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Dual WAN router suggestions needed

Last response: in Networking
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August 21, 2007 12:50:24 PM

OK so I google Dual WAN and I get nothing but advertisements and a bunch of mediocre reviews that are from 2003-2004. (not the products, I mean the reviews themself don't seem to credible)

Dual WAN router reviews seem to be few and far between and I have found a few I'm looking at but no reviews at all on the ones I'm looking at.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good dual WAN router with WORKING load balancing thats under... say $200 ??
August 24, 2007 5:35:27 PM

In my personal experience and depending on your neads I found the Linksys RV042 is a decent dual WAN router for about 150 dollars. It supports load balancing, firewall, and VPN as well.
August 24, 2007 8:10:08 PM

I just got a reply on a different forum just a few hours ago from someone that recommended that same exact router.

He also mentioned that he had problems with it because the workers would disconnect from secure sites every minute or so, but he said it was because it split the packets becasut of the 2 connections and load balancing and secure sites would recognize it as a possible hack attempt etc.

Do you have the same problems with this router? I work from home and stable connections on secure sites are mandatory. and if this is a problem with all load balancing routers, I may have to look elsewhere :( 
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August 28, 2007 1:44:29 PM

I've never had that issue before, but in our scenario I was using our second Internet connection as a backup solution to our main link. I have never had this problem before though. What kind of data traffic would you be running?

In our business though we use a lot of Cisco equipment. Chances are if the load balancing was causing secure sites to load improperly that it may also be a firmware problem on the router.

Keep in mind that the only to have true load balancing is to have the ISP configure it on their end as well. And if your running something like cable or DSL they won't do that.

You also might want to check out the Netgear FVS124G.
August 28, 2007 2:16:23 PM

The data I will be running,

what I need it for is probably very small compared to your setup. We have 3 desktops, 2 laptops, 3 VOIP phones, a print server, and will soon have a dedicated network backup computer (building a new computer soon and this computer I am currently using will be our "storage/backup server)

It doesn't sound like much but it's still quite a bit much for our cable just to run 2 VOIP phones and 2 desktops (all of our day work we use remote database servers and our VOIP phones take a lotta bandwidth it seems. and when we have all 3 VOIP phones communication is horrible, which is why I'm looking for a dual wan solution (not to mention being where I'm at one ISP or another is down at least twice a month and you know that can be devestating considering we do Transportation and can't afford to be down)
August 28, 2007 2:46:26 PM

When running VoIP, bandwidth and QoS should be two main factors to consider. You may even want to consider T1 as a possible solution. In your situation you might want to consider going with a more robust router as well, such as a Cisco. A good bet would be a Cisco 1841 or 2801 router. The Netgear should do the job nicely though too.

I don't know the exact amount of bandwidth VoIP uses, it depends on what type of protocol your VoIP service supports. (Such as Skinny, SIP, etc..)

August 28, 2007 2:53:06 PM

those are way outside our budget ><

We are hoping to find something $300 or less :) 

Thanks
August 29, 2007 3:36:09 PM

THE FVS124G should be more than enough for what you need then if budget is a prime concern. I think they run $150-200. Your second concern should be you bandwidth. Download you won't have to worry about too much but upload is where your voice problems will most likely be. Try to find an ISP that will give you a decent upload. If possible look for SDSL in your area. And QoS QoS QoS =)
August 29, 2007 4:01:47 PM

Also check out the review of the Netgear in the SmallNetBuilder section found here http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30137/51/1/...

If you read one of the comments by a user though they reported the Netgear has many bugs that have not been fixed as of yet. They also gave a decent review of a Cisco ASA5505. The ASA5505 is basically Cisco's equivalent (only better) version of the Netgear. It also supports QoS, VPN, dual WAN, and load balancing. Plus you get Cisco's excellent customer service.

I've installed many ASA's for our customers and have found they are very easy to setup and also provide excellent security and functionality for the price. Normally we get them for around 350-500. Price goes up as IOS feature set is increased. The IOS is Cisco's firmware. For you situation though the base IOS (which is the cheapest) would provide you with plenty.
August 30, 2007 7:29:07 PM

I agree that for your needs with QoS for VoIP and possible load-balancing that Cisco or Juniper is the way to go. An 870-series router, for example the 871 with just basic fastethernet interfaces would be sufficient given a switch for additional ports. These routers go for approx EUR300, so will probably be around $250-300 in the US. Since bandwidth will only be a concern on your internet link you can prioritize VoIP towards the output queue. Your provider will most likely not do anything with the QoS setting (and almost certainly strip it altogether).

There are two things that are required for quality VoIP: QoS and bandwidth. A roug estimate is you need about 80kbit per phoneline (using MGCP) to have a decent quality.
September 4, 2007 11:00:08 PM

I used an RV082 dual wan router (bigger version of RV042) when I was running cable and dsl connections. I ran the load balancing mode and ran into the same problems with secure sites.

I solved this by setting up dhcp address reservations and rules. Reserve your devices (computers, voip TAs, etc) with specific addresses. In the System Management, Dual-Wan page, set up protocol bindings to assign specific devices to specific WANs. If you separate the TAs onto one of the RV042/082 LAN ports, you can set that port's priority to High and leave other ports on Normal. Enable Network Detection in case one of ISPs decides to take a brief vacation.

In my case I put my TA on port 8, set it to High priority, bound its IP to WAN2. I bound my servers and my laptop to WAN1. I bound all other devices to WAN2.

In your case, I would put the TAs on one LAN port, set that port to high priority, and bind two of the IPs to one WAN and the other to the second WAN. I would then divvy up the remaining equipment onto the WANs to balance the load. If you lose one WAN, all connections bounce to the other until first is restored.

Hope that helps if you get the RV unit.
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