Running multiple internet connections on the same network

Imprez04

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I just moved into my fraternity house a couple days ago and have been setting everything up for living here. There are about 70-80ish guys living in with me, and thus our internet connection has always been slow.

I have been trying to figure out how to speed things up, so i went to where the router (and what i thought was going to be a somewhat fast probably business class connection, the network switch, and then a few wires to hook up all 50ish rooms.

when i got down to the room it was located i was flat out wrong.

rather than one business class connections, we had 7 slow DSL connections going into a big black metal box.

I opened up the box and there are two UPS sitting in it, on top of a gateway computer that is no (yet no one knew existed), and then 7 combinations of switches and routers just thrown into the box (no wire management what so ever.

hell, when i even opened the box, a router and switch fell out...


I am now on a quest to fix this problem, however there are several things i need you guys to help me with if possible

The Biggest Issue:
Right now everyone is on different networks, making file sharing between computers impossible. Is there any way to get everyone to be able to connect to other people's computers while still having multiple internet connections?

Edit: Also, i know it is possible by setting everyone's IP manually and disabled DHCP. Then having each router be a gateway with a different IP. but i am only here for a couple of years, and most people take their computers to class too. So i am trying to find a way to keep DHCP running rather than manually doing everything. It would take way too long to set up everyones computer, and tell them how to use their computers if they take it to another network (i.e. redoing their IP address).

Issue Two:
I have a server i brought which i was originally going to use as a bit-torrent seedbox (seeding linux distros of course) for the house. Basically, everything that would be downloaded would be done only on that box, and then when the file is done downloading you would pull it from the finished downloads folder and take it off the server.

The reason why I think this would be better than just everyone DLing on their own computers is that it really decreases the traffic inside the network and can also run 24/7 so other people do not need to keep their computers on.

However, at the current moment in time, we suffer from the biggest issue, which is being on 8 different networks in the house, (each with only a maximum of 8 computers on it). so it makes it impossible to all connect to the server. Does anyone know how i can wire the switches together without fucking things up.

I thought about it but if you are running several internet connections as well, how would it manage the internet connections? would you have to get a router that has multiple WAN ports?





i have also been looking into replacing all the connections with one business class (or something similar) connection, but all that is really available is DSL. And those DSL connections dont seem to be fast enough to support everyone off one connection.

Anyone have any idea on how to go about this problem? or better yet, know an ISP whom's connection is great enough to support the bandwidth we use in the Purdue University area?





lastly, i have been trying everything to find out what that server does, however i cant find it on any of the networks (god saying that makes me cringe). anyone have any idea what its doing? i cant see it being very useful for our house (in which, there arent that many techy people.. and the alumni dont give two shits about us). i really couldnt care less about the server.. just curious.
 

LoStMaTt

2[H]4U
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If you have that many people living at the facility then I would propose seeking out a T3 or fiber connection.

Split the cost amongst the 70-80 people living there and the fees will be minute.

This sounds like a huge task that I would not volunteer myself to work on. Not alone anyways. Get extra help on this.

I looked for some high end ISPs in your area and there don't seem to be any. No FIOS providers or anything.

That sucks.
 

Keiichi

[H]ard|Gawd
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I would check to see if comcast business cable is in your arena or fios. Another avenue to go is with multiple T1 lines or fractional T3 with equipment managed by the provider. That would be a good option as it would consolidate everything into one router and you really wouldn't ahve to worry about equipment just paying the bill every month.
 

Ockie

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It's all going to depend on how far you are away from existing connections. Sharing a huge connection is great, but who's going to pay for it? Sure each person can toss in $25-30 per month, but to be realistic, who's going to collect from each person and pay a $2,000 a month bill (this 2k figure would be assuming you are in an easy to reach fiber area).

My recomendation for you would be to seek something like a multi wan business router and get a nice switch. This should solve all your problems and it's a one time expense.

You may also find that some of those existing DSL lines are under contracts, so terminating them may not be an option.
 

