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Old 02-20-2013, 03:14 AM   #1
marineband
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Default Can I specify which devices on same wifi network use which Internet connection?

Hi all, this is my first post. I've been reading Anandtech for years and am very happy to be here finally

I have a 2 Mbps DSL connection where I currently live (a hill town in India beyond the reach of the better ISPs). It's difficult to get faster DSL because of variable line quality but I do want to supplement this with a wireless 3G/EVDO connection. I'm guessing this wireless connection will add about 1 Mbps-3 Mbps bandwidth depending on the carrier I choose.

I'm looking to buy a wireless-N 300 Mbps router (sub-$100 preferably) that will allow simultaneous use of these two internet connections to my home wifi network. The key thing for me is to be able to direct one of these connections to my NAS exclusively, leaving the other connection free for general use by the other devices at home (a desktop, some laptops and mobile devices). If the general use connection goes down, I would want the router to allow all devices to access the dedicated NAS connection.

Would a cheap router (like this: http://www.flipkart.com/tp-link-tl-m...e-f97a622b72ed) be able to do this? If not, what should I get?

I'm obviously a network noob so thanks for being patient!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:49 AM   #2
Vectronic
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I doubt a cheap router would be able to accomplish that, certainly not that one.

For starters you'd need a Router with dual WAN, and dual channel WiFi. Finding a dual channel router will probably be easy, my little $45 router has it, a 2.4GHz channel, and a 5GHz channel. My TV uses the 5GHz channel, "Guest" computers use the 2.4GHz channel, and my actual network uses the wired ports.

You'd probably have to set yours up similar, but with a dual WAN router... where you have something like:

WAN1 > 5GHz > NAS
WAN2 > 2.4GHz > Network

However, the router itself probably won't allow automatic switching between connections when one fails, you would have to setup each system to do that itself.

Set your NAS to connect to the 5GHz channel by default, with your 2.4GHz one as secondary, and setup all your other computers to use 2.4GHz as primary, 5GHz as secondary... if they don't get an internet connection they will automatically witch channels.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:54 AM   #3
marineband
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Thanks. I think I understand what you're saying. I guess the router I linked to is a failover model and doesn't support simultaneous dual WAN/3G connections.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I need a WAN2 here since I'm planning to use 3G/EVDO as the second connection, and that will probably be a USB data card plugged into the router. Also, my NAS and desktop are connected by LAN to the router while WiFi services the laptops and mobile devices. I could put the desktop on WiFi as well with a dongle, but I guess my NAS, which doesn't support WiFi, will remain on LAN.

If I'm making sense so far, should I be looking for a router that simultaneously connects to both WAN and USB 3G, and channels the WAN link to WiFi and the USB 3G to LAN (or vice versa)?

EDIT: I just realised my original post is misleading. I should've mentioned that some devices are on WiFi and others on LAN. Sorry!

Last edited by marineband; 02-20-2013 at 05:05 AM. Reason: Error in original post caused confusion
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
Vectronic
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You might have to create a graphic to describe your network layout.

I would think that the easiest way of doing this, would be to route all internet traffic through your NAS, that way your NAS always has internet, and it can decide which of those two connections get passed to the rest of the network.



This way, you can buy whatever cheap router you want... although yes, Ideally you would want a router that can accept both WAN and 3G and deal with those connections, for $100 you *might* be able to find one, but it's the software you really have to look into, not just whether or not it can handle WAN + 3G.

I would suggest trying to find an "unlockable", one that DD-WRT and similar stuff supports, which will give you far more control over how the internet/network is handled, otherwise you would probably have to get a much more expensive router.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
marineband
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Thanks for pointing me in the direction of DD-WRT, I hadn't heard of it earlier. Your network layout looks awesome but sadly my NAS is a basic consumer model with one LAN port only! I have, however, come across this inexpensive router (link: http://www.amazon.com/TP-link-TL-R47...8/refpd_cp_e_0 ).



I'm not sure I understand the spec sheet but it does look like it would be be able to receive simultaneous (as opposed to failover) connections from a DSL modem (I have one) and a 3G modem (can be had here for $30 or so). The feature list refers to load balancing and - while I'm out of my depth and haven't been able to study the manual yet - hopefully this router should be able to limit the 3G data to the NAS, which I will connect to one of the LAN ports on the router. Another LAN port on the router could then feed a 300 mbps Wireless-N router (available here for $50 or so) which will then service the rest of the computers and mobile devices in the house.

