Remote Wireless Infrastructure

Router with Multiple Connections

 

Multi-WAN Routers 

These provides WAN ports that enable connections of multiple broadbands through a single local gateway for load balancing, bonding and failover. 

 

Definitions  

Load Balancing: as applied to routers, this is the process of distributing traffic across multiple WAN paths, both wireless and wired.  

Channel Bonding: Just as load balancing, chain bonding is also the process of distributing traffic across multiple WAN paths but inform of individual packets. 

Fail-overThis is a backup or a redundant link for a network, especially for systems that require high availability.  Channel bonding, and Load balancing utilizes failovers in their configurations.  

 

 

Comparisons 

 

Load Balancing                                                                                                        

Channel Bonding                                                     

Optimizes link at the socket level 

Optimizes link at the packet level. 

Improves browsing and torrents 

Improves Browsing and torrents  

Not good for video streaming and large data transfers 

Improves large data transfers and video streaming 

Does not require a third party aggregation service 

Requires a bonding service provider 

 

 

1. Load balancing  

Multi-WAN routers that have load balancing capabilities are embedded with load balancing dedicated software e.g. opensource mwan3. 

As information flows to the internet through network sockets, a load balancer would distribute these sockets across the WAN connections. 

 

Loadbalancing scenerio

 

 

 

Load balancing helps avoid overload on a single WAN network, minimizes latency, and maximizes bandwidth. Balancing on the available networks would be done with algorithms such as round robin. Load balancing is good for browsing and torrents but will not optimize services such as video streaming and VPNs. 

 

2. Channel Bonding  

This allows combining of two or more internet connections into a single bigger pipe. Also requires dedicated hardware and software like load balancing. It can utilize software-only solution such as speedify. 

Bonding optimizes traffic into packets. This enables spread of individual packets across multiple WANs. Packet splitting across the WANs allows for large data transfers such as VPN, Video streaming, and large file transfers  

Bonding works well with WANs that have same capacity. For instance, 2 wired connection both with 100Mbps capacity. This reduces Bandwidth overhead and latencies. 

 

Channelbonding scenerio

 

 

Bonding service providers include: 

  • iTel Networks 
  • Sharedband networks 
  • Mushroom networks 
  • Combox Networks  
  • Patton Networks. 
  • Cellarway Networks 
  • Peplink networks 

 

 

What to choose? 

Multi-WAN routers have 2 or more WAN ports/provisions. Usually, WAN options would include an ethernet port, and a USB port for cellular options, and an embedded cellular modem. 

Consider if you have two WAN options you could use a 2port multi-WAN router. If you have 3, you could pick one with 2 dedicated WAN ports plus 2 WAN/LAN ports which can be changed accordingly. 

For cellular connectivity, cellular coverage can be improved depending on reception. There are various customized solutions for these.  

Consider choosing routers with Wi-Fi capabilities, and ideally with external Wi-Fi antennas for possible indoor coverage improvement. solutions. 

 

 

Options for Multi-WAN routers with Load Balancing capabilities 

 

1. Peplink Balance 20 Multi-WAN Router 

This is one of the affordable multi-WAN routers that can easily be used for home, or small office set up. It gives you the ability to connect to multiple ISPs and improves performance by minimizing latencies and maximizing bandwidth utilization.  

  • It has 2GE WAN ports and a USB WAN modem port allowing up to 3 WAN connections.
  • To activate the 3rd WAN, one will need a BPL-021-LC-WAN licence.
  • With its various algorithms, you have options of controlling the outbound rules on the WAN connections, with default auto-failover. 
  • Has 7 advanced load balancing algorithms and customizable rules allowing control of the network data priorities.
  • It gives various bandwidth control options as well as email notifications, and health checks on the WANs connected in case of any issue.  
  • It Can support up to 60 users making ideal for any home and small office set up. 
  • Allows VPN setup which can achieve up to 60Mbps throughput. The recommended users on the VPN network is about 15, which is ok for remote working and security of data via public networks. 
  • Bandwidth bonding is not supported on this model hence may not be as fast in video streaming and VPNs in case you are utilizing multiple WAN connections 

 

Peplink balance 20 Multi-WAN Router

 

 

2. E300-C18B Cradlepoint 

With 5G technology operation taking shape, this 5G router can be utilized to combine multiple ISPs to improve performance. Ideal for a small office use for typically 50 users. 

