Dual DSL Help

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
Hello,

I live in a highrise apartment building in a big city. Included in my monthly fees is DirecTV and 3Mb DSL and I am paying for a static IP address so I can access my NAS and desktop remotely. The problem is, 3Mb is just not enough speed for my tastes (Last night SD Hulu was enough to bring it to its knees) so I want something faster. The ISP does not have any upgrade options available and the coax is centrally wired to DirecTV, so cable modem access is not possible. The only 2 options I have found for faster access are Clear (Wimax, which gets unfavorable reviews locally) or AT&T Uverse claims it can give me 12Mb over DSL.

My questions are:
1) If I want to continue to use my current 3Mb with static IP and add another ISP to the mix, would it be feasible?
2) There is only 1 phone jack near my office setup. Is it possible to have 2 separate DSL connections out of 1 phone jack?
3) What would be the best way to utilize both connections?
-3a) Do I buy a dual wan router and let it sort things out?
-3b) If I were to get 2 routers (1 for each connection) turn off DHCP on one and uplink them both to my switch, what would happen?
4) Do I build a dedicated box running some flavor of Linux or Windows Server with 3 wan ports that can do all this for me?
5) Am I totally going about this the wrong way? I am open to discuss any help/suggestions the community may have.

Notes:
-I'm willing to spend some money on this, but I would prefer not to spend a boatload
-Living in an apartment, space is a premium and power consumption is also important to me, so the fewer, smaller, low power devices the better

Thanks in advance!
 

YeOldeStonecat

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,330
You can mix/match DSL/DSL, or DSL/cable, or Cable/cable, or a T with either....

Dual WAN router...Peplink and DLink make some. Or better yet..roll your own with a nice PFSense box.

But first read up on load balancing....if you just have one or two computers...doesn't benefit you much. It can benefit a huge network. But having a 3 meg connection with another 3 meg connection doesn't have a computer 6 megs worth of downloads. sessions will use one wan port or the other.
 

Greene420

Gawd
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
767
I don't understand... if Uverse is the only thing quick enough in your area, why not get uverse? In my pretty big town, we only have comcast or crap DSL (non-uverse). So basically comcast is the monopoly in my (3+ million) city for NORMAL broadband of this day and age. At least you have 2 to choose from :p
 

athlon1.2

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 10, 2001
Messages
5,489
If you order U-Verse and you have DSL they will cancel the order and tell you to shut off the DSL.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
YeOldeStonecat - I realize 12+3 != 15, that is not my goal here. My thoughts on keeping both are a) what I have is working as set up so why mess with it and pay for a static IP on U-Verse (if that is even possible) and b) I'm paying for it 3mb whether or not I'm using it, so why not use it for something.

Basically I'd like to use the existing line for inbound communications (remote desktop, NAS access, etc) and the new line for outbound (downloading files, websurfing, watching Hulu/Netflix, etc from home) Although the opposites doesn't have to be specifically disallowed

Greene420 - Comcast is the fastest in town, and what I would go to if it were physically possible

athlon1.2 - The DSL I currently have is not through AT&T so if I order the self-installation kit, how could they know I already have DSL? Also, the DSL is just in the building no matter what. I don't think it would even be possible to turn it off.

Thanks everyone for the help so far.
 

athlon1.2

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 10, 2001
Messages
5,489
If it is AT&T DSL even under another name they will automatically disconnect it the day U-Verse is installed.

If it's an AT&T UNE-P they will cancel the U-Verse order and tell you to shut off the DSL before ordering

If it's a true CLEC service e.g Covad... I'm not sure, might get away with it.

If it's something like the provider has an agreement with the building and has their own wiring/equipment in the building i.e. they really aren't a telco.... you might get away with this.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
I would think it is technically possible IF you have 4 wires on your telephone jack and are able to get dial tone on the second pair. Red+Green is typically line 1, Black+Yellow line 2. If you can get dial tone on line 2, you can probably get DSL.
pfSense is a good option for Multi-WAN balancing and version 2 is pretty easy to setup. You can also make traffic 'sticky' to control which WAN traffic uses.
Question 3b- not a good idea. Any interface connecting to the internet will need a gateway address, which will determine which WAN link is used. That's just the first negative off the top of my head- there are more.
Question 4: with pfSense 2, technically you need just one physical interface, the rest can be VLANs. If you use VLANs, remember pfSense requires it as an 802.1q trunk.
 

