I live in an area which is covered by an unsecured wi-fi network which I'm allowed to use. Incidentally, I also have a private internet connection (I hope you got the concept). Now I want to use both of these connections for browsing and/or downloading.
My private connection can be accessed through LAN wire. I was told that I cannot utilize both of these connections and that only one of them will be active at a time. What I wanted to know was whether can I, through virtualization, run another OS which might connect to this wired connection (while my primary OS connects to the wireless) (or vice-versa) so that I could download on my wired connection, while browsing on the wireless one?
If there is any other way to kind-of "combine" these connections or anything, any suggestions are welcome.
See the "Multi-Homing & Multi-WAN Broadband Router (USA only)" at bottom of page. These allow you to connect one or more LAN's to two or more WAN (broadband) connections. The router will dynamically balance the load between the various WAN connections.
However, there's a catch. It will balance the load but not combine or split the load. For example, if you're furiously downloading a file from a single web site, the router will only connect one of the WAN ports to this web site, and you'll be going no faster than one WAN connection can handle. It will NOT divide the download between the two (or more ports).
The same applies to outgoing bandwidth. If you're uploading a file, it will only go via one of the WAN ports.
However, if you're downloading multiple files, from multiple sites, at the same time, the router will split the load between the multiple sites. Same if you have multiple computers or users on the LAN side. Each will get whatever bandwidth is available on the least used WAN port.
Worse, some load balancing routers are rather crude. Instead of dynamically and continuously balancing the traffic based on usage, they just assign a give user an unused WAN port per session, and leave it like that until they disconnect. Check the theory of operation before buying.
So, a load balancing router is not a perfect way to "combine" multiple WAN ports, but it might be good enough for whatever you're doing. If you want to really combine the two WAN connections so they act as a single IP address, they will need to come from the same ISP, and you will need to arrange for "channel bonding" from the ISP. That's probably not going to happen.
How "private" is the private connection? I don't get the concept. What, exactly, were you told about simultaneous connections?
One Wifi and one LAN connection can both be active simultaneously. Which one is used for a particular connection is determined by the route table. If this is Windows, "route /print" will show some route information.
If your "private" network is one set of addresses, or provides access to a certain set of addresses, and the WiFi is a generic internet connection, you should be able to reach sites via both networks.
If they both have access to the same addresses, the LAN will be preferred by default. Have a look at the route /print output for more clues.
Is there a VPN on the "private" network? If there is, enabling the VPN might block access to the other network.