  • Has 5 GE ports plus 1 SFP+ port which can be used interchangeably as WAN or LAN. It also has an embedded LTE modem and an expansion slot for an MC400 Modem. 
  • Provides a throughput of up to 940Mbps and a VPN throughput of up to 400Mbps. 
  • Has external cellular antenna with order 4x4 MIMO. The router also supports 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 6.
  • The Wi-Fi antennas are internal hence the only way to improve the indoor Wi-Fi coverage would be through access points via LAN network.   
  • Does not support rack mounting 

Cradlepoint E300-C18B Multi-WAN Router

 

 

 

3. AER1600-LP4 

The Cradlepoint AER1600 4G LTE Router offers a fast branch solution with good LTE connectivity, as well as room for coverage improvement on the 4G connection with its external antenna optionIt provides fast, secure, and reliable connections for primary and application-specific networks. 

  • Includes an embedded modem and a slot to add an MC400 modem. With 2 external SMA ports, one can improve indoor coverage of the 4G signal. 
  • Five 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports (WAN/LAN switchable).
  • 1x USB Interface.
  • It has the option to use Wi-Fi as WAN.
  • WAN Port Speed Control (You can define the default download bandwidth and upload BW for use in Load Balance and QoS (quality of service, or traffic shaping) algorithms. 
  • WAN/LAN Affinity (This allows you to prioritize bandwidth. In this case, particular bandwidth users are associated with particular WAN) 

 

AER1600 Series Multi-WAN Router


 

 

4. Vigor 2926 Dual-WAN Router Firewall 

Vigor2926 series is a Dual-Ethernet WAN router. Ideal for home and small office setups it supports VPN, advanced routing rules, content filtering, and bandwidth management. This provides an integrated solution to build a reliable and secure network. Its price is also pocket friendly. 

  • 2 GE WAN ports with 1 fixed and the other switchable between and WAN/LAN. Also has 2 USB ports for 4G LTE modem. This feature makes this router to support up to 4 WANs. 
  • Load balancing features gives you the ability to create ratios for the WAN connections in terms of usage, as well as dedicating specific WAN for certain websites.
  • With external LTE and Wi-Fi antennas, it enables the possibility of signal improvement in case one experience weak signals. 
  • It has 4 dedicated LAN ports that allows for AP management as well as hotspot portal for easy client management.
  • Throughput up to 900Mbps.
  • VPN throughput up to 80Mbps.
  • The Lac model supports Wi-Fi.

 

Vigor 2926 Multi-WAN Router


 

 

5. Cisco RV340W 

This Dual Gigabit WAN port and a VPN router has user friendly user interface for easy set up. It offers various encryption for better VPN security as well as load balancing for reliable connection. It is an ideal option for small offices. 

  • It has 2 GE WAN ports and 2 USB port that support 4G modems (check out compatibility here for mobile USB hotspots).
  • This allows up to 4 WAN connections.  Includes 4 Gigabit ethernet for LAN connectivity. 
  • With the USB 4G modems, it is possible to improve the signal reception for areas with poor signals.
  • It has integrated 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi for mobile devices. 
  • Has high TCP throughput, up to 900Mbps hence improving network performance. 
  • Provides various QoS such as WAN policing, WAN bandwidth management, Traffic classes, and WAN queuing. 
  • It supports link aggregation. However, it only supports static aggregation and not LACP which would allow for automatic failover and mitigate configuration errors. 

 

Cisco RV340W Multi-WAN router

 

 

 
  

6. Peplink Balance 310X 

With its high capacity of up to 500 users and high throughput, it can be used in a small or large enterprise. The Balance 310X provides built-in LTE for seamless failover. With the Patented SpeedFusion technology you can combine multiple connections for jitter-free calls and high-speed transfers. 

  • It has 2 WAN ports, 2 USB modem one ports, and an embedded 4G modem. 
  • Supports load balancing with up to 7 algorithms. 
  • Has email notification capability. 
  • Has external antenna ports for LTE and GPS to enhance signal reception with external antennas. 
  • It can support bandwidth bonding with Peplink proprietary speedfusion (license required).
  • Can be mounted on a rack (1U size).

 

Peplink Balance 310X multi-WAN Router

 

7. Peplink Balance Two 

 With the Fan less feature, the Peplink TWO provides a quiet but a high performing multi-WAN router ideal for small and even large enterprise given it can support up to 150 users. It gives you the ability to connect to multiple ISPs and improves performance by minimizing latencies and maximizing bandwidth utilization.  