Meeho

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
5,433
Is there a reason you can't use dyndns or similar and just have the faster DSL?
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
athlon1.2 - I'm pretty sure its in no way associated with AT&T. It appears to be repackaged Towerstream, according to when I google my IP address.

RocketTech - I don't have a POTS line, let alone two so how would I test this? Come to think of it, I'm not even sure where I would get an analog handset...

3b) I assumed as much
4) While I am computer savvy, networking is admittedly not my area of expertise. I wouldn't even venture a guess as to what an 802.1q trunk is.

Meeho - That's certainly an option, but I prefer to use the domain name I already have and have been using. I suppose I could just use url redirecting at the dns level to automagically go from the "pretty" url to the dyndns one. Again, I hate to not utilize a service I'm paying for no matter what.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
Google it for more info, but basically 802.1q is the standard for VLANs, and an 802.1q Trunk is a term for a standards-based way to 'package' multiple VLANs. Sounds more complicated than it is. As it applies to pfSense, pfSense won't recognize a non-trunked VLAN.
As to POTS, somes states require all installed lines to have dial tone for calls to 911. Ideally you would have a butt set, but you can cobble something together for under $20 and a trip to Radio Shack. Or just order it and let the installer figure it out.
 

/usr/home

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,160
I have a dynamic IP (that rarely changes) and my personal domain name. I have a program that updates it every 30 mins if the IP changes. It works great. Look into something like that with whomever you bought the domain from. I used enom central.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
RocketTech - Pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure how this helps me. I just want 1 LAN with 2 internet connections. So I would need a computer with 3 ethernet ports: 1 in from current ISP, 1 in from new ISP, 1 out to my switch. What do these VLANS do for me and why would I need multiple? Am I totally misunderstanding what you are recommending?

/usr/home - I have never heard of such a program. Is it through Enom Central, or is this something that runs on a device on your local network and performs this task? Is this something similar to dyndns?
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
gangolfus- simply put, VLANS allow multiple LANS on a single physical interface. For instance, you certainly could use 3 physical interfaces- NIC A for WAN1, NIC B for WAN2, and NIC C for LAN.
An alternative using VLANS would allow WAN1, WAN2, and LAN all on NIC A. By no means are VLANS necessary to solve your problem as long as you have enough physical interfaces. My intention was to provide an option, but I see how it can be confusing.
 

/usr/home

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,160
RocketTech - Pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure how this helps me. I just want 1 LAN with 2 internet connections. So I would need a computer with 3 ethernet ports: 1 in from current ISP, 1 in from new ISP, 1 out to my switch. What do these VLANS do for me and why would I need multiple? Am I totally misunderstanding what you are recommending?

/usr/home - I have never heard of such a program. Is it through Enom Central, or is this something that runs on a device on your local network and performs this task? Is this something similar to dyndns?

I use the program, DirectUpdate. I also allows you to up subdomains, etc. It supports pretty much every popular Domain Registrar. It works with Namecheap for sure as well. It runs on a computer on your network (mine's on my WHS)
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
RocketTech - So how would you go about physically wiring that together? Do the modems just get plugged into the switch and pfSense is able to detect and interact with them?

/usr/home - Thanks for the tip, I will look into it.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
For using VLANS, you would need a VLAN capable switch- one capable of creating VLANS AND Trunks- then you would configure three VLANS and one trunk- Say port 1 is WAN 1 assigned to VLAN 1001, port 2 is WAN 2 assigned to VLAN 1002, ports 4-the rest are LAN on VLAN 1 (typically the default VLAN). Port 3 is set to Trunk VLANS 1001, 1002, and 1 to the NIC on the pfSense box. When you setup pfSense, it will prompt you to setup VLANs- choose to do so and use the corresponding VLANS.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
So I would need a new switch and a new dedicated box for this? I think this route is more hardware/money/knowledge than I care to spend on this project when I can buy a dual wan router with an intuitive setup interface off the shelf for $150. I do appreciate the suggestion and your time and patience explaning it to me!

