Internet links are of two types – Low cost/low-bandwidth links like DSL, cable, 3G, etc. Or, high cost/high bandwidth links like leased lines, T1, etc. Since Internet leased lines/T1 connections are quite expensive, small businesses or residential workers might consider buying multiple low-cost broadband connections to,
- Increase their bandwidth capacity by subscribing to two/three broadband connections and using all of them simultaneously
- Load-balance between the these Internet connections
- Fail-over to other active link(s) if any of the Internet connections fail, thereby ensuring business continuity
The Peplink Balance 30 does exactly the above three functions (along with other functionalities) and is suitable for small businesses/homes that want to connect more than one broadband Internet line to their network.
A small video introduction for business continuity by Peplink:
Consider this scenario: You manage a small business/home-office and you are using a broadband Internet connection (DSL/Cable). But, the speed offered by your current Internet connection is not sufficient. You can do two things: Get more broadband Internet connections or get an Internet Leased line/T1 connection.
If you get an additional Internet connection and connect it through a router to the LAN, there is no guarantee that the two connections will be load-balanced. One line may still end up carrying most of the Internet traffic while the other may remain relatively idle. Basically, you have no control over how much traffic is sent over which Internet connection.
But, when you use a Peplink 30 load-balancer and connect both the Internet connections to it (it supports up to 3 connections), the Internet traffic is properly load-balanced between them. You can be sure that both the connections are utilized equally and your bandwidth is effectively doubled. If a line fails, all the traffic is automatically routed through the other connection(s). That way, you can also be sure that temporary broadband line disconnection will not prevent your access to the net.
Alternatively, you may choose to buy a high-cost Internet line like Internet Leased Line or T1 connection. But, in most cases the price difference between the low-cost options and high-cost options are so high and you may not require all the dedicated bandwidth provided by those high-cost connections. It may not even be available at all places. It is easier/simpler/cheaper to combine multiple broadband connections using Peplink balance 30 to increase the Internet bandwidth.
You can also consider having one terrestrial broadband connection like DSL/Cable and one mobile broadband connection like 3G and load-balance or fail-over the Internet traffic between them. There is one USB port in Peplink Balance 30, in addition to the three RJ-45 based WAN ports for this purpose.
In some situations, you might want one broadband line to carry mission critical/important traffic (like VOIP) and you might want the other line to carry normal Internet traffic. Or you can decide that 25% of the traffic should be routed through one line and the remaining traffic should be routed through the other line. You can set-up such custom outbound routing policies using the Peplink load-balancing appliance.
There are four LAN ports in the Peplink 30 as well, which you can use to connect PC, Server or Laptops. If you have less than four devices, you don’t need an additional switch, as you can connect them directly to the Peplink 30 Multi-WAN router.
Highlights/Important features of Peplink 30:
- Three RJ-45 based WAN ports
- 1 x USB port for 3G Modem connectivity
- Load-balancing + Failover between all WAN ports
- Custom outbound routing policy
- Outbound link load balance
- GUI based menu driven web-management interface
- Stateful firewall with IP, Protocol and Port Filtering
- Kensington Lock for physical security
Where to buy: If you live in the US, you can buy the Peplink Balance 30 Multi-WAN router from Amazon.
Other options to consider: The Peplink 30 load-balances up to three Internet connections. But, if you have only two broadband connections and you are confident of not buying any more, you can consider the Peplink Balance 20 Multi-WAN router which is similar to this model but can load-balance between two Internet connections (only). It’s slightly cheaper.
Alternatively, you can also consider buying the Cisco RV082 Dual-WAN Router.
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