Imprez04

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I would check to see if comcast business cable is in your arena or fios. Another avenue to go is with multiple T1 lines or fractional T3 with equipment managed by the provider. That would be a good option as it would consolidate everything into one router and you really wouldn't ahve to worry about equipment just paying the bill every month.
i looked into fractional T3 however it would still be wayyy too much (7500 a month :eek:).. and we are trying to keep the fee's of the house down quite a bit.. and this is slightly out of our price range.


as for multiple T1 lines, i thought about it, t1 caps out pretty low though, is it really worth buying like 4 lines and a 4 port WAN switch? and arent they like 500 or so a month?
 

Ockie

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i looked into fractional T3 however it would still be wayyy too much (7500 a month :eek:).. and we are trying to keep the fee's of the house down quite a bit.. and this is slightly out of our price range.


as for multiple T1 lines, i thought about it, t1 caps out pretty low though, is it really worth buying like 4 lines and a 4 port WAN switch? and arent they like 500 or so a month?
You are better off going with DSL or SDSL services and a multi port wan router. T1's are great, but they are mainly for SLA purposes and business purposes guaranteeing the service and bandwidth.

Something like this may suit your needs:
http://www.peplink.com/products/balance-710/

Keep in mind, it's $3,995, but it does have 7 wan ports.
 

Imprez04

Limp Gawd
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Jul 27, 2008
Messages
206
It's all going to depend on how far you are away from existing connections. Sharing a huge connection is great, but who's going to pay for it? Sure each person can toss in $25-30 per month, but to be realistic, who's going to collect from each person and pay a $2,000 a month bill (this 2k figure would be assuming you are in an easy to reach fiber area).

My recomendation for you would be to seek something like a multi wan business router and get a nice switch. This should solve all your problems and it's a one time expense.

You may also find that some of those existing DSL lines are under contracts, so terminating them may not be an option.
for the who is paying part, allt he money is collected up front before you move into the house (it costs about $4,000) to live in the house, ut of that.. ALL utilities are paid for the entire year. at the current moment, i think there is a $150 fee everyone pays for the internet connection. which comes out to be 12000+ for purely internet connections (way more than the DSL connections we ahve currently.

this isnt some unorganized group of people living together, the fraternity is a business, and everything is done through the company name, not through a particular brother in the fraternity. THe brothers here then have our own books and a few accounting majors that handle them. Thus, the billing part will not be a problem and is taken care of.

the multi wan approach is becoming more and more clear that it si the best option as i research this. And as much as i would love to have 4 T1 lines, i do not know if it would be within our budget to do so. that being said.. so would 4 good DSL connections be a better option?
 

swatbat

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If you have that many people living at the facility then I would propose seeking out a T3 or fiber connection.

Split the cost amongst the 70-80 people living there and the fees will be minute.

This sounds like a huge task that I would not volunteer myself to work on. Not alone anyways. Get extra help on this.

I looked for some high end ISPs in your area and there don't seem to be any. No FIOS providers or anything.

That sucks.
Yea I would not volunteer myself for this either. If I was stuck with it I would be looking at the t3 idea or sometype of high speed data lines. Personaly I'd prob just use my evdo card in my notebook for access and be done with it. At very least look into getting faster dsl lines and cutting the number down.

If you did rope yourself into this:

Anyway pfsense can support multiple wans and do load balencing but I've never seen it used with that many connections. Build a new server with a raid 1 for the os and a bunch of nics and do this. You can also put all 7 routers on the same network and give each a different IP address. Ie 172.20.1.1, 172.20.1.2, etc. You can either then not define a gateway in the dhcp off a single dhcp server and assign it or using dhcp groups you can assign the setting the dhcp server gives out via mac address. That way you can just manually setup everyone in that list where they get kicked to a gateway.

Edit: That box Ockie linked to seems like it would be a good option. Don't have any experience with that company though. You could buy a nice rackmount server for under a grand that could handle this but you would then have to setup the software(pfsence or configure linux/bsd to do it). The box is pretty much turnkey.
 

Ockie

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for the who is paying part, allt he money is collected up front before you move into the house (it costs about $4,000) to live in the house, ut of that.. ALL utilities are paid for the entire year. at the current moment, i think there is a $150 fee everyone pays for the internet connection. which comes out to be 12000+ for purely internet connections (way more than the DSL connections we ahve currently.

this isnt some unorganized group of people living together, the fraternity is a business, and everything is done through the company name, not through a particular brother in the fraternity. THe brothers here then have our own books and a few accounting majors that handle them. Thus, the billing part will not be a problem and is taken care of.

the multi wan approach is becoming more and more clear that it si the best option as i research this. And as much as i would love to have 4 T1 lines, i do not know if it would be within our budget to do so. that being said.. so would 4 good DSL connections be a better option?
Like I said, even if you looked at 2-7k connections, you'd still be in the hole, needing to collect. I never said it's unorganized, actually you did with the tacky network.

