Using Two WAN Connections

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ArchAngel, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. I remember people have asked about doing this before.

    I was just thumbing through the latest tigerdirect catalog before I tossed it and saw a firewalled router that does this, so I thought I'd toss it out for anyone interested in the idea (i.e., load balancing and/or automatic failover between two WAN connections).

    The particular router in this case (undoubtedly others) is from Xincom, the XC-DPG502 - $240 from tigerdirect. Has built in stateful packet inspection firewall, automated load balancing and network connection failover, NAT, filters, virtual servers, etc. 4 port 10/100 switch integratal and 2 cable/DSL/T1 WAN jacks.
  2. Sweet, thanks for the info.
  3. Banjo


  4. rwk


    Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, it appears that this won't work the way most of us would like. I use IB, and I think it would be a similar situation with other direct access brokers.

    We can only have one login (and data path) to the broker. If that path is interrupted, the automatic failover kicks in. At that point, we have a new path to the Internet, but with a different IP address. We are still disconnected from the broker, and must wait until the broker recognizes the disconnection to re-login using the new data path. Most brokers (such as IB) cannot permit two or more simultaneous logins. UGH!:mad:
  5. damir00

    damir00 Guest

    what you describe is a situation well-known situation (not just with brokerags) that there must be a way to bind a destination to one of the connections.
  6. The router can only handle the hardware/connection failover, it can't compensate for shitty software.

    Sounds like a poor design on IB's part - users should petition them to properly handle disconnect/reconnects - e.g., simply disconnect the prior connection when a new login occurs instead of sitting there fat and stupid talking to a dead connection until some timeout occurs.

    Sounds like the kind of software design done by people without practical experience in the real world - they design SW as if everyone else in the world is connected locally to the same LAN they're using (programmers like that are also the cause of numerous very costly corporate systems disasters where suddenly everyone realizes that they can't scale their new system beyond 20 users and everyone has to be connected by gigabit LAN - including the users 3000 miles away).

    Not spending enough time in the real world and/or having already risen to their level of technical incompetence, they don't see the big picture and miss even the most basic issues (like in this case, properly and speedily handling connect/reconnect situations).

    Wonder if the IB programmer(s) also built the new grocery store self-checkout software the local Jewel is using - "...$7.99, please place the item into the bagging area...attention, an unidentified item is in the bagging area, please remove the item from the bagging area...please place the item into the bagging area...attention, an unidentified item..."

    In case of emergency - remove gun and empty the entire clip into the checkout kiosk.
  7. damir00

    damir00 Guest

    ok, i grabbed the PDF manual and there several ways to make sure IB (or whatever) traffic doesn't get split across ports etc ranging from binding all traffic from a computer to a specific port to not allowing specific applications to change ports to etc etc etc.

    if someone tries it out, i'd love to hear a personal review!
  8. opm8


    This Xircom thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Check out for some excellent opinions of this dual WAN router and some others.

    Bottom line, none of the "consumer grade" dual WAN routers have a seamless failover, even if they advertise that they do (I'm looking at you, Nexland). Some don't even have load balancing. Most need to be rebooted practically on a daily basis just to stay functional. Garbage.

    The solution is to build it yourself. I've been using a linux firewall for my cable connection and have just added dsl. I'm configuring ( it to load balance between them and seamlessly failover. How does it work? There's a virtual IP made up of the two connections. When one goes down, none of the clients see it because they're still connected to this same virtual IP as their gateway.

    This of course, doesn't fix the problem of resuming a dropped connection because that's a software (ie, broker) problem.

  9. marc6001


    Yep, I was thinking of the VIP solution myself. This is where the servers/desktop machines are clustered (put into a group), given individual address but speak to the outside world through a Virtual IP address (VIP) that masks their real addresses. In the more sophisticated setting the load balancing software also initiates a sticky session with the original server so that dropped sessions first try to re-connect to it before going to other servers in the cluster. In the old days Microsoft WLBS (Windows Load Balancing Service) was a software alternative. Win2K also offers the same feature. On the hardware side Cisco kit (like most others) can be load balanced but requires a lot of skill and knowledge.

    In summarily, if the dropped connection is on your side there are ways to minimize the disruption. However, if it's from your broker you just have to sit tight (and pray) until its fixed.
  10. You got to love this forum.

    No matter what the subject, there's always someone who'll chime in with "XYZ isn't all it's cracked up - the off the shelf stuff isn't good enough, you have to build it yourself."

    As if they've got the trading floor of the CME in their basement or they're managing a realtime satellite tracking station.

    You don't get 0-60 in 3 seconds a mini Cooper, but it also doesn't cost $100K. But damn, that mini Cooper's just not all it's cracked up. Does it really matter??

    For those people who want a relatively easy way to handle a rollover to a backup Inet connection with minimal impact - for only $240 - then one of the various boxes like that around can probably handle their needs.

    Will any of them do it with instantaneous transparency - only a fool would expect it for a couple hundred bucks - it's for the exceptional case as a backup. It doesn't cost much and it doesn't require the person to have much/any network skills.

    Anyone who REALLY has high tech needs, isn't looking on ET for a simple way to do failover/backup for their home setup.
    #10     Apr 16, 2004