Or, at least, so I hope..!
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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Sounds like you need something that has an interface where you can make your own routes. Basic routers, and cheap routers with Dual WANs normally don't have this ability. What would work for you is to have a router with 2 WAN interfaces, and then set up your own static routes to move traffic between the two connections. Its hard to do this cheap, but you could indeed do it with some old Cisco stuff from eBay. I give prices knowing that its pretty costly getting stuff to India.. Prices to get this equipment in the US are nearly half.

Old Cisco 1721 Router: ~$60
Cisco WIC-1ENET 10Mbit WIC card: ~$60
Cisco WIC-1ADSL ADSL WIC card: ~$20. (This would replace your DSL modem, otherwise you'll need to get another WIC-1ENET card).

From there, you would go out to a switch that you either have now, or integrated in your access point.

It would take some time to set up, and obviously require some reading if you're not familiar with Cisco devices, but its probably the *cheapest* way to get what you want with the flexibility you're asking for. There's just not many cheap options available for a configurable routing device for dual WAN's beyond simple failover.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:07 AM   #7
marineband
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thecoolnessrune, I'm learning about a lot of new stuff on this thread! Your cost projections for India are spot on and it should cost me about $140 for an old router and the two WIC cards needed. Configuring old Cisco gear might teach me some about networking too.

But I also looked at the manual for the $54 TP-link TL-R470T and it seems also to support restricting availability of the Internet connections to specific IP ranges on the LAN, which I'm hoping would mean that I could set it up to send all the 3G data to the NAS alone.

The Amazon link to the TP-Link router is here: http://www.amazon.com/TP-link-TL-R47.../ref=pd_cp_e_0

The link to the manual, with relevant info on printed pages 32,33, is here: http://www.tp-link.in/Resources/docu...User_Guide.pdf

I understand that equipment that supports this sort of thing is usually much more expensive, but I'm wondering if this new router has sort-of broken the price floor? If I can get this router for about $70 here, do you think it would be a better deal than the Cisco gear?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:34 AM   #8
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Sometimes I over-engineer It looks like that device there does exactly what you want. Granted, I know its firmware that makes a router over hardware, and I know nothing about that device so I can't vouch for it, but it seems to have the features you want!

I have a TP-link switch for testing work and it performs just fine. I have an older TP-Link router around as well and it hasn't been so great (it has to be rebooted daily when I'm using it otherwise traffic just stops on all the ports). So I'm a little hesitant of smart TP-Link products, but I'm only a one user example

Small Business examples from the other manufacturers cost many times more (the D-Link DSR-500N gives you your wireless access point too but costs ~$300), while the Cisco RV042 is ~$250 but pretty buggy. The ZyXEL UAG715 is likewise also big money and not readily available.

The price parity between that model and others is huge, and that makes me wary, and my bad luck with TP-Link routers increases that. But on that same note, TP-Link doesn't have that brand cost behind it that the other big players do, and that might very well lower the price drastically.

Since your needs aren't that intense (you're not doing VPN setups on the router, advanced firewalling, access control lists, etc.), that might do exactly what you need it to I say give it a go! And if you do, make sure to come back to this thread and let us know how its worked for you.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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It dose Not matter what you do on your side, there is No simultaneous (like getting more speed on a single device) unless the source ISPs provide a special synchronize (Bonding) service.

If you want a general better control using two Internet sources configure a specific computer on one Modem/Router and a second computer on the second line Modem/Router. Put a second NIC on one one the computers and Bridge the two Networks.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...network-bridge





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Old 02-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
marineband
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thecoolnessrune, I really appreciate your taking the time. I get that it will be a bit of a gamble with the TP-Link but, like you said, my needs are limited. My ISP-supplied modem/Wifi access point is also a TP-Link model incidentally and I'm hard pressed to say whether the frequent disconnections we suffer due to the low SNR aren't worsened by the router

Jack, yes, I'm not looking to try bonding the two connections. I had been wondering if it's possible to bridge the two networks, so thanks for showing how. Keeping our desktop on 24/7 isn't feasible because protracted power outages are a daily feature here - our battery backup runs the router and light fixtures and stuff without a hitch but I can't connect the desktop UPS to it. Maybe I could fix up and repurpose an old WinXP laptop though..

I'll get back with updates when I have something going, thanks all
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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I know I harp on this often, but a Mikrotik rb450 would do all the Cisco could do for cheaper with as many or more options. It would be a simple setup with very little power usage and zero noise.
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