Anyways, I found another cheaper one (1,000), this one has 8 wan ports, it's an edimax product, it looks decent for your needs

http://www.pcbay.net/edener8wanpo.html


I'm curious as to why you think T1's would be better in such a setting? Also, I'm curious as to why you want to cut the existing DSL lines down to 4 now? You are going to need all you can get.
 

Keiichi

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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You are better off going with DSL or SDSL services and a multi port wan router. T1's are great, but they are mainly for SLA purposes and business purposes guaranteeing the service and bandwidth.

Something like this may suit your needs:
http://www.peplink.com/products/balance-710/

Keep in mind, it's $3,995, but it does have 7 wan ports.
That 7 port one seems a bit overkill you probably could get away with:
https://secure.peplink.com/products/balance-200-300/
and instead of having 7 slow lines get 3 high speed ADSL lines. That should be a bit more cost effective.

Just keep in m ind if you document all the changes and give it to the people that run the books then this problem won't happen again.
 

Imprez04

Limp Gawd
Joined
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Messages
206
You are better off going with DSL or SDSL services and a multi port wan router. T1's are great, but they are mainly for SLA purposes and business purposes guaranteeing the service and bandwidth.

Something like this may suit your needs:
http://www.peplink.com/products/balance-710/

Keep in mind, it's $3,995, but it does have 7 wan ports.
Heh, little more beefy than the TP link i had in mind (only 4 wan ports).

i think you have the better idea of whats going on (i ahve read through ALL for you server builds.. multiple times).

On top of that, this is actually somewhat within our budget as well, and looks like ti could solve many of our problems without killing off the internet connections we have. Have you ever actually sued it ockie? and how is it managed? does it have a serial connection or something? or is it all browser based? or is it something you need to telnet/ssh into?


thanks... now i just have to deal with the wire management mess >.> next time i go down there ill take a picture of it.
 

Ockie

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Heh, little more beefy than the TP link i had in mind (only 4 wan ports).

i think you have the better idea of whats going on (i ahve read through ALL for you server builds.. multiple times).

On top of that, this is actually somewhat within our budget as well, and looks like ti could solve many of our problems without killing off the internet connections we have. Have you ever actually sued it ockie? and how is it managed? does it have a serial connection or something? or is it all browser based? or is it something you need to telnet/ssh into?


thanks... now i just have to deal with the wire management mess >.> next time i go down there ill take a picture of it.
I've never used Peplink or Edimax products, so I can't comment on that. But the peplink guys seems to offer 30 day no questions asked refunds if you aren't satisfied, I would give them a call and see if you can score an evaluation unit.

The units we use are a lot more high end than those, but from the looks, the peplink unit is pretty stacked with features for the price.
 

Imprez04

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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Like I said, even if you looked at 2-7k connections, you'd still be in the hole, needing to collect. I never said it's unorganized, actually you did with the tacky network.

Anyways, I found another cheaper one (1,000), this one has 8 wan ports, it's an edimax product, it looks decent for your needs

http://www.pcbay.net/edener8wanpo.html


I'm curious as to why you think T1's would be better in such a setting? Also, I'm curious as to why you want to cut the existing DSL lines down to 4 now? You are going to need all you can get.
For the money part: we are overpaying for internet connections as it is and we have a bit of a bank to support a loss in one area for a semester or two (and the raise the tech fee up more) so getting the money isnt a problem. its just minimizing the cost where possible.


Also, im not trying to cut down on the number of connections. but right now 3 of the DSL lines are connected to most of the rooms where the internet is used the most. and then other networks have only 1 computer that is connecting to the computer. with an equalized network load across the internet connections, we might be able to lose a couple of them with no loss in speed(but probably not)

as for the reasons why i think T1 would be better would be because of the contract you sign with the companies. ALthough DSL is pretty reliable, around us it gets really shitty at times and we can lose the internet connection altogether. At least with T1 you are guaranteed uptime. I do agree that 7 DSL connections would be faster though.

