Educate me on bonding vs load balancing

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Liver, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    Going to be moving to a location where internet access will be sub optimal. Only (real) choice is DSL with a max rate of 8/1. No data caps. Other options are satellite internet (bad) and LTE (2 bars and switches to 3G often). So my realistic only choice is DSL.

    I was thinking about getting 2 lines and either bonding them or load balancing them. I've done a fair amount of reading on them, but not being a true computer guy, I am lacking the fundamental information.

    Currently I have 50/10. We do a lot of streaming. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, etc. Its common to have 3 streams running at the same time (TV and 2 iPads). I rarely game anymore, but I will replace my PC with an XB or PS when we move. Right now I have cable TV, but after the move we will not have cable or satellite. 100% streaming.

    As far as bonding the lines go. I understand that the bonding must be done with the ISP and having a compatible router. The ISP has told me that they will NOT help me bond the lines. If that is really true then bonding is completely out, but I am thinking if I escalate the issue then they will bond them on their side.

    Now if I do load balancing, then I do not have to deal with the ISP. Its all on my end. Is that correct?

    Lets say we are doing 2 streams of Netflix (and nothing else). Will one stream go to one line and the other stream go to the other line? As opposed to 1 stream of Netflix and 1 stream of Amazon, I assume they will go to separate lines.

    Of course I could just go with a single line. I have a feeling that will cause disharmony in the family.

    Any thoughts or advice on this situation?

    Edit. My other bills will plummet, so I do not mind paying more in this area.
     
  2. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Might want to find out what that DSL provider building has for its upstream service. A lot of rural areas will sell X/Y speed service to customers when the total upstream speed to the main hub isn't much faster then X/Y. Where I last worked we had remote rural offices that had DSL service that worked fine before the town businesses opened in the morning. Then the effective speed was worse then dial up until the businesses closed in the evening. Didn't hurt our employees much since they normally spent most of the day in the field doing inspections. They learned to check emails first thing in the morning or just before going home.

    If your location is similar, extra lines won't help since the bottleneck will be between the main office and the upstream internet connection.
     
  3. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    How do I ask that question? I know what you are telling me, but I wonder if I'll get a true answer.

    On a related question, how does upstream speed affect streaming video? Yea, I get on the forums, but my gaming days are sadly over. Most of our internet usage is video streaming.
     
  4. Shadohh

    Shadohh Gawd

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    I would suggest you do not move to that area, all the choices are just bad.

    It be worth it to you if you looked 10 mins closer in the direction of a major city to see if you can find a similar house with better internet options.
     
  5. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's not an option. I bought 60 acres. Construction has already started.

    The location has many many benefits. This is one of the issues (have a couple more, but easily dealt with).

    So given my options, what should I do? Balancing or bonding? CenturyLink is happy to drop as many lines as I want. 1,2,3 etc, I just have to pay for them.
     
  6. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

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    No cable providers at all?

    Find out how far out your way that you can get cable and see how far you are from that.
    If it's a relatively short run, you might be able to work a deal.

    .
     
  7. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    Absolutely no other choices. The DSL that I described, poor LTE signal that often drops to 3G and satellite.

    Now it's just a choice of single line, bonded lines (this may not be an option if the ISP doesn't bond on their end) or load balanced lines.
     
  8. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    First step would be to call them and ask. Be sure to record the conversation if you are in a 'only one party needs to know' state. Call a few days later and ask again. See if the answers match. If you can work your way past the tech support maze, ask a tier 2 or 3 support person both the upstream speed question and the bonding support question. Depending on just how rural your site is, the local sales person may be the tech support guru as well. Might be worth a visit to the physical office as the local folks may not be in the normal phone call chain.

    Ask your construction contractor(s) what they use for Internet and how the service is.

    Ask the neighbors how the speed is during prime streaming hours.
     
  9. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So bonding would basically be taking two lines and putting them together to work as one line. You're not going to be be "bonding" anything because you can't take 2 lines from them and make them work as one.

    So you will be load balancing using some type of router to send traffic out one of the available interfaces. That said, I can predict now that you will likely be rethinking the 100% streaming goal and are going to be getting satellite. In a rural area, DSL simply does not work. The longest distance you can be from the cabinet is about a mile, so if you have 60 acres then there aren't going to be many houses down that road. Low house count mean low cabinet density, which means long runs.

