Is what i want to do possible?



  • So, i want to do a new setup, where i will have 2 maybe 3 ADSL connections coming into the office from the same Provider.  3 x ADSL Modems, then my pfSense box..  is it possible to somehow bond those connections together so i get the combined total of bandwidth available?  3 x 10mb links, so can i get 30mb as my actual bandwidth for usage?

    I have a server that i can't put another NIC in, so i am homing i can do this with a Cat5 cable from each modem, plugged into a VLAN capable switch and then the switch plugged into the pfSense server… is this possible?  (the switch will be a Mikrotik Routerboard 460GL.


  • Netgate Administrator

    No problem using a VLAN switch for the interfaces.

    If your ISP supports it you may be able to use ML-PPP. Not all do but it's a much nicer solution if possible.

    Otherwise you can use regular multiwan load balancing. This will only provide balancing of multiple connections (you can't get a single download at the combined speed for example) but this shouldn't be a problem for you with many clients.
    I can't find any reference to it now but I'm sure I've read that the different connections cannot share the same remote gateway as this breaks routing. Obviously this could be a problem if they are the same provider.

    Steve



  • Steve, is there any way at all using pfsense that i can combine say 2 ADSL links of 10mbit each and actually get a speedtest of 20mb?  i mean, so it actually bonds them into one fast connection.

    I am not able to put any extra NIC's into my server so i cant have multiple WAN interfaces. the 1 NIC that is my WAN will be connected to a RouterBOARD 750GL which i can setup vlans, so maybe i can just use my 1 WAN NIC and somehow combine the 2 Links into 1 using the RouterBOARD?



  • Steve, is there any way at all using pfsense that i can combine say 2 ADSL links of 10mbit each and actually get a speedtest of 20mb?  i mean, so it actually bonds them into one fast connection.

    You can balance connections to both 10mbit dsl but you will have a maximum of 10mbit per connection.



  • If you are going to put a RB750GL between your pfSense and upstream ISPs then it might be more worthwhile asking routerboard people how to configure multiple WAN links for aggregation.

    You will almost certainly still need to determine what your upstream ISP(s?) are prepared to support, e.g. multi-link PPP?

    I don't know the details of how speedtest works but its possible it might give a misleading report. For example, if it uses a single TCP connection and you have to adopt a load balanced multiple WAN configuration speedtest is likely to report a best case speed of the speed of one WAN link while the load balancing would be capable of giving the aggregate speed of the WAN connections if multiple TCP connections are in use.


  • Netgate Administrator

    @luke240778:

    Steve, is there any way at all using pfsense that i can combine say 2 ADSL links of 10mbit each and actually get a speedtest of 20mb?  i mean, so it actually bonds them into one fast connection.

    Like I said above in order to get a real 20Mbps connection from two 10Mbps you need an ISP that supports ML-PPP. Otherwise you can only load balance between the two, sharing multiple connections.
    If you simply want to see it the Speedtest.net client can measure load balanced connections.

    Steve



  • Thanks for the replies, i guess.. seeing that i am only going to be giving clienst a 2mbps cinnection, i dont mind if it doesnt speedtest at 20mb, i just want to make sure that i can set it up and have 20mb available for clients to use.



  • @wallabybob:

    If you are going to put a RB750GL between your pfSense and upstream ISPs then it might be more worthwhile asking routerboard people how to configure multiple WAN links for aggregation.

    You will almost certainly still need to determine what your upstream ISP(s?) are prepared to support, e.g. multi-link PPP?

    I don't know the details of how speedtest works but its possible it might give a misleading report. For example, if it uses a single TCP connection and you have to adopt a load balanced multiple WAN configuration speedtest is likely to report a best case speed of the speed of one WAN link while the load balancing would be capable of giving the aggregate speed of the WAN connections if multiple TCP connections are in use.

    I dont know if i am going to use the RB750 or not, i will only use it if i can't do what i need to do with pfsense.. and also that the RB750 is the only device i have right now that i can do vlan's on if that is needed at all?

    I was looking at one of these: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?categoryid=227&model=TL-R470T%2b and wondering if i need to buy something like that, or if i can actually do the same by just using pfsense?


  • Netgate Administrator

    pfSense is a great loadbalancer, there is no need to buy anything else to do the job.
    Since you are dealing with many 2Mbps connections it should be no problem that you cannot get a single large 20Mbps connection.
    The only caveat is that there is a routing problem if both WAN connections are given the same gateway. I don't have that problem as I'm using two ISPs but you need to be sure this isn't a problem for you before you order new connections.
    You should check that you can't get an ML-PPP connection because if you can it will work a lot better.

    Steve



  • Sorry, but what is an ML-PPP connection?

    Also, you say that there is no need to buy anything else as pfSense can do this.. which is good news.. but as my server only has 1 WAN NIC and i cant add another.. is this possible with my current WAN NIC plugged into a small managed switch and have the 2 modems plugged into the switch?  can pfsense then still do load balancing? or do i HAVE to have a seperate NIC for each?



  • ML-PPP is multi-link PPP. Same as T1 bonding. The ISP bonds the DSL connections for you and you get a link that is capable of the aggregate on a single connection.

    You can use a single NIC, but you are going to have to do VLANs. I don't think you have have PPP from 2 separate links on the same WAN. You can have the modems do the authentication and then use the pfsense to setup multiple gateways. Then you will use each connection as a load balance configuration. You will not be able to attain the full aggregate bandwidth unless you are using multi-threaded applications … like torrents. Since you are also have multiple 2MBit/s connections, you might be able to attain higher speeds since it will inherently be multi-threaded.

