Going to load balance our home network using Telstra and Optus Cable connections.

Discussion in 'Networking, Telephony & Internet' started by Slug69, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Slug69

    Slug69 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,265
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yes, we have Telstra Cable and Optus Cable to our home and both connections are active.

    I struggle with network language and IP configs so this will be the mother of all tests for me. If any of you have any tips as to how to set this up it would be greatly appreciated.

    Hardware - I have the following:
    • Telstra supplied Cable Modem Netgear CM-450
    • Optus Cable Modem Router (Cisco DPQ3925)
    • Ubiquity Edge 4 port router (Apparently a beautiful piece of kit) to effect the load balancing
    • Nighthawk Gaming switch (S8000)
    • Two PC's to connect to the switch as well as a Nighthawk AC1900 Wifi Router (I have had for at least 4 years and has been fantastic so far.)
    All the equipment is running perfectly. I did a test setup without connecting the switch just by connecting to a laptop hurriedly and got the edge router to be set up in Load Balancing but I could see there was never any traffic over the Optus connection. At this stage I realised something was wrong with my configuration at the time. I now know it will be easier if I bridge my Optus Cable Modem Router so it effectively just becomes a modem only. But after this I am not so sure of myself.

    It doesn't appear as though anyone has done this before and not sure if it's even possible given the lack of info about doing this. (There are a couple who have done it but not much about their configurations)
     
  2. evilasdeath

    evilasdeath Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,766
    Slug69 likes this.
  3. Pugs

    Pugs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,155
    Location:
    Redwood Park, SA
    Wouldn't be worth bother with..

    Save yourself some coin and ditch the optus bill


    Let alone when is nbn due in your area??
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Slug69

    Slug69 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,265
    Location:
    Sydney
    July.

    However, I have an agreement with Optus due to a dispute I had with them - I get free internet effectively for the next year. Basically I would have Optus for the next two years at least. (There is no guarantee the NBN connection will be done on time or even done properly).


    UPDATE: The deed is done. It works as advertised. Tested by using Speedtest.net tool and it showed an upload speed of 7Mb/s this is made up of (Telstra 5.3Mb/s + Optus 1.7Mb/s) This means a lot more peace in our household, the kids will now only need to let each other know when they are streaming rather than unplugging patch cables and plugging into a different Modem or Router.

    It is very slick how the Edge Router does it. Bridging the Optus Modem Router so it is modem only brings a slight performance improvement too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  5. flain

    flain Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,168
    Location:
    Sydney
    I had both optus and telstra cable running at my last address. The load balancing solutions don't work very well and assume a bunch of things that didn't make sense for my use case. SDWAN works really well to get true bonding and i ran it for a while as i work for a SDWAN vendor. You can do real aggregation but it isn't cost effective for home (you need an instance in the cloud to terminate the tunnels and provide the new public IP - i utilized a work lab setup for testing it out).

    I ended up making it simple, just have both modems as gateways on the same /24 network. When i was downloading things and the kids were streaming lots of youtube and also downloading things slowing everything down, i just changed the gateway on my work laptop to the other modem. Static routes to some destinations via different modems also works but is still pretty manual.

    Soonish some SDWAN vendors will have POPs stood up in AU to do this properly but i would assume this wont be cost effective for home use, more for SME business.
     
  6. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Application and user traffic steering helps a bit, but real 'load balancing' doesn't work on home Internet connections as flain rightly pointed out. Best you'll get is per-session load balancing.

    Still, something is better than nothing.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Slug69

    Slug69 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,265
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yes in order for it to work properly there needs to be some specific policy based routing introduced. Definitely not as simple as just plugging two wan connections into a router.
     
  8. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,115
    Location:
    Brisbane
    So I tried putting two 100/40 NBN connections together with a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite.

    Everything seemed to work, speed test showed 200/80.

    What exactly would not work properly here?
     
  9. chip

    chip Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,577
    Location:
    Pooraka Maccas drivethrough
    Speedtest probably establishes multiple TCP sessions and transfers to do this. TCP isn't designed to work with a single session across multiple L3 links, each with different latencies and bandwidths. (that's a bit of hand-wavy explanation, there's a shitload going on in the background on any modern browser session, hence the work on multipath TCP)
     
  10. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,115
    Location:
    Brisbane
    But what are the potential problems?
     
  11. chip

    chip Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,577
    Location:
    Pooraka Maccas drivethrough
    Do you mean practical problems for your edgerouter setup, or the theoretical problems with running a single TCP session over multiple L3 connections?
     
  12. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Messages:
    6,544
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Connecting to external services from two different IP's at the same time (or constantly swapping back and forth) under one account or application can cause issues with many things, I've seen it.
    I find it's much better to have failover rather than teaming/balance running unless you really have bad throughput, even then it's better to delegate links for different tasks using routing or multiple gateways instead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  13. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,115
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I did test it and the IP didn't seem to change on refreshes, but if I left and came back a while later, it sometimes did switch the ip.
    Practical problems I guess.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Slug69

    Slug69 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,265
    Location:
    Sydney
    It depends on what websites or webservices you are interacting with. Sometimes they recognise packets coming from two different ip addresses for the one service as being a naughty thing. Things that have caused me grief so far without setting up policy routing is playing COD 4. Sometimes would not connect to a game or it took forever. Once in game though I didn't have issues. Fortnite was fine.

    There is a fair amount of work to make things run smoothly but it is worth it.

    Yes, speedtest shows the potential throughput really well. Was your test going through two different ISP's though?
     
  15. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Messages:
    6,544
    Location:
    Brisbane
    This will break gaming, application connections, secure website logins and more that don't allow more than one IP connection.
    Your better off having Seedboxes or Netflix devices use one service and the rest on another... for example.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  16. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,115
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yes
     
  17. cvidler

    cvidler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,676
    Location:
    Canberra
    simply.

    - If you're downloading one file from a single server (e.g. HTTP, FTP something like that), you'd get no more than 100 down*. one TCP connection can only use one link.
    - Now if your using something multi-streams like a torrent or a server that supports multiple connections, you could get the full 200*. multiple TCP connections can make use of both links

    Because you got the 200/80 result it shows speedtest used multiple connections.

    *assuming of course the bottle neck is your connection and not anywhere else on the internet.
     
  18. chip

    chip Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,577
    Location:
    Pooraka Maccas drivethrough
    Practically I wouldn't expect many, because the edgerouter isn't going to try and spawn a TCP connection across both links. I'm not defining only getting 100/40 when you're downloading a single file as a problem here.
     
  19. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,115
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Game launchers, download managers and other things use multiple connections as well.

    I'd imagine anything where you would want more then 100mbit would use it.
     
  20. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I'd be interested to know how modern gaming CDNs handle 1 client behind 2+ public IPs, or for added fun behind carrier NAT. Not something I have the desire to find out :p
     

Share This Page