    Before you go crazy with century link lines, you probably want to see what kind of speed one gets first. I'd be much more apt to say you'll be closer to 1.5mbps down than 8mbps down, given the distance limitations. If you can get a ~6mbits DSL line, then that would make for a solid connection to do stuff on. If you're only seeing a 1.5mbps line you might be better off scrapping that idea, or just using one line and balancing with something else.

    As for LTE, if you can get it, that might be a better option in this day and age. But it would come at a huge price if you wanted to stream video 24/7 on it. Yes, I saw that you said you only see 2 bars, but that's on a Cell phone. You can easily get better signal if you use a bigger solution. Either a LTE repeater with a pole mounted antenna, or look for some type of external antenna option for either a laptop card or external unit.
     
  10. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    like bman212121 says, true bonding requires compatible equipment at the ISP's DSLAM. If they don't do bonding, they don't do bonding.
    Do you remember the days of 56k shotgun? It's basically that. You can have the equipment, but if it's not supported on the ISP side, it won't work.
     
  11. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    I have CenturyLink bonded DSL. Like they said - requires equipment at the DSLAM.

    I have 25/2 from CenturyLink. It's not bad and you can stream quite a bit. 4 streams (various services) at a time with no issues. When I had 10Mbps, I don't remember how many I could do. Not 4, but more than 1. So, 2 or 3. :D
     
  12. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    I completely understand if they don't bond, then they will not bond them. Then I will not get them bonded. Period. I only brought up that option if I escalated it to another tech tier, but the salesman said no way. So that bonded option is very doubtful.

    The only residential speed they offer at my location is a 3M/768k. However the business line is 8/1 and I would get 2 of those. Both lines would be $120 a month for 2 years guaranteed. I absolutely need to get more information on the price guarantee, and the speed guarantee. I am hopeful they will be very close to the stated speeds since it is a "business" line. I need more information.

    I know the cost is more than most people pay. My other bills will plummet (literally 5-10% of what I am paying), so that is fine. Plus I paid for this place in cash, so no mortgage.

    At my current location we are 400-800 gigs of data a month (with 250 gig cap, but not enforced). I think the LTE option would just be too costly, even if I was to get a good to great signal. The CenturyLink doesn't have any caps.

    I just talked to my neighbor and they have the residential service (3/768). Speed tested it several times (not scientific testing) and she got 4.2-4.68 with 768k upload.
     
  13. thefordmccord

    thefordmccord [H]ard|Gawd

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    I also live in the sticks and can only get DSL. You will be hating life.
     
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  14. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    From what I understand of load balancing, it won't help at all with a single stream. Once you establish a socket - your locked in on that interface/ip/port

    It would help a lot with something like torrents, or generic web browsing, where you have lots of parallel connections going on at once though.

    You really don't want to do torrents on a rural ISP though.

    Welcome to the country. I use radio wireless for my unmetered stuff, at 3Mb D/U, and it commonly will drop to under 50kb. I fall back on to LTE for work when I need to remote desktop in, or when I want to play a game and not have it disconnect every minute.
     
  15. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    So that's one of my questions. A fundamental understanding of what load balancing does. Single Netflix login (one account) with 2 users streaming on 2 separate devices. Theoretically one stream per channel, right? It's that they are the same account and all that has me hung up.

    I'm trying to get the best possible solution for my Internet problems. I know it won't be what I have now.
     
  16. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Account wouldn't matter.
    Each device would make its own connection, so theoretically they would each end up taking a route off a different modem.
     
  17. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thank you.

    So I'll call CenturyLink and work on load balancing. I'll inquire on if we like vs if we don't like it. Is there a commitment to keep 2-4 lines if they aren't working out for us. What is the time limit and such.

    Thanks all.

    Edit. about 3-4 years ago, only satellite was offered in this area. Now 3M/768k. In another 5 years, there may be something better.
     
  18. Nicklebon

    Nicklebon Gawd

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    Have you discussed the more traditional business access methods with Centurylink? It is likely more than you're willing to pay and would require real networking gear on your end but a DS3, among others, would beat the hell out the options being discussed here. I don't play in the land of circuit prices but have been told DS3 pricing has dropped considerably, but still likely at least an order of magnitude over DSL.
     
  19. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have not discussed anything else. Quite frankly I don't even know what to ask. So exactly what should I ask for? Just other options?

    I don't want to pay for it, but it is what it is. I will pay to play, as it were.
     
  20. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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  21. Wotok

    Wotok Gawd

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    Divide your household in half. Put some users on Provider A's internet and the rest on Provider B.