    You don't have to have physically separated NIC, you can do logically separated links like the others have suggested.



  • @luke240778:

    Sorry, but what is an ML-PPP connection?

    @luke240778:

    Also, you say that there is no need to buy anything else as pfSense can do this.. which is good news.. but as my server only has 1 WAN NIC and i cant add another.. is this possible with my current WAN NIC plugged into a small managed switch and have the 2 modems plugged into the switch?  can pfsense then still do load balancing? or do i HAVE to have a seperate NIC for each?

    • first modem 192.168.1.1

    • second modem 192.168.1.2

    • pfsense at 192.168.1.3

    • first modem 192.168.1.1 on WAN

    • second modem 192.168.2.1 on OPT1


  • Netgate Administrator

    @marcelloc:

    You can do it with a non vlan switch but the 2 modems cannot be in bridge mode.
    for example

    • first modem 192.168.1.1

    • second modem 192.168.1.2

    • pfsense at 192.168.1.3

    That would also negate the unique gateway problem if you are using the same ISP.

    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance

    I would prefer the VLANs approach, also i will use the modems Bridged, remember that in 2.0.1, you can use PPPoE with same GW without problem.


  • Netgate Administrator

    @ptt:

    remember that in 2.0.1, you can use PPPoE with same GW without problem.

    Really? How did I miss that.
    Ok well in that case yes, avoiding double NAT is a good plan.

    Steve

    Edit: Ah yes.
    @http://blog.pfsense.org/?p=633:

    Added patch to mpd to allow multiple PPPoE connections with the same remote gateway



  • Great news!  I also thought that it might be a nightmare here in Brasil to get Oi to do anything at all beyond their normal duty for me marcelloc..

    Lastly.. if i have 2 links at the location 4km away and want them combined at that end before connected to the PTP that will interface into my server here.. will a switch be enough to do that? or am i going to need another pfsense box at that end?


  • Rebel Alliance

    @stephenw10:

    @ptt:

    remember that in 2.0.1, you can use PPPoE with same GW without problem.

    Really? How did I miss that.
    Ok well in that case yes, avoiding double NAT is a good plan.

    Steve

    http://blog.pfsense.org/?p=633

    » Added patch to mpd to allow multiple PPPoE connections with the same remote gateway


  • Rebel Alliance

    @luke240778:

    Great news!  I also thought that it might be a nightmare here in Brasil to get Oi to do anything at all beyond their normal duty for me marcelloc..

    Lastly.. if i have 2 links at the location 4km away and want them combined at that end before connected to the PTP that will interface into my server here.. will a switch be enough to do that? or am i going to need another pfsense box at that end?

    What kind of "links" are ?

    With VLANs you can have as many as you want…. each remote "link" will be a WAN....

    Your pfSense ( 1 interface configured as "trunk" ) <---> PowerBridge ( AP WDS ) < - - - - - 4Km - - - - > PowerBridge ( STA WDS ) <--> VLAN Capable SW---> Your provider connections



  • 2 ADLS 5mb links.. so 2 ADSL modems that will need to be connected somehow so i can get 10mb of total bandwidth

    And just so i understand.. as i have never played with vlan's before.. to do that, the switch HAS to be vlan capable as well as creating the vlan's in pfsense?



  • @luke240778:

    Great news!  I also thought that it might be a nightmare here in Brasil to get Oi to do anything at all beyond their normal duty for me marcelloc..

    Move your servers to somewhere you can get datalinks from other provider(gvt or net for example), OI is one of the worst providers we can get in Brazil. :(



  • @luke240778:

    2 ADLS 5mb links.. so 2 ADSL modems that will need to be connected somehow so i can get 10mb of total bandwidth

    And just so i understand.. as i have never played with vlan's before.. to do that, the switch HAS to be vlan capable as well as creating the vlan's in pfsense?

    Yes. I believe that you have to have a VLAN capable switch if you want to maintain the VLAN across switches.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I think we had this discussion before but theoretically you could have VLAN capable modem/routers that could read and write the tagged packets directly. However it's likely to be a PITA to set up and a small VLAN capable switch is quite cheap.

    Steve



  • @marcelloc:

    @luke240778:

    Great news!  I also thought that it might be a nightmare here in Brasil to get Oi to do anything at all beyond their normal duty for me marcelloc..

    Move your servers to somewhere you can get datalinks from other provider(gvt or net for example), OI is one of the worst providers we can get in Brazil. :(

    Without going into detail its not possible.. also here, there is only the option of Oi or Embratel.. gvt and net arent available here.



  • @stephenw10:

    I think we had this discussion before but theoretically you could have VLAN capable modem/routers that could read and write the tagged packets directly. However it's likely to be a PITA to set up and a small VLAN capable switch is quite cheap.

    Steve

    Thanks Steve.. :)..  Here in Brasil, nothing to do with electronics is "quite cheap" unfortunately.  Makes me miss home sometimes when i have to buy stuff here for double the normal price!



  • That sucks. Hopefully there is a lightly used market where you can get one a little cheaper.



  • Yeah unfortunately its either spend alot, or get it from China/Paraguay and hope the tax isnt too high.  I actually just priced a basic 24 port Gigabit managed switch (the lsat one i got in the US for $179) here it will cost around $700.


  • Netgate Administrator

    @luke240778:

    The last one i got in the US for $179, here it will cost around $700.

    Ouch!  :o

    Steve


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