Also, im to simplify everything, i'd rather have fewer higher quailty connections then many crappy ones.

to Keiichi:
i ahvent even looked at ADSL to be honest as i dont know that much about it. How much better is it in comparison to DSL?
 

Ockie

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For the money part: we are overpaying for internet connections as it is and we have a bit of a bank to support a loss in one area for a semester or two (and the raise the tech fee up more) so getting the money isnt a problem. its just minimizing the cost where possible.


Also, im not trying to cut down on the number of connections. but right now 3 of the DSL lines are connected to most of the rooms where the internet is used the most. and then other networks have only 1 computer that is connecting to the computer. with an equalized network load across the internet connections, we might be able to lose a couple of them with no loss in speed(but probably not)

as for the reasons why i think T1 would be better would be because of the contract you sign with the companies. ALthough DSL is pretty reliable, around us it gets really shitty at times and we can lose the internet connection altogether. At least with T1 you are guaranteed uptime. I do agree that 7 DSL connections would be faster though.

Also, im to simplify everything, i'd rather have fewer higher quailty connections then many crappy ones.

to Keiichi:
i ahvent even looked at ADSL to be honest as i dont know that much about it. How much better is it in comparison to DSL?
Then how about

Keeping 6 DSL lines, buy one T1 line (6+1)
or
Ditching 3 DSL lines, buy 3 cable lines (4+3)
or
Ditch 3 DSL lines, buy 2 cables lines and 1 T1 line (3+2+1)

This way you are diversifying your connections and will benifit from the uptime.
 

Keiichi

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adsl is just a kind of dsl, most dsl connections are adsl to be honest. It just means that you have different upload and download rates, as opposed to sdsl which is the same upload and download.
 

swatbat

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I've never used Peplink or Edimax products, so I can't comment on that. But the peplink guys seems to offer 30 day no questions asked refunds if you aren't satisfied, I would give them a call and see if you can score an evaluation unit.

The units we use are a lot more high end than those, but from the looks, the peplink unit is pretty stacked with features for the price.
Yea the peplink does seem interesting. That edimax product seems like it is just too cheap. It doesn't have the speed the peplink claims which could be an issue in a few years but even so the price just seems too good. Haven't used either so I can't really back this up other then saying it seems too good to be true.

I'd also agree with Ockie about trying to see about a few providers. At very least see what types of connections you are getting and what they offer now. You might be able to step up to faster dsl connections for next to nothing or in some cases for free. I've had a few clients where we would call verizon and they would send them a new dsl modem to support higher speed connections where they had the old modems from when 768k lines were top end.
 

Imprez04

Limp Gawd
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Then how about

Keeping 6 DSL lines, buy one T1 line (6+1)
or
Ditching 3 DSL lines, buy 3 cable lines (4+3)
or
Ditch 3 DSL lines, buy 2 cables lines and 1 T1 line (3+2+1)

This way you are diversifying your connections and will benifit from the uptime.
unfortunately we have no access to a cable connection so those are out of the question, however i am liking your first suggestion. i'll need to look into that.


by the way guys, Thanks for all the help.. would have taken me hours to learn everything you guys have told me in just a few minutes.
 

swatbat

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unfortunately we have no access to a cable connection so those are out of the question, however i am liking your first suggestion. i'll need to look into that.


by the way guys, Thanks for all the help.. would have taken me hours to learn everything you guys have told me in just a few minutes.
What speed are the current dsl lines?
 

scobar

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Jan 2, 2001
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I'd look at buying a multi-wan router or blancer, then buy up a few 24 port switches, as needed.

The connections kinda suck, but...

Otherwise, call the ISP and see about getting a faster connection. I had contacted mine at work. We have a 1.5/768k connection, which is the fastest, and its $100/mo:eek: We can double our speeds for $260 a mo:eek:

Maybe, you can see about getting maybe a 4 port multi wan and double the speeds on 1/2 your connections and off 1/2?
 

swatbat

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at the moment all the lines are 2.6 mb download 768 up
however, the best performance i have seen on a computer was 1.2mb download and 344 up
While you are screwing with it see about getting some new modems and having the phone lines checked.
 
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