    Internally, you could have both modems connected to a Cisco router or L3 switch. Subnet A uses Provider A as a default gateway to the internet and Subnet B to B. The router or L3 switch will know how to get traffic from A to B so everyone in the house can talk to each other directly.
     
  22. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    I've done busisness with ITel before. Their bonding service is basically a VPN that load balances over 2 connections from your ISP.

    You get your ISP to install 2 circuits, order the ITel service, they ship you their "router" preconfigured and you plug it in. Pretty simple really and you'll get the full speed of the 2 DSL lines combined. Only disadvantage is that it adds 30ms or so of latency.

    The other option would be load balancing with something like pfSense. Not completely seemless but it does help in a multi-user environment.
     
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  23. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    There are no other options. Only CenturyLink, spotty LTE (more like 3G) coverage and satellite. Nothing else. That's it.
     
  24. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    I looked at their website. For me the cost would be the router and $85 a month to bind them. For that price I'd rather get a third DSL line. Those were the business options, I couldn't find any residential pricing.

    Thanks for the option.
     
  25. Nicklebon

    Nicklebon Gawd

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    Make sure that you are talking to the folks at the bottom of the page that Gimp posted. Your local residential office will know nothing about that and likelt can't even spell DS3 much less know what it is. Please note you will talking about commercial access circuits with those folks not residential. Also note you will need real networking gear to handle T* or DS* circuits not the garbage from Best Buy. I will add that if your balking at 80/mo then don't waste your time.
     
  26. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    Any WISPs in the area? There are some that do pretty long range with decent bandwidth depending on where you are.
     
  27. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm limiting it at $250 a month, not including new hardware. I'll call them today.

    I looked at WISP and could not find anything. I'm not opposed to having an antenna structure build on property.
     
  28. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm sure you probably missed the bottom part of my post the first time, but LTE *IS* a potential option. You are only looking at reception with the 3" antenna that's in a cell phone at ground height. Get a directional antenna, AMP, and cone and you can improve your signal 10x over by putting that antenna up in the air 20 feet.

    https://wilsonproway.com/wilson-pro...tm_source=bc&gclid=CI6T6Y2votMCFQQHaQodP3wNBQ

    I've setup a Wilson system before and it works fairly well. I haven't had the ability to try one on LTE, but we had an issue where our building is built like a faraday cage. 4 bars outside, 1 bar as soon as the door closes. It worked quite well for making phone calls, and we had a complex setup with many internal antennas. A 1 to 1 solution like the one I linked should be fairly straight forward. (You could probably call them and they could likely give better input if you weren't sure if it would work for you or not) That kit does have an onmi for the receiving antenna instead of a directional, but if you stand on the roof and get 2 bars with a phone might just be good enough without needing a directional. (Then you don't need to be concerned about pointing it anywhere)

    So to better explain a load balancer, If you have 2 connections, you'll want your routing device to shift traffic accordingly. But per connection, IE you opening up a web page or a Netflix stream, that particular connect is limited to 1 of the two internet connections. You don't get 8 + 8 = 16 for one task. You will only have 8mbits total bandwidth for one Netflix stream, one game download, or one web session. If two people are using Netflix, then in an idea situation each connection would go down a separate internet pipe. Then you could make full utilization of both connections. But running a speed test will only net you 8mbits total. If you run 2 or more speed tests at the same time, the aggregate (Sum of all tests) should equal the full 16mbits of connection you have.

    That said I wouldn't even begin to make the slightest assumption that because they say business is up to 8mbit, that you can in fact get an 8mbit connection. Businesses are generally located in dense areas with other businesses, meaning they have equipment much closer to them than you probably do. It doesn't matter if it's business or residential, it's still going over the same lines at the end of the day. They might already be offering a sort of "bonding" in order to hit those numbers, as you technically have the ability for 2 phone lines since there are 4 wires. If all 4 are used, it might be 2 x 1.5mbit and that's what gives you the 3mbit for your connection. If the signal is good, they could go higher, but distance is one of the biggest killers of signal for DSL.
     
  29. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    I didn't miss your suggestion on an LTE antenna. I thank you for that. We are consuming 400-800 gigs a month. Doesn't appear to be a viable alternative.

    Edit. It's a lifestyle move and I'll be making more. Internet access at this location is suboptimal and I'm trying to make the best of it.
     
