Combine cable and verizon mifi internet with a single modem?
April 14, 2015 10:26 AM   Subscribe

I have comcast cable internet (Bandwidth A). For work I also always carry around a verizon mifi jetpack and good good service at home too (Bandwidth B). Is there a way to combine these to sources with a common router to essentially have Bandwidth A+B? Thanks in advance for help!
posted by mtstover to Technology (5 answers total)
Its generally not worth the trouble. I'd upgrade your comcast service before trying to get this setup.

you won't get bandwidth A+B for a single download or upload. If you have many things going on, you might get the effective combination, but there can be issues with connections/packets coming from the "wrong" service unexpectedly. expect to play with custom routes alot.

You'll need a router that supports multiple wan connections. Usually thats another ethernet or usb connection though, which it doesn't look like the jetpack supports. Im not sure if any routers will accept a wan connection over wifi. And it might need multiple wifi radios to support wifi for the wan & lan.
posted by TheAdamist at 10:39 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes. But, as Pee-Wee would say, there's a lot of big "but"s.

You would have to get a router that directly supports a USB-tethered connection with a Jetpack, such as the Peplink Balance.


You would have to purchase a Wi-Fi to Ethernet adapter and a dual-WAN router.

Then, unless you intend to have the Jetpack there for those moments when Comcast goes out and you need a backup connection, this isn't going to work out so well. As a backup connection, it should be fine - you set up the dual-WAN router to roll the connections over to the Jetpack in the event Comcast goes down, or if there's a severe bandwidth crunch. But if you want it to add more bandwidth to existing connections all the time, there are a few problems:

1) Any given connection will not be able to use both Comcast and the Jetpack simultaneously. Different devices or different connections to different Internet hosts would be divided onto one or the other. If you were thinking Comcast 25mbps + Jetpack 10mbps = a single download from a web site running at 35mbps, well, it doesn't work like that. (Consider that if you want to divide multiple devices across the connections, you can already just manually connect them to eitehr Comcast or the Jetpack for free today.)

2) The Jetpack will have far more latency than the Comcast connection (unless Comcast is especially bad at your location). If you play games online or use applications that are highly sensitive to latency (like videoconferencing), you probably don't ever want those to go over the Jetpack link unless Comcast is down.

3) Bandwidth on the Jetpack will almost invariably be substantially more expensive than bandwidth from Comcast, especially when you run over your monthly allotment.

As such, unless you really need an automatic failover, this will probably be a lot of money spent on something that won't really help you out a lot.
posted by eschatfische at 11:52 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

As eschatfische says, you are never going to get bandwidth A+B; as suggested, the best you can do is load balance. And just to make the implicit logical conclusion explicit: given the differing latency on the two connections, if you split sessions (or multi-connection web pages, or whatever) between the two sources, you could actually get the worst attributes of both, i.e. slowest bandwidth and worst latency, rather than getting any kind of cumulative benefit.

Failover-only is probably your best bet and it's probably just as easy to do that manually as to try to automate it.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:59 AM on April 14, 2015

+1 on the Peplink Balance!
posted by Mac-Expert at 12:31 PM on April 14, 2015

Response by poster: Ah - ok. Dream crushed. Thanks all!
posted by mtstover at 3:08 PM on April 14, 2015

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