To load-balance 2 or more internet lines (WANs), is to share the load among them. The purpose could be to increase speed, or to be able to handle more concurrent users.
Lets illustrate with an example: Say you have a large cybercafe with 200 PCs, and need very high speed internet to keep your users happy. You go to your ISP and they suggest you get a 1Gbps fiber line, but it will incur an exorbitant monthly bill.
You need the speed, but can’t afford to pay for a “dedicated” or “corporate” line. Load-balancing comes to the rescue; It will give you the speed without the extra cost.
The simple solution to the cybercafe scenario above is to subscribe to multiple normal internet lines, say Unifi 500mbps x 1 and Maxis 100Mbps x 1, and use a router that can distribute the load among those 2 lines, your effective speed will be 600mbps and it will be at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated single line. When your needs grow, you simply add additional lines to increase your total bandwidth pool.
A router that implements load-balancing properly will make the end-user experience seem as if its a single line, even performing a speed test on sites like speedtest.net will reveal the combined speed, in our example thats 600Mbps.
Fail-over is similar to load-balancing with one major difference. In fail-over, we use the secondary lines only when primary line is down.
Lets take another example to illustrate this: Say you have an office where internet connectivity is very critical, internet must always be available. You get a router that can do fail-over and subscribe to 3 lines:
1. TM Unifi 100mbps (primary line). > WAN1
2. TIME fiber (seconday line). > WAN2
3. DiGi 4G Sim (LTE connection as 3rd line). > WAN3
You do some tests and determine that you have the best performance with Unifi 100mbps. So you want this to be your primary line. The other two are redundant connections to be used only when the primary line is down.
Fail-over works as follows: TIME fiber is only used when Unifi is down.. DiGI 4G is only used when both UniFi and TIME are down. This is a fail-over scenario. See we are not after the “combined speed”, we simply need the best latency, the other lines should only be used if the best line is down. Our routers have these smart fail-over mechanisms and can be adjusted to fit your exact needs.
A load-balancer should give the user the ability to control and fine-tune the configuration, but comes with a sane default configuration from the get go.
Some of the things you can do with VigorTek routers:
1. Give each line a “weight”, so for example, you can have 70% of traffic go to UniFi and 30% go to TIME fiber.. instead of the default 50/50.
2. Quick and seamless fail-over. If you are on a VOIP call (skype/whatsapp), and you suddenly Unifi (WAN1) goes down, your call will be switched to Maxis (WAN2) seamlessly.. you will always be online as long as you have at least 1 of your lines up.
3. Configure the router to send you notifications when any of the lines go down.
4. Configure specific applications/protocols/ports to go through specific WANs. For example, in your cybercafe, you always want Youtube streaming to go through WAN2, while all your latency-sensitive games to go through WAN1.
5. Generate graphs to see usage of specific WANs.
We can customize a device for your exact needs. Contact us for more information.