Best way to have a redundant internet connection at home?

NIZMOZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 23, 2007
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Looking to find a way to have a redundant internet at home. Right now we have 1GB with Suddenlink. At times its not reliable, and will go down. I work from home right now, and need it to be reliable. I currently use EERO Pro 3 puck newest models as our router and wifi. Is there a router that can switch automatically between the primary internet to lets say a Hotspot with AT&T or similar? Also, if we switch to lets say AT&T TV from DirecTV for our TV, it will also even be more critical that our Internet is up.

Thoughts from those that have done this?
 

bman212121

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Aug 18, 2011
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Opnsense / PFsense will do this with varying levels of success. I'm sure that DD-WRT / Open-WRT likely offer an option for it, and devices like the Unifi Edgerouter have dual WAN capabilities. The biggest issue lies into how to connect the hotspot device. If your backup connection has an ethernet port then it's pretty straight forward with just about any device that has dual wan. If your hotspot is only wifi then you run into the problem of how to get wifi bridged back to the WAN connections. Opn / PF rely on FreeBSD underneath and have limited support for wireless adapters. Some of the other options on the list simply might not be able to use wifi at all and would require you to configure some type of bridge device to get it to ethernet.

As a side Opn / PFSense can usb tether iPhones and probably android phones as well. From what I've read IOS 14 broke the usb tethering and I'm not sure if the latest driver is there for it to start working again or not. Wifi tether might work if your device has a working wireless NIC in it.

https://joshspicer.com/iphone-pfsense

https://brendonmatheson.com/2020/08/07/wan-failover-to-4G-with-pfsense.html
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 22, 2015
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So I've had redundant Internet now for going on the 15th year. The main challenge isn't necessarily in the router, but having multiple providers to pull from in the first place. With the advent of hotspots, this becomes easier, but you will typically need an additional 'travel router' or similar device to turn the wifi connection back into a wired one for a router's wan port.

As far as the routers, I'll share my experience. Generally consumer and smb multi-wan routers are not that great about failover. Sometimes they work quickly or can be made to, but other times the failover times take longer than if you were to physically swap the cable yourself. Back in 2004, I had 3 cable modems with a cisco rv016 and was able to configure the failover so that it was only 30 seconds or so. Today that would be painful.

And unfortunately slow cutovers like this in multi-wan setups is still common place. A perfect example is the mako system that we are required to have at one of our businesses. It is supposed to automatically failover to a cellular connection if the wired connection loses internet access. This failover takes almost 15 minutes, in which time we can lose many, many transactions. We discovered that completely unplugging the wan from the mako almost immediately switches to the cellular backup, so we have a small rj45 a/b switch so we can quickly manually switch once we notice we have lost our connection.

In the enterprise routers however, multi-wan is pretty much expected and is a standard feature on even eol enterprise routers. Our foray into these came with an inexpensive watchguard xtm22w that does multi-wan beautifully, and it's replacement, an M200 we got for cheap in the CDW outlet. These units do multi-wan and failover so well that I can't even tell when a wan goes down without checking the router. We recently have acquired an older fortigate 60c that is also dual-wan by default to understand how fortigate does it since everyone's implementation is slightly different. But one this is for sure--it's well thought out and well executed at the enterprise level.

For you exact situation, I would try to get the Suddenlink working correctly unless these are just area outages that you can't do anything about. If this is the case, then I would see if you can get another traditional isp connected, even if it is some sort of paltry dsl. Once you have that connection and it is reliable (or as reliable as it can be), I would purchase a used enterprise router that seems like something that you will be able to use after you've read the documentation and looked at the interface screenshots. I've not personally tried pfsense, but I know that there are 'ready to go' versions like the netgate models that might also be an option.

Once you have your second isp and router, you will simply let your router route and your eero be your access points (if they can). If the eero's can't be just access points, it shouldn't be an issue to run a double-nat unless your use has an issue with it. And if that ends up being the case, I would just sell off the eero and replace it with some access points from ubiquiti.

Depending on what router you get and what it's features are, you will have some if not a lot of granular control over how the multi-wan works. You will at a minimum have failover and round-robin options and can have even much more like we do with our watchguard:
https://www.watchguard.com/help/doc...US/Fireware/multiwan/multi_wan_options_c.html

I hope this gives you a starting point if anything. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. (y)
 

Nicklebon

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May 22, 2006
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I use a Fortigate with a 1Gb fiber connection and docsis cable connection doing load balancing with LTE as a backup of last resort. Starting in FortiOS 6.0+ you can put them all into a single virtual interface and use the policy to get very granular on exactly what goes over which link.
 

bman212121

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I use a Fortigate with a 1Gb fiber connection and docsis cable connection doing load balancing with LTE as a backup of last resort. Starting in FortiOS 6.0+ you can put them all into a single virtual interface and use the policy to get very granular on exactly what goes over which link.

How are you getting LTE into the fortigate? Is the box supplying it ethernet enabled or do you have some type of USB or wifi setup?
 

Nicklebon

Gawd
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May 22, 2006
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How are you getting LTE into the fortigate? Is the box supplying it ethernet enabled or do you have some type of USB or wifi setup?
I'm using a FortiExtender but the Cradlepoint posted above could be used to do the same thing. They can both be used as LTE to Ethernet bridges, basically what I am doing, though both are far more capable. That said, I'm pretty sure there are some Fortigates that have built in LTE. I prefer an external device so I can place them for better signal.
 

Grentz

Fully [H]
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May 5, 2006
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17,175
For simple failover, the Unifi Security Gateway has worked great for me for years.
 
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