reliability, since apparently loss of one WAN puts all the traffic on the other so no loss of internet access.
Bandwidth, does the dual WAN setup result in twice the bandwidth, or put another way, is download speed doubled assuming there's only one user? Or is it simply that 2 uses can each reach maximum download speed on each WAN.
Can it be configured so that a particular user primarily uses one WAN and another user primarily the other? Or can individual users be "throttled" by the admin?
Obviously I'm a novice at this, so any help is welcome, including links where I might learn more.
About $60. Make sure you get the v3.0 version or later. I just installed one about 2 weeks ago. Too soon to tell if it's going to be reliable.
Yep, but you can do the same thing with two routers and RIP2. I had one such derrangement between a then fast 1.5Mbit/sec DSL line, and a rather insipid ISDN 128Kbit/sec line. The DSL went down one day, and it was a month later that someone finally bothered to complain that the internet seemed a bit slow. That's what I call seamless fall-back.
The problem is that both WAN connections use two completely seperate WAN IP addresses with no way to conglomerate or combine them (i.e. channel bonding). If you have two users on such a load blancing router, each user will be able to download or upload only at the maximum speed of the fastest WAN connection. If both users end up on the same WAN connection, then the download speed is split in half, with NOTHING moving on the slower WAN connection. If you install such a load balancing router combining a fast cable modem and a slower DSL line, you'll find that very little traffic is moving on the DSL side, and there everyone is doing battle for bandwidth on the faster cable modem side. Only when the cable modem is disconnected or dies, does traffic start to move on the DSL side. There are also some rather defective implimentations of load balancing that don't handle such asymmetry very well. I had one old Edimax clunker decide that some users deserve the slower connection, even if the faster connection is available. Be careful what you select in the setup for a load balancing algorithm.
No. Grab the user guide and RTFM. Warning: 124 pages.
Also, check the online emulators: There's also the TL-R480T:
You left out "what are you trying to accomplish?" and "what do you have to work with"? That means what problem are you trying to solve with a load balancing router and what type of WAN connections do you have available? It's difficult to offer applications advice without knowning something about your setup.
#1 Dual WAN can increase reliability provided the two ISP's traffic does not ride the same paths. Example, if one is DSL and one is Cable either can backup the other as long as they have high enough throughput and if the router box combining the WANs has failover capability. If on the other hand both WANs cable (or DSL), if one goes down the other one dies with it killing all traffic.
#2 You usually do not get twice the speed unless both your site and ISP's have special hardware, usually not. Some dual WAN boxes can alternate traffic between the two WANs. So if link is busy with a download it would send the internet request out the other WAN.
#3 With some quite involved configuring you can assign one user's traffic to a specific WAN and all other users to the other. As for throttling specific users you can employ Quality Of Service (QOS) on some to control speeds by user. Again that can get quite involved and is something I've not had the need to actually do. Others here or on the DD-WRT forums might be better able to assist you if/when you get into this.
The way things keep evolving in the hardware/software scene we all tend to remain a novice. It's the mystery of "What the heck did they change this time?" that keeps many of us interested in new stuff.
As you will find, there are hardware boxes specifically designed to handle dual WANs and there are routers that can be reconfigured to run the DD-WRT firmware that allows you to create what you want. I'd ask on the DD-WRT forums for suggestions for the best router to do dual WANs as some routers that can run DD-WRT do not have enough speed or capacity to keep up with two WANs.
If you are just wanting to learn how to make things I'd go the DD-WRT route but if this is for a business environment I'd suggest one of the hardware boxes already setup for this.
Here's my situation... I'm too far out of civilization for DSL. The only options are Satellite (Hughesnet or similar) or a local WISP. The WISP offers a 3Mbps connection for ~ $50/mo, but that's not enough for both me and the spouse, who downloads a lot of training videos that she subscribes to. So I thought, get a Dual WAN router and a second subscription to the WISP, or a Satellite connection, and get more bandwidth. But thanks to your excellent description, I see that plan is flawed.
Maybe I'll just go with 2 subscriptions to the WISP, one for each of us, and do without the combining of them.
Try Exede (formerly Wild Blue) owned by Viasat on Ka band (not Ku band). Hughes also has their "Jupiter" service on Ka band, but I don't have any experience.
Mass downloading can be done late at night. I have a similar situation with a customer in the middle of nowhere. After exceeding the FAP several times, I calculated that it would be cheaper to have a friend load a flash drive with a days worth of "content", than to download it via a satellite internet connection. For a while, he was having someone drop the flash drives from an ultralight, but that proved unreliable. I've suggested quadcopter delivery which will require some testing (I now have a quadcopter to play with). Anyway, the point is that anything that does *NOT* require continuous user interaction (such as email and web browsing) can be handled by after hours downloading.
Either will work.
I have a local problem similar to yours. What I did was subscribe to the fastest possible cable service (85 Mbits/sec download) and distribute the bandwidth to the community via buried cable, buried fiber, and wireless. The farthest connection goes through all three. The trick is to have someone with a high speed connection somewhere within line of sight or along a usable buried cable path. No fair using Ma Bell's poles. I used to do it myself, but I now have someone that's good at horizontal drilling under the road. If you're line of sight from someone with cable or DSL, you might want to consider the option of sharing their bandwidth.
I only own 50% of it (so far). It has a GPS and gyro for almost idiot proof flying. However, it hasn't flown yet because it currently has a dead battery, blown charger, mangled props, and a possible sick motor. Parts are on order but haven't arrived yet. After I learn to fly it, a camera will get added. One of the first applications will be inspecting antennas on top of radio towers and checking line of sight. At 360 degree horizontal rotation should give a good panorama view of the coverage area.
Note that the radio works on 2.4Ghz spread spectrum. Oh-oh.