- Do you love to stay online all the time?
- Do you like to read every tweet and FB status or do you use the internet for work?
- Do you get the internet down time?
- Do you have a backup internet connection?
If all above are true for your, you need a load balancing router.
First of all, let me explain what is a load balancing router. It is basically a router which uses multiple internet connections to provide backup and redundancy. You might ask, WTF is load balancing? Well, in the easy human readable term, it is a way of merging multiple internet connections to deliver or receive data from a single or multiple hosts to reduce or balance load time in a high traffic system. For example, let’s imagine we have three computer in a network which has one internet connection of 1mbps which is the highest bandwidth provided by an ISP, if two of the computers are instructed to download 2 large files, they are going to jam the network for the third computer and it won’t be able to download any files for quite some time or for three of them download time will increase. Makes sense? If we could increase the internet speed, that would have solved the issue. But as the connection is of highest bandwidth, that’s not an option. So now if we add a load balancing router to the network and add another 1 Mbps connection from another ISP, this 3 computer will be able to download those files much faster. And if for some reason one of the connection suffers from a downtime, these 3 computers won’t go through internet outage.
Load balancing routers have always been marketed for businesses and offices. But in this time and age when we all are connected to multiple devices through several social media sites and skype, Viber, WhatsApp and many other VoIP services are giving much better and cheaper services than many of the phone companies, having one load balancing router at home is not a luxury, it’s a matter of need. Moreover, these load balancing routers have become cheaper than ever and with much more capability than their ancestors.
I am using a load balancing router at my home office network, it also covers my home. I have 3 wifi routers which covered my office area and house for ease of use with a 20 Mbps internet connection. I also have a backup internet connection, when my main internet connection would get a downtime, I had to run to my main switch to unplug the main connection and connect the backup one. It was really painful as you can imagine. After buying it, I have no hassle whatsoever, everything is done automatically. Thanks to Jerry AKA Barnacules for his awesome video on load balance router. It helped me a lot to decide, whether to buy a load balance router or not.
The load balance router I am using is TP-Link’s TL-R470T+, I bought it from amazon. It was a good bargain back then, was priced just under $60 and now it’s a great bargain, priced just under $42. Check it out, you are going to love it.
- Interface: 3 Changeable Ethernet WAN/LAN Ports, 1 Fixed Ethernet WAN Port, 1 Fixed Ethernet LAN Port
- Flash/DRAM: 4MB/64MB
- Dimensions (W X D X H): 8.2*5.0*1.0in. (209*126*26mm)
- Power Supply: Internal Universal Power Supply, AC100-240V~50/60Hz input
- Professional 4KV lightning protection
- Support 100-240V power supply
- Concurrent Session: 10000
- WAN Connection Type: Static/Dynamic IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Dual Access, Bigpond Cable
- DHCP: DHCP Server/Client, DHCP Address Reservation
- MAC Clone: Modify WAN/LAN MAC Address
- Switch Setting: Port Mirror, Rate Control, Port Configuration, Port VLAN
- NAT: One-to-One NAT
- Load Balance: Policy Routing, Link Backup
- Forwarding: Virtual Server, Port Triggering, DMZ
- Security: FTP/SIP/PPTP/IPsec/H.323 ALG, DoS Defence, Ping of Death, IP/MAC Binding
- ACL: IP/MAC/URL/WEB Filtering
- Static Routing
- Traffic Control: Bandwidth Control, Session Limit
- Maintenance: Time Setting, Diagnostics, Firmware Upgrade, Factory Defaults/Reboot, Backup/Restore, System Log, Remote Management, Statistics
- Services: PPPoE Server, E-Bulletin, Dynamic DNS, UPnP
It comes in a nice recyclable paper packaging with a power chord, a small ethernet cable, user manual and a cd with some software(which you will never use). Overall it’s a nice addition to my networking arsenal. I am quite sure it will be a great addition to your home network too.