Is there any reason I shouldn't go the dual wan route?
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
If you don't have the hardware already, $150 is tough to beat. My only experience with Multi-WAN is with pfSense, so I can't make any comments on other platforms.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
The RV042 is the better name. My church uses it as a single-WAN router with no issues. TP-Link is an up-and-comer in the market and I've seen positive reviews for them. I've been planning on giving TP-Link a shot for my consumer installs.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
The RV042 seems to be a vintage 2005 Linksys product with a large user base. I guess it says something for a device to be in continuous production for 7 years. I am able to find little info about the TP-Link.

Does anyone know which kind of splitter I am likely to need to use 2 DSL modems out of one phone jack? A 1 line or a 2 line? Am I just going to have to get one of each and test to find out?

I think I will be making a stop by the AT&T store on my way home from work tonight to pick up self-install kit. Hopefully I just plug it in and it works... I have my doubts. My goal is to get each working individually (1 plugged in at a time), then get them working simultaneously/independently (with a splitter to 2 separate routers), then worry about getting them to work with a single router. Each step of the way allows me to abort the project with minimal expense.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
You'll need a 2-line into 2x 1-line splitter, something like this would work. Plug one modem into line 1, the other in line 2. Odds are your existing service is line 1.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
Is this something I should get before attempting to hook up U-Verse to make sure it is on the second line? Is it possible that they will try to activate it on line 1 and screw up what I currently have? How does the self-installation work? I assume I will plug in the modem, then have to call into AT&T to tell them that I'm ready to go, then they will detect the modem and set up my account. Am I way off base? I've never done this before.
 

RocketTech

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,359
My guess is: yes,yes,pretty simple (ignore using filters if you don't have phone service), You probably fire up your web browser and it steps you through registration, You're in the ballpark, and there is a first time for everything.
I seriously doubt your old AND new service will work by just plugging it into the jack- it will be one or the other. You could pick up a similar device at Radio Shack, Office Depot, maybe even Best Buy. A plain splitter won't help you.
There is definitely potential for you to lose your current service. If this is a concern, schedule to have an ATT installer come out- they should have the knowledge and tools to give you a definitive answer.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
So I'm already annoyed with AT&T and I'm not even technically a customer yet! I went to the store this evening and signed for the U-Verse BUT the price is $5/mo higher than listed on their website and the service won't be available for 4 weeks! And that's for self installation, not even to have a tech come out. They are lucky I already have internet access and don't have any other options or there is no way I would be a customer.

I'll follow up with this when my service is finally live. :rolleyes:
 

Vengance_01

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,591
You will not get to keep both lines. Its not going to happen plain and simple. BTW, U-Verse has to products VDSL and regular ADSL2+.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
BTW, U-Verse has to products VDSL and regular ADSL2+.

What does this mean and why do I care?


Edit: After some googling, I'm guessing that it will be ADSL2+, not VDSL. I believe this because according to their website I can get U-Verse DSL, but not phone or TV which I assume would require VDSL.

The second question still stands; what do I care? Google provided many instances of people complaining because they assumed they were getting VDSL, but got ADSL2+ and felt cheated that they were not getting the latest and greatest they thought they were promised. I don't see anyone complaining about the service other than they felt they were mislead. Are there any specific limitations to ADSL2+ that I might be concerned about?
 
Last edited:

athlon1.2

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 10, 2001
Messages
5,489
So I'm already annoyed with AT&T and I'm not even technically a customer yet! I went to the store this evening and signed for the U-Verse BUT the price is $5/mo higher than listed on their website and the service won't be available for 4 weeks! And that's for self installation, not even to have a tech come out. They are lucky I already have internet access and don't have any other options or there is no way I would be a customer.

I'll follow up with this when my service is finally live. :rolleyes:

So why didn't you sign up on their website and get that price?
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
Well, today is the day. Tech called and said UVerse should be ready when I get home from work today. So far I am still able to access stuff at home, so the old connection is still working. This means that either the UVerse will not work when I get home, or there is actually a chance that both will be able to work.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
Apparently the AT&T wires were physically disconnected when the centralized DSL was put in (or were never hooked up in the first place). So a tech came out today to hook them up. I stopped him from disconnecting the existing wires and replacing them with the AT&T wires, and instead he installed a second AT&T phone jack next to the existing connection, so I now have both connections working independently from separate jacks!