  • It has 2GE WAN ports and 1 USB port for 4G LTE modem enabling support of up to 3 WAN connections.  
  • It has a high throughput, up to 1Gbps. The VPN connection and speedfusion connection throughput is up to 150Mbps. The speedFusion (proprietary channel bonding for Peplink) is available as an optional add-on. 
  • Downside: it is costly. Also, while it can run quiet, its fan less design makes it unsuitable for areas that can get hot and especially with high load. 
  • Its power consumption is also high-40W. 

 

Peplink Balance TWO Multi-WAN Router

 

 

Comaprison Table 

 

Peplink Balnace 20 

Peplink Balane TWO 

Cradlepoint E300-C18B 

Cisco RV340W 

DrayT ek Vigor2926Lac

Peplink Balance 310X 

AER1600-LP4 

GE WAN Connections 

2 (3rd Optional) 

2 

5(LAN/WAN interchangeable) 

2 

2 

2 

5 

Embedded Modem 

x 

x 

1 

x 

x 

1 

1 

USB Port 

1 

1 

1 

2 

2 

2 

1 

Load-balancing and failover 

yes 

yes 

yes 

yes 

yes 

yes 

yes 

Bandwidth Bonding 

x 

yes(optional) 

  -

  -

  -

yes 

 -

Stateful Throughput 

150Mbps 

1Gbps 

940Mbps 

900Mbps 

900Mbps 

2.5Gbps 

 -

IPsec VPN throughput 

60Mbps 

150Mbps 

400Mbps 

  -

80Mbps 

600Mbps 

 -

Recommended Users 

1-60 

20-150 

50 

  -

  -

50-500 

 -

Rack Mountable 

Yes 

Yes 

x 

yes

yes
 

yes 

 -

Wi-Fi  

x 

x 

yes 

yes 

yes
 

x 

yes 

External Cellular Antennas 

x 

x 

4 

x 

yes
 

2 (SMA) 

2 (SMA) 

External Wi-Fi Antennas 

x 

x 

x 

Yes (Fixed) 

yes
 

x 

x 

Load Balancing Algorithms  

5 

7 

 -

 -

 -

7 

 -

 

Throughput: network throughput refers to how much data can be transferred from source to destination within a given timeframe. Throughput measures how many packets arrive at their destinations successfully 

Bandwidth: network bandwidth is defined as the maximum transfer throughput capacity of a network. 

 

APPLICATIONS

1. Home use

Option 1: Peplink Balance 20

Considering price, capabilities, number of users, and ease of configuration, the peplink 20 would be ideal and with the following scenerios:

a). Outbound rules configuration to use 2 cable WAN and cellular as failover? (Weighted Balance).

The amount of matching traffic that is distributed to a WAN connection is proportional to the weight of the WAN connection relative to the total weight. Use the sliders to change each WAN’s weight. 

  • WAN 1-940Mbs link-Load distribution ratio=7/10 
  • WAN 2-40Mbps DSL link-Load distribution ratio=3/10 
  • WAN 3-cellular(5-12Mbps)-Load distribution=0/10 

For example, with the following weight settings on a Peplink Balance 20: 

  • WAN1: 7 
  • WAN2: 3 
  • WAN3: 0 

Total weight is 10 = (7 + 3 + 0 

Matching traffic distributed to WAN1 is 70% = (7 / 10) x 100%  

Matching traffic distributed to WAN2 is 30% = (3 / 10) x 100%  

Matching traffic distributed to WAN3 is 0% = (0 / 10) x 100% 

 

 

Outbound Rules in Peplinks

 

b). Set up to only use 14GB of the cellular data per month and Email notifications when 75%/95% usage is reached 

We can utilize the Bandwidth Allowance Monitor to set the limit for the cellular WAN connection to 14GB per month and disable connections to this link whenever the limit is exceeded. (No option for limit per day) 

 

BandWidth Settings in Peplink Balance 20

 

c). Set up BW limit to specific LAN users

After setting up a Gust LAN for instance, we can use the Captive Portal to serve as a gateway for these LAN users to the internet, either via open connections or authenticated connection (Radius server applied). 

 

LAN Management in Peplink Balance 20

 

d). Managing wireless connections 

Peplink can support limited APs (10 for peplink 20) on LAN AP profiles and the wireless settings also allow for bandwidth management for clients connecting via specific APs. 

Peplink 20 allows for one profile configuration with multiple SSIDs. All APs will share one configuration profile. 