  30. VRT

    VRT Limp Gawd

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    I just looked for the video, Linus Tech Tips recently reviewed a bonding solution that apparently worked pretty well and you could bond between different ISP's. While the solution looks like it could be a bit pricy, it works. I use load balancing myself, mainly for failover and my downloading all goes through one link.

     
  31. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    I think you missed the second half of my post. You could always use pfSense to do load balancing. You won't see a 16mbit single system download but it will help in a situation with multiple users. pfSense would do what's called per-connection round-robin load balancing. Basically the 1st request goes out ISP1, the second out ISP2, 3rd out ISP1 and so on.

    This is different than bonding. The ISP does not need to be involved for load balancing.
     
  32. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    I see this so often, people not really checking out the broadband situation before deciding to commit financially to a new home. Broadband is now as important as gas, water and electric but people still forget about it.

    I've had two customers move out from the city to wonderful huge barn conversion homes in the sticks. They then call me up in a panic cos they can't run their internet based business off 1.2Mbps!

    They have both since moved back to the city. Rural connectivity just doesnt cut it.

    Having to go out to another customer tomorrow that decided to move from their home that has just got 50Mbps VDSL after struggling with 2Mbps for so long to a new build 3 miles up the road in the sticks. Mainly because if had a two car garage!

    The new build has no telephone line, let alone ADSL provision. FFS people!!

    I'll take my city centre one bedroom apartment any day thanks.
     
  33. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's condescending. A lot of thought went into this decision. A lot. We will be very close to family and that is the motivation to move.

    Internet connectivity is what it is. That is my situation, and I'm trying to make the best of it. If there isn't a better solution, then that's just the way it is. If Century Link says take it or leave, we will take it and that's that.
     
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  34. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 [H]ardness Supreme

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    People are quick to judge and throw mud at each other. Seems incredibly superficial to me to base your home on your internet situation. And then to question the motivation of someone else is just bitter, in my opinion.
     
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  35. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Congrats on escaping city life. There was life before streaming and many of those options still exist. Count yourself lucky that you found land where wired internet is an option. Most of the land around here is lucky to have POTS with dialup capability of 28k.
     
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  36. Firebug24k

    Firebug24k [H]Lite

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    Load balancing with two connections from your ISP is pretty simple, actually. Like many have said, it will not speed up single connections, but will double your bandwidth, so that two connections in parallel can operate both at full speed.

    One router I know that can do dual WAN pretty simply is the Ubiquiti Edgerouter series.... check out the Edgerouter Lite, it will do exactly what you want for less than $100.
     
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  37. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    The $50ish Edgerouter X has plenty of performance for 2xDSL. Not that $50 is a big difference compared to the monthly charges, of course.
     
  38. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    Frankly if you are getting a 8/1 connection I would not even call that close to being slow....

    I grew up in an area with extended access DSL (that I was glad to get over dial up) that was 512k/128k. Then had a 1.5/512, then a 10/1. All on DSL. All worked for gaming just fine as they had low latency. The biggest issue was streaming on the 512k and 1.5 lines. The 10/1 service was plenty for a couple streams. Most of the services will auto adjust quality as well.

    Don't fall for perceived higher speeds on LTE or Satellite. Satellite latency will make you want to scream and that 8/1 line will be TONS faster. LTE bandwidth caps and variability will make you want the landline.


    For a load balancer, there are quite a few good options. Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite, pfsense, Zyxel 100 all support it easily. Essentially what they will do is round robin connection requests. So when a new request hits the router (load this webpage, start this video stream, send this IM, etc.) the router will alternate putting the request on each internet connection. This means that you will not get a combined 16/2 service, but instead have the ability to have multiple streams that can max at 8/1, but you could have 2 of those going at the same time (like streaming). The streaming services do not care that it is the same login account.
     
  39. Mackintire

    Mackintire 2[H]4U

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    If you want to use Ubiquiti, the Edgerouter-X would be the preferred model for this project.

    Another option is a Zyxel Zywall 110 or similar, which allows WAN session bonding per IP or interface via strict or loose or failover.

    I used an older one years ago for a 30 person office with 2x 6Mbps DSL.

    Speaking of which... I have a Zyxel USG 100 for sale that would do the job. Price is below anything you'll find on e-bay. PM me if you are interested.
     
  40. Liver

    Liver [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thanks. Let me call them this week, we finally registered the address with 911 which then sets it up with the post office. Which in turn, makes it so Century Link can locate it on a map.

    It'll be DSL. What modems are the best or better? I've been with cable forever, I don't know what is available for DSL.