Dual WAN (Dual satellite) and topology for 17 users


I've been running a satellite internet setup out here in Afghanistan for the last several months for me and my fellow Soldiers. Just recently, I've upgraded to a dual-system with 2 dishes and 2 HX50 modems from Bentley Walker. They have supplied me with a Draytek 2920n load-balancing router, and I am trying to work out the best way in which to set up the architecture/topology of the network to provide the best (fastest/most efficient) experience to the 17 users I support with the system.

Prior to adding the second dish/modem, I had been using the Asus RT-N66U to run the network and pass all traffic to/from the single HX50 modem. Now that a draytek router has been added into the mix, I'm not sure of where to set up the DHCP server. Right now I have DHCP in the draytek turned on to give IPs to the 2 HX50 modems and the RT-N66U. I also have DHCP turned on for the RT-N66U to assign all the IPs for all the users on the network. If I disable DHCP on the RT-N66U and allow the draytek to handle DHCP for everything, will that be better and more 'doctrinal'?

The below image pretty much sums up my interpretation of what my options are. I've put a few questions in red under the title of the image. I'd appreciate any assistance you can provide! I'm trying to squeeze every bit of bandwidth out of this thing as possible, and want to remove any potential bottlenecks within the topology. Thanks so much!

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  1. Well you've got something called double nat setup, which is generally not a good idea. You don't want two dhcp servers setup behind one another. Port forwarding becomes a real mess for one.

    I'm not entirely clear on what the purpose of the RT-N66U device is with the new setup? The bottom picture seems most reasonable to me.

    " Right now I have DHCP in the draytek turned on to give IPs to the 2 HX50 modems" The modems actually give external ips to the Draytek, and the draytek uses internal ips to allow more then just two devices to connect since you've only got 2 external ips.

    Thanks for being over there, get home safely.
  2. Thanks for your response.
    I should have clarified that the reason I have the RT-N66U in the middle because it's a new beefy router with a lot of processing power and integrated DLNA server support. I just want to monitor traffic and everything through one point, and before I had the draytek, the RT-N66U was the only thing in front of the modem. Now that I have added a dratek into the mix, I'm not sure where to put the RT-N66U.

    If I go with option 3, will the RT-N66U's DLNA capability still function and be accessible by everybody?

    The draytek has a rather crappy UI and the traffic monitoring capability doesn't seem to be the best, but would be willing to use it if it offers better performance or lower latency across the network.

    What benefit does option 3 have over option 2?

    Thanks again.
  3. Option 3 just avoids running everything through one more device before getting to the outside network, if the traffic is outward bound. Granted it sounds like that's basically what you wanted to do, to be able to monitor things. It probably wouldn't have any noticeable performance difference running 2 vs 3. DLNA should still work in option 2 or 3, everything would still be on the same subnet.

    Seems like option 2 is what works best for what you need, and the people who are using the network.
  4. So with option 2 I can still use the RT-N66U UI to look at bandwidth usage and whatnot, and I'd assign all IP addresses via the draytek, yes?

    Skype is a priority, so outward bound is important -- maybe I'll have to do some testing.

    Skype is frustrating though because it doesn't use any standardized port range so I don't see any way to prioritize skype traffic via QoS settings :[
  5. Yes on the first question.

    The DrayTek device looks like a really nice device, and has some great options for QoS from looking at the manual. I'm sure there is some way you could setup QoS to help with Skype traffic. It looks like it has a lot of network monitoring built into it as well, but if you prefer the other device I suppose that works too.
  6. OK thanks for the help.
  7. sun-tracker said:
    OK thanks for the help.
    Welcome back, glad to see that you've gotten all your equipment set up and running. I agree on option 2. Stay safe. :bounce:
  8. haha -- you remembered my old post!
    I'm going to try and implement option 2 in a few hours.

    Trying to determine if I can just turn of DHCP on the RT-N66U, or if I have to put the RT-N66U into Access Point mode (I believe I do).
  9. Turning off DHCP, using different radio channels to avoid interference from the other APs/router radios, using same SSID and passkey, and assigning the RT-N66U a static address outside the DHCP range in the router or giving it a reserved dynamic address is the same as turning it into an AP.

    Good luck, and good choice with the RT-N66U.
  10. Any harm in using access point mode? Will it kill the links I have between the RT-N66U and its two children access points? The reason access point mode looks attractive is that it should disable some functions (firewall, NAT) which won't be needed, because the draytek will handle it. *shrug*
  11. No, should be fine.
  12. Good Morning,
    I work on the Bentley Walker helpdesk and I stumbled across this posting. If you require any further assistance/guidance then please feel free to contact me directly using the below information:

    Tel: +44 (0) 23 9231 1118
    Web: www.bentley-walker.com
    Email: gary@bentleywalker.com
    MSN: gary_del@hotmail.com

    Best Regards
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