when net 1 came back online would it flick back?

b.)In setup 2, if we set the RV042 as load sharing and then net 1 dropped for come reason, I assume this would mean all internet would be down. Would it be a case of a siply logging onto the router and flicking a setting for everything to move over to net 2. Or would all port routing, etc need to be changed as well?

c.) Is the RV042 command only or does it have a http interface?

d.)In setup 1 would the two routers handling the net connections need to be set to brdge and the peplink handle the two connections?

Thanks again,


Basically the peplink would need to default route out of your internal infrastrustrucutre. If the infrastucutre is small then this could mean that it is the GW for your clients.

The routers can then be set up in bridge mode if you want or you can leave them as they are and the peplink will handle just forward the packets that it wants over it each line.

You can decided on how the traffic is routed by:

and decide from these whether the selected traffic should be routed over both lines or one line etc. The box will automatically (unless you specifically force it to) fail over between the lines. So the user should not see any interruption at all. I am not sure of the exact timings for the swap over (some connection might need to reset) but it is automatic (you don't need to get involved).

There are a other cool features and I think the little 20 model is about £260. I think it is well worth it.

I hope I have answered your questions, if not give me a shout...
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
b.)In setup 2, if we set the RV042 as load sharing and then net 1 dropped for come reason, I assume this would mean all internet would be down. Would it be a case of a siply logging onto the router and flicking a setting for everything to move over to net 2. Or would all port routing, etc need to be changed as well?

c.) Is the RV042 command only or does it have a http interface?

If the RV042 is is load sharing mode AND if there are no protocols bound to one or the other WAN then the failure of one internet connection will be transparent except for the obvious bandwidth reduction.
If there are protocols bound to one WAN or the other, and one WAN fails then I'm not sure what happens.  Worst case you'd have to turn off the binding.  Best case it would ignore the binding in that case .. but I'd not count on it.
As before, I would not recommend the failover mode in the RV042 because I didn't find it to behave as one might want.  In failover mode it *is* one WAN or the other WAN.  In load balancing mode it is *both* WANs all the time.

The RV042 does have a web gui interface.

Then, of course, you would plug the LAN switch you mentioned and the server you mentioned into the LAN side of the RV042.  Actually, I would plug the RV042 LAN into the switch and all the devices, including the server, into the switch as well - so there is only one connection to the RV042 LAN.   Then if it's a managed switch you can monitor all the key items in the traffic stream.

And, just to be complete: you plug one internet access into WAN1 and the other internet access into WAN2 of the RV042.

Note: The terminology for the RV042 seems to be this:

Gateway mode: means NAT.  This is the "normal" mode for simple internet gateways.
Router mode: means no NAT.
flynnyAuthor Commented:

many thanks for this. so would you recommend the PEPLINK as a more solid option over teh RV042 then?

Also just to confirm in this setup I would require 2 routers AND the peplink?
Just so we are clear from my side I have no experience of the RV042 so I cannot recommend one over the other.

I can just say that the peplink works wells and seems to fit your needs.

I can confirm that you will need 1 peplink and 2 routers.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
And I have no experience with the Peplink.  I note that the Balance 20 will handle more than 2 WANs and I don't know that you need more than 2.

I should think that the description given by CompProbSolv would work reasonably:

You didn't say how the added line will be brought in did you?  Presumably an ADSL modem.
If the X3000 is acting as a modem then that takes care of the existing ADSL line.  But, if there's a modem as well then you don't need the X3000.  

Assuming you have two modems (and one may be the X3000 ) then all you need is a single RV042 as follows:

Modem #1 to RV042 WAN#1
Modem #2 to RV042 WAN#2
RV042 set to Gateway mode and load balancing.
RV042 LAN side to your LAN switch.

Doesn't that pretty much do it folks?
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