How to use two internet connections concurrently
April 21, 2010 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Is there a method or inexpensive tool that will allow me to use two internet connections at the same time across a network?

I have a small business with a very fast Charter internet connection that is unreliable. I also have available an ATT DSL line that is not very fast, but is rock solid. Rather than just switching to the DSL line, I would like to use both at the same time, or if that is not possible, use the DSL as a failover.

Is there a method or inexpensive tool that will allow this? I have found "link balancers" but they are very expensive. Office configuration is currently cable > cable modem > Airport Extreme > four macs + printer wired + 2 laptops and various iPhones wireless.

My current idea is to simply use the cable connection and if/when it goes down, plug the DSL line into the router. Not elegant or efficient, but it would work.
posted by letitrain to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Previously (from four years ago). The four port version the RV042, marked best answer in that question, is about $200 on Amazon.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:55 AM on April 21, 2010

Response by poster: Damn it, I swear I searched! Thank you Chris.
posted by letitrain at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2010

No problem. I found it by searching 'failover router'. I hope it works for you.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:08 AM on April 21, 2010

Response by poster: For others searching in the future, it looks like Peplink is a great solution (it was linked in the old question). Lots of options for everything from home to enterprise.
posted by letitrain at 9:36 AM on April 21, 2010

ClearOS (formerly ClarkConnect) is a free Red Hat-based distribution that turns a PC into a router/gateway (among other things). The feature you want is called multi-WAN. I have an older version running in production, although I've never used that feature.

I'm testing eBox, an Ubuntu-based alternative that also supports failover.

If you have a P4 or newer desktop, slap two more network cards in it and you'll be good to go. MeMail me for more info.
posted by djb at 9:49 AM on April 21, 2010

PFsense is also a good solution. I use it for WAN fail over. It is easy to load, and not too hard to configure.
posted by Climber at 10:53 AM on April 21, 2010

If you have a linksys router put on dd-wrt and it will let you convert one of the lan ports to a second wan port and do fail over.
posted by majortom1981 at 3:38 PM on April 21, 2010

Response by poster: As a followup, I ended up getting a Draytek 2920n. It has dual wan, wireless plus gigabit ethernet for quite a bit less than a comparable Peplink.
posted by letitrain at 3:35 PM on May 4, 2010

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