No to get them to work together...
 

chase123

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
9
Mikrotik 450g can do this easily for $129. You won't be able to combine the connections though. You will have to choose what stuff you want to go over which connection in the firewall settings.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
My concern with the Mikrotik is that my definition of "easily" differs from yours. It just seems like an overkill solution for a residential setting with 1 or 2 users. Currently I am leaning towards the Cisco RV042, but I have not made any purchases yet, so there is still time to convince me another solution would be better. Syswan Doulinks SW24 is also still in the running. I just think an off-the-shelf plug-and-play solution with a nice web interface is the way to go.

I think I have determined my goal for the dual connections to be as such: all inbound traffic (remote desktop, music streaming from my NAS, web site) to go over the static ip on my original connection, and all outbound traffic to go over the U-Verse. The only extra nice-to-have would be if the router were smart enough to detect when the U-Verse is saturated (streaming video, downloading a file, etc) and route traffic to the other connection. I need to look more into the load balancing methods of the 3 mentioned options before determining which to buy.

Are there any other potential benefits or considerations that I am missing that I should factor in? I hope to make a purchase early this week.

Also, does anyone have a recommended wireless solution for this setup? I currently have a Zyxel X550N that I could put into access point mode, but I'm not satisfied with its wireless performance. Among all sorts of devices, I will get full bar connection, but throughput is nearly non-existent, so I think its time to try something new.
 
Last edited:

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
I'm not sure anyone cares at this point, but I figured I would follow this thread through to completion anyway.

After evaluating the following router options:
Cisco RV042 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124160
Syswan SW24 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833373002
TP-Link TL-R470T+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704101

I decided to go with the TP-Link. Not only is it the cheapest, by far, but I think it will do the load-balancing like I am looking for.

From the user guide:
Intelligent Balance - In Intelligent Balance mode, the traffic will be transmitted to the WAN
port according to idle ingress bandwidth on every WAN.

If I am translating the Engrish correctly, I believe it is saying that it will route all traffic through whichever wan port has the most available bandwidth. That means it will only route traffic through the 3mb connection when U-Verse has <3mb available bandwidth.

I was a little wary about the brand and lack of available reviews on the google, but at 1/3 the cost of the other options I figured I'd give it a shot. It should be waiting for me when I get home this evening and I will follow up in few days once I've got everything set up.

Still looking for wireless AP suggestions...
 

DlStreamnet

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
359
TP-Link seams like a win for the price/features (if it delivers).

I would have chosen a cheap PFSense box + DynDNS though personally as it's far more scalable and about as cheap for much more power.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
TP-Link seams like a win for the price/features (if it delivers).

I would have chosen a cheap PFSense box + DynDNS though personally as it's far more scalable and about as cheap for much more power.

Depends on your definition of "cheap." If you operate under the assumption that electricity, physical space, and my time are expensive, then the pfsense route is much more expensive. The off-the-shelf package is low power, has a very small physical footprint, and requires (almost) no learning curve/programming to get up and running.

I readily admit that this solution is less scalable/powerful than pfsense, but I believe the features I'm "sacrificing" are ones that I wouldn't have used anyway. For me, the space/time benefits far outweigh power sacrifices. If I lived in the suburbs with a basement or dedicated office space, this would be a whole different conversation.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
I've worked with TP-Link stuff before... Good luck.

Hmmm... not the vote of confidence I was looking for. I found an interface emulator on their website, and while not the prettiest I've ever seen, it seemed totally usable. What issues did you run into? Hardware misbehaving? Hard to configure? Bad support?
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
923
Final update:

I've got the TP-Link up and running and working great. Setup was fairly easy and both connections are working as expected. My existing Zyxel router was really simple to turn into an access point, so I'm going to go with it for awhile.

There are only 2 issues that I have come across, and neither is a deal-breaker for me:
1) DHCP won't give addresses to my non-computing devices; eg Smart TV, DirecTV box, receiver, NAS, but if I assign static IP's to them they work fine. Computers, tablets, and phones, both wired and wireless, are getting IP's just fine.
2) NAT won't do port translation. I've opened several standard ports for external access (eg 3389 for remote desktop) but would prefer to obfuscate those ports for extra security. I can't figure out a way to make it translate incoming port 33389 into 3389.

Except for those issues, everything is working great and as expected. The only issues are sacrifices I'm willing to live with to save $100+.

Thank you to all who offered support and advice!
 
Top