Balance 20 Pre sales question, WAN Link Health Check, video games, netflix on heavy use internet home with unstable links


#1

Hello I got a few questions about the Balance 20,

I live in Venezuela south america, unfortunately the internet provider quality down here is usually terrible, we have two providers in our home a Cable link at 10 mbit and a DSL at 4 mbit… one or the other it’s often down or performing under 1 mbit/second…so we are using a dual wan setup in our home with a tplink TL-R480T+ router, this router support load balance and link backup only, and doesn’t offer any QoS.

our current setup is not working well for us because the feature set on the tplink router very is limited…we have the router set as link backup for now, so the all traffic goes to the 10 mbit link which it’s the fastest available. when primary wan goes down it switches to secondary, however we are looking to improve our setup with a router that can offer load balance with some features so we can router our netflix and video game traffic to the best link out of the two we have… and offering QoS so we can throttle torrent traffic…this would be the perfect setup for us…

main problem…the link backup is set to use the secondary wan only when the primary wan goes down…but doesn’t check the quality of the link itself, my primary wan it’s a 10 mbit cable link but it sometimes performs under 1 mbit per second but it doesn’t go down so router doesn’t switch to backup, we would like to switch to the secondary link when the quality of the link it’s poor, the tech specs on your routers say that your routers do “WAN Link Health Check” would this work for our setup? we would like traffic to go to our link with the best health…

2nd we also play online video games in our home very often, we would like a router that would route our ps4 traffic to the connection with the lowest ping…in your model comparison matrix it says that the balance 20 has “7 Load Balancing Algorithms” in the product matrix…but then on the bottom says Least Used and Lowest Latency Algorithms “Features not available on Balance 20/30/50”…I am confused, does the Lowest Latency Algorithm work on the balance 20 ? would that work in our setup? is it possible to make a rule that all traffic from a certain mac addrress (ps4) to go to the link with the lowest latency? I’m hoping for this…

Netflix problem: is it possible to route netflix or hulu to the link that is performing the best to avoid choppy video? we use a roku for netflix so we could set a rule based of it’s mac address, is this possible?

USB WAN Modem Port: can we use the USB Wan port to add a 3rd WAN provider to a load balance setup with the Balance 20?

I’m hoping that your product fits our needs.

thanks in advance

-Andres


#2

Hi Andres,

So in your case the Balance 20 looks like it will be a good fit. In answer to your questions.
The WAN health check’s purpose is to check WAN availability only - it doesn’t measure bandwidth on the WAN links, however you will be able to use the ‘least used’ load balancing algorithm to make sure that traffic is load balanced across both of your WANs at the same time and that as much bandwidth that is available across these links (at that time) can be used by your LAN clients.

The Balance 20 using the latest firmware now comes with the ‘lowest latency’ algorithm too, so your on-line gaming can benefit from that also. (I have updated the Balance Comparison Page to reflect this - thanks for highlighting the error)

The netflix question is harder to answer. Until the WAN links are used the B20 will not be sure of bandwidth availability. In fact, the lowest latency algorithm might be the best guide for this (since a saturated WAN, or slow upstream connectivity will mean higher latency on that Link). You could run some continuous ping tests on your current WANs and see what happens to the latency when you max the bandwidth on them. If latency rises as expected then you have a good chance of getting a better netflix experience using the lowest latency algorithm.

The USB connector is for cellular USB modem support - you could add that to the B20 also if you need more bandwidth.

Kindest,
Martin


#3

thanks for the Reply Martin… a acouple more questions before I buy the product.

Can the Balance 20 Have both the 2 Ethernet Wan ports + the USB Modem active at the same time for a total of 3 WAN Connections with load balance?

Can it handle heavy torrent use with QoS active without slowdowns?

thanks again for your assistance


#4

HI, Yes the Balance 20 can have both the wired WANs and the USB modem active and actively load balanced at the same time.

Torrent traffic can be a tricky beast to restrict at a router level as the port ranges are wide. My preference would be to add QoS to the key applications I want to prioritise over all other traffic (like VoIP traffic) then manually configure the torrent client software to have a reasonable hard limit for download / upload bandwidth.

The challenge is how much you say your WAN bandwidth varies, and how tricky torrent traffic can be to identify. The B20 will do a good job in this configuration but really intense traffic (of any type) might still cause the occasional slow down.

Kindest,
Martin


#5

thanks for the reply, i usally set utorrent to use a fixed port, so my plan is to set that port to low priority…

Another question, can you specify which ip or host to ping for the latency tests on the Lowest Latency Algorithm?


#6

Good idea. No you can’t specify which IP is used for the latency tests. I need to confirm the hard coded destination, but expect it is one of our hosts on Amazon Web Services - although it might be the DNS servers allocated to the WAN port in question… I’ll find out.


#7

let me know what you find out please…its a very important information for us, because we want to ping servers outside of our local providers network to get an accurate link health.


#8

It’s a good idea to add the option in WAN configuration page that enable you to choose the address to check the ping latency server address instead of hard code it…


#9

Hi,

By using Lowest Latency Algorithm, we have mechanism to calculate which WAN link having lowest latency to the destination. For example if you access to www.google.com, Balance router will do calculation on the available paths. Then it will choose the most healthy (lowest latency) path to route user traffics to www.google.com. We do not fix a location for lowest latency health check purpose.

Hope this help.