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Adding second internet connection to a domain network

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Last Modified: 2014-02-11
Hey Guys

I am managing a network that doesn't have enough bandwidth to run their network.
They are quite remote and are currently using a 3G internet connection.  Not ideal but it's all they have to work with.

I want to increase their internet bandwidth and was considering adding a second 3G modem to the network at the other end of the building and linking it into the network.

I'm wondering what's the best way to add a second internet connection and design the DNS so that I can group computers and hook them to separate modems to share the internet load. I was thinking like this: Group-A link to modem-A, Group-B link to Modem-B but keep them all on the same domain.

I have a Sonicwall TZ210 firewall and a 2008 SBS server in place.

I haven't setup dual internet connections before for bandwidth sharing and would like advice if this is the best way to go considering I only have 3G to work with (satellite and fiber are out of their budget unfortunately).

What do you guys think? Is this a good idea to go with a second 3G modem?
What would be the best way to link the client computers to separate modems?

Kind Regards
Aaron
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Question by:moncomp
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 39813985
Hi Aaron,
A lot of my clients only have access to Sattelite Internet. Very frustrating ! I run dual Wan on all those. I use Fortigate 60C upwards because of all the routing options but If you have any dual wan router witch granular control on all your routes it works very well.
Using just a load balance rule out of the box ususlly is not very effective. Splitting up your bandwith manually is much more effective.
Hope that helps,
Olaf
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Accepted Solution

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moncomp earned 0 total points
ID: 39813990
Hey Olaf

Thanks for your reply! :)

The TZ210 does have dual wan ports.
What do you mean by granular control on all your routes?

Also I heard that 3G is shared bandwidth from the tower, do you think I'll lose much bandwidth with a second modem in place?

Kind Regards
Aaron
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Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 39814147
Never used any Sonicwall stuff but if they are decent you will be OK.
With 3G, make sure you take your second connection from a completely different supplier.
No bandwith sharing. They all have their own transmitters.
Olaf
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Author Comment

by:moncomp
ID: 39814177
Hey Olaf

Completely different supplier may be an issue as there's only one supplier in that location.
What is going to happen if they're both on the same carrier?
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Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 39814267
All you do is take a bigger percentage of the bandwith. Not ideal.
Maybe get a second connection on sattelite. Available everywhere?
Olaf
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Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 39814411
Satellite isn't a bad idea if its in the middle of no where.  It will be better than trying to use two 3G dongles on the same mobile network I imagine.

Satellite is slow but as Olaf says, its available everywhere.
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Author Comment

by:moncomp
ID: 39816643
Olaf mentioned I need to setup granular routing on the firewall for it to work.
What does granular routing mean?
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 39817141
I believe he means manually controlling the load balancing / failover bandwidth manually opposed to letting the router automatically calculating the bandwidth.

Olaf is pretty active on here so I expect he will clarify shortly.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 39820098
Yes using  the generic rules is not very efficient.
Better to work out and set static routes or have some kind of user control and priority system.
Its a bit of a trial game in the beginning and takes a bit of planning but if you working with slow and crappy connections like i do in Vanuatu you'll soon be happy you did.
If I can help contact me.
Olaf
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Author Comment

by:moncomp
ID: 39828713
Hey Olaf

In the end I took your advice on how to configure the firewall but didn't feel confident with my skill level in the configuration process itself. So I requested a quote from www.firewalls.com for the configuration. I can do basic firewall configuration but advanced routing is where I get stuck.
Kind Regards
Aaron
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Olaf De Ceuster
ID: 39828915
Smart move.
If you get stuck letme  know. Have a look for my email in my profile.
Olaf
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Author Closing Comment

by:moncomp
ID: 39849698
great advice
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