Load Balancing - Multi Wan and Fail Over for 5 wan connections
We have a small hotel with 50 rooms, so 150 to 180 customers total.
We give free wifi internet access to our customers through 5 wifi outdoor routers with different SSID like Hotel01, Hotel 02, etc.
The main problem of our Local area is that the ISP companies can't give us ADSL lines Up To 2Mbps, So we have 5 Lines of 2Mbps. :o
This days we use them like 1 ADSL line to 1 Wifi Router and so on.
I Read a lot topics here and I see some videos over You tube That explain how we can have Load Balancing - Multi Wan and Fail Over, but I see that anyone explains how you can do it with 3 or 4 or 5 connection.
So the question is: Can we have Load Balancing - Multi Wan and Fail Over over 5 wan connections? Is it possible? Is it possible if we have different ISP companies? Like 3 Lines over ISP 1 And 2 Lines over ISP 2 and all them Load Balancing together? 8)
Just for test I install Pfsense in old PC with 3 interface and with 2 wan connections (some ISP) and all work good. Load Balancing, Fail Over!! We get 3.8Mbps Download and 512 Up ( 2 X 256).
So now I know that I can work with 2 lines, but before buy a server for that, so I thought why not post to your great and helpful Forum to ask!!
The server that I have in mind will be Pfsense C2758 1U Rack Mountable with 2 or 4x Intel 1GbE. (When you start a job, start it with the right tools) :D
I'm not a network expert or network administrator or IT manager, but I love Networks and Computers and i want to give to my hotel customers best facilities.
Thanks for read it and I will be very happy if some one give my some tips.
My suggestion would be to do the following:
1. Install PFSense and turn on the captive portal part - that will make it easier to give out access and you can put a custom page up as well. Plus you can have it expire after a certain period of time so they have to re-auth to the portal.
2. You can use all the lines from both ISP's to provide access in several different ways depending on what you want to do.
a. Load balance across all of them - make one gateway group , put all the WAN interfaces in there and define it in the LAN rules as the gateway for the any / any rule
b. Load balance where ISP1 is primary group and ISP2 is a secondary group incase of failure or mix and match ISP's in load balancing groups
3. You should set the wifi routers to pull DHCP from PFSense , disabling it on the router and have the next hop gateway be PFSense on each router . This way all the clients are on the same LAN and pulling from PFSense and the captive portal.
4. Make the SSID the same on all the routers - i.e. - myHotel-WiFi
5. You would be able to use traffic shaping at the captive portal level and with PFSense to ensure everyone gets fair access.
6. I would use a non standard IP range as well for access , something like 172.22.0.0/22 . This is in the defined private IP range but not used that much so it can help troubleshooting if someone is saying hey my IP is 192.168.x.x or 172.16.x.x , you know they are not on your network.
I know this is a bit off topic, but have you considered switching to a wireless solution for your backhaul?
If you have a provider that has faster connections but doesn't service your address, you can get service at an address they DO cover and shoot a point-to-point connection from there to the hotel.
Ubiquiti has some great, cost-effective solutions for doing that, and the range is up to about 13+ km.
I only suggest this because it might be cheaper than having 5 lines of data service and it would get rid of your need to deal with the MultiWAN issue.