peplink balance 30 - any reason NOT to get it?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gaj, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. gaj


    i've had my hotbrick for a few (5?) years now. i think it might be starting to fail, and i'd bookmarked the threads a while back which suggested peplink as a possible replacement.

    my question - is there anything better than peplink, or any reason i shouldn't go with them?

    my setup:

    cable and dsl coming in to the hotbrick. ports out of hotbrick = wireless and to two direct pcs.

    my trading is intensive when i do it, but i'm not watching tons of indicators / stocks in a day. i've got level 2 / time and sales / charting for the stocks i'm watching, but i usually don't have more than 3 i'm watching at a time.

    i'm using it for if the cable fails, it switches automatically (quickly) to DSL.

    thanks for any thoughts.
  2. Why not run PfSense on an old desktop for free?

    You can even purchase a cheap Intel Atom (passive cooled) box on the cheap.

    For a standalone unit you can run a Dell Optiplex Small-Form-Factor box with 2GB of RAM and run it off a thumb drive or 32gb SSD or cheap HDD. You can buy a really good Intel Pro PT dual-port low profile NIC and a Cisco wireless PCI card that will give you a wireless access point plus 3 wired interfaces (dual wan + LAN).

    All of this for about the same (or less) price as the Peplink 30 - except you'll be able to push gigabit speeds whereas the Peplink 30 only pushes 50mbps.

    Just a suggestion.

    EDIT: You can buy intel pro PT quad-port low profile cards too which would give you 5 wired interfaces (4wan+ LAN)
  3. gaj


    thanks frank, i'll check into that.

    winston - i was hoping to get one product off the shelf rather than put together a setup; i didn't realize peplink only could handle 50 mps but my cable speed isn't faster than the peplink's limit, so i don't think that would be a problem.

    i should have mentioned that i'm using windows xp, will likely eventually go to win7.

    i had been thinking at one point of setting up another desktop like you suggest as my firewall with a linux setup and routing things off of that, but most of my limited unix knowledge is a decade old and (re)learning it wasn't something i was looking to do. so even though a windows setup + box isn't optimal, it's something i'm comfortable dealing with and can fix quickly if a problem arises.

    thanks for responding, winston!
  4. PfSense is actually BSD not Linux but I understand your concerns.

    The setup I recommend the most to traders and small groups is a Linksys RV082 or RV042 combined with a simple switch (like a Dell PowerConnect 2716) and a Linksys WRT54G or similar "cheap home wireless router".

    The Linksys RV042 and RV082 are Cisco products with a twist - the Cisco branded versions of the RV042 & RV082 are identical chipsets & processors however the Cisco firmware and software is bigger (comes with more robust functionality) but being "bigger" it also uses more system resources in the routers. I find that the Linksys branded versions are faster and more robust/reliable from a performance standpoint.

    These Linksys RV042 routers have gotten a little more expensive but still can be had for $50-$75 on eBay. They are dual-WAN with VPN capability.

    The Linksys WRT54G or 54GS or 310N or 610N routers go for around $25 (or less).

    The Dell PowerConnect 2716 switches can be had for anywhere between $30 and $75.

    For less than $200 you have a dual-WAN router with VPN capability and you can isolate your wireless and wired networks. This is a really robust solution for anything under 100 megabits/sec up/download speeds.

    With regards to PfSense - I think the easiest way to try it out is with VMware - use VMware Player (free) and install a copy on your desktop. It isn't nearly as scary as it seems - the web GUI is very easy/straight forward and if you install a VM solution you can just delete and start over if you mess it up :)
  5. gaj


    winston - thanks for the thorough answer! i've now got a couple things to evaluate, between you and frank's suggestions, for possible alternatives to peplink.

    i already have a linksys wrt 54g (that's the wireless i spoke of), so that part wouldn't be anything additional cost.

    thanks again for the lengthy reply, it's greatly appreciated.
  6. Please don't get me wrong - Peplink is an awesome product - but it is purpose built and has limitations.

    Good luck with your implementation... I'm sure you will end up OK.

    The great thing about the Peplink is it's really robust and has an amazing list of functions & features.

    The best way I can explain my "cheap alternative" is that it allows you to separate your kids from your trading and/or your wireless from your wired.

    The Peplink will failover faster and keep subnets online while my solution may take a refresh.
  7. gaj


    hey guys - i wound up getting the peplink, and actually have it on now. i'm still playing around with it, but the install and instructions are a breeze compared to the hotbrick. it's looking reasonably good so far, but i know the real test will come for the first downtime.

    thanks for the feedback...
  8. Trader13


    Thanks for sharing your experience with the peplink. I was considering it myself until I decided to colo.

    Have you tested a downtime scenario? For example, just unplugging one of your network services and watching it failover to the other...
  9. lwlee


    I have the Balance 20. Got it on eBay brand new for $200.

    One of the selling points was that it had gigabet ethernet ports.

    Rock solid so far. On screen menus are intuitive so didn't need a manual.

    Big thumbs up.
    #10     Apr 13, 2012