 

WLAN  Management in Peplink Balance 20

 

 

e). WAN health checks  

This setting specifies the health check method for the WAN connection. Options for health checks include disabled, Ping, DNS Lookup, and HTTP.  

When Disabled is chosen in the Method field, the WAN connection will always be considered as up.

Peplink Balance WAN Health Check Configuration

 

  • Consider the following customized drawing for the balance 20 

 Residential Case Study Drawing

 

 

2. Small Office 

Option 1: Peplink Balance 20 

This router is good for this application because of the following. 

  • Load balancing and failover between up to 3 WANS (refer to specs table)-this ensures availability as other WANs will pick up connections from a failed WAN. 
  • Does not include an embedded LTE modem. Therefore, external hotspot needs to be plugged via the USB port. Check compatible modems. 
  • Up to 5 algorithms supported to dictate the usage of the available WANs connected.
  • You will have the option of installing up to 10 APs to support connections in various rooms of the office to act as backup to LAN cabling.
  • It can support up to 25 users (Recommendation for sizing purposes only. No software restrictions applied).

 

 

Option 2: Peplink Balance 30 LTE 

  • Up to 60 Users (Recommendation for sizing purposes only. No software restrictions applied).
  • Has 2 WAN ports that can connect 2 WAN connections simultaneously. 
  • Can support peplinks’ 5 load-balancing algorithms: Weighted, Enforced, Persistence, Priority, and Overflow Load Balancing.
  • Has 1 USB port for external hotspot connection, as well as an embedded LTE modem. 
  • Up to 300Mbs router throughput.  

 

 

3. Large Enterprise 

Option 1: Peplink Balance TWO; 

The router is ideal due to the following; 

  • 2GE WAN ports and USB port for 4G modem to Support up to 3 WAN connections. Check compatible modems.
  • Can support up to 150 users. 
  • Up to 1Gbps router throughput.
  • Bandwidth bonding since it supports speed fusion as an optional add on: 

Speed fusion may require two routers with speed fusion capabilities to do bandwidth bonding I.e. On Main office and branch office. Check out the bandwidth bonding demonstration with speedfusion enabled routers that enables seamless voice call during failover. SimplyBonding can be used when only a single Speed Fusion-capable router available with a subscription fee to connect to their bonding hosting services. Check out how simplybonding works and their pricing. Peplink Balance Two max speed-fusion throughput is 150Mbs. 

  • Can support up to 7 algorithms for configuring Outbound rules for the WANs connected. 
  • Captive portal Support that enables management of both wired and wireless LAN clients, and RADIUS authentication. 
  • Up to 40W max power consumption. 

 

Option 2: Peplink Balance 305; 

  • With 3GE WAN ports, you can connect up to 3 wired WAN connections from different ISPs. 
  • Does not include an embedded LTE modem. Therefore, external hotspot needs to be plugged via the USB port. Check out list of compatible modems with the Peplinks cellular routers. 
  • Can use 1U rackmount for cabinet mounting purpose. 
  • Multiple configuration AP profiles supported. It comes with AP Controller Pro, which supports multiple configuration profiles which enables management of remote APs outside the local physical LAN, as well as local APs. Up to 50 APs can be supported. 
  • Up to 1Gbps router throughput.
  • Up to 150Mbps speedfusion throughput. 
  • Can handle 50-500 users (Recommendation for sizing purposes only. No software restrictions applied).

 

Option 3: AER1600-LP4; 

This is ideal for large office application due to the following.  

  • Includes an embedded modem and a slot to add MC400 modem. Each modem has 2 sim slotsRemember you can only load balance between 2 SIMs on separate modems and not between two SIMs on a single modem. It also includes 2 external modem antennas (SMA ports/plugs). 
  • Five 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports (WAN/LAN switchable) 
  • Supports load balancing, up to 4 options available: Spillover, Round-robin, Rate, Device Usage. 

  

 

4. Remote site. 

Option 1: Peplink Balance 310x 

  • Has 2 WAN ports, 2 USB modem one ports, and an embedded 4G modem. 
  • Supports load balancing with up to 7 algorithms. 
  • Has email notification capability. 
  • Has external antenna ports for LTE and GPS to enhance signal reception with external antennas.
  • It can support bandwidth bonding with Peplink proprietary speedfusion (license required).
  • Can be mounted on a rack (1U size).

 

 

Consider a customized drawing for remote site case study with the Peplink Balance 310X.

 

Remote Site Multi-WAN Case Study