Balance 20 Sat/DSL latency settings for VOIP


#1

I have a Balance 20 (firmware version: 5.3.12) in my home office which is connected to a high speed 12MBps high latency 750ms ViaSat Excede satellite modem (connection name is ViaSat WAN 2) and also to a low speed 1.5MBbs low latency 70ms AT&T ADSL modem (connection name DSL WAN 1). It works pretty well but I notice a delay loading web pages when both WAN links are set to always on with a default outbound policy. And I don’t seem to get the full bandwidth of the Satellite with both WAN links active. The default routing seems to pick the lower latency connection even though it has lower throughput. So I have been just using the DSL WAN 1 connection as a cold standby. However I keep thinking that there must be a smarter way to customize and optimize my connections.

So I’m wondering if anyone has some suggestions on the best configuration for my environment.

Some other factors that complete the picture:

  • The satellite has a monthly 25 GB monthly bandwidth allowance (with a free zone from 12 am to 5 am). I am currently max’ing out my allowance each month and have to buy more allowance. So I am interested in ways to reduce my bandwidth usage.
  • I rely on several VOIP applications for my work. Skype (audio and video), Lync (mostly audio only), Zoom.us (audio/video conferencing for up to 15 users). These services actually work surprisingly well over the Satellite but the video apps seem to be heavy bandwidth users.
  • I also have 2 AT&T MicroCell routers to provide cell phone service over the internet (since we don’t get any cell phone service in our area). These routers seem to be latency sensitive when they setup their connection and will sometimes drop their connection if I only have the satellite WAN active. The voice quality is poor compared to Skype or Lync
  • I want to configure access to my network from the Internet so that I can access my NAS server remotely. The satellite does not seem to offer static IPs but the DSL does so I want to configure access through the DSL WAN link which means leaving it active rather than cold standby.
  • I am also looking into setting up a proxy cache server on the NAS to reduce bandwidth usage and speed up browsing.

So my thoughts are to configure my outbound policies to send VOIP traffic and the AT&T MicroCell traffic over the DSL WAN. I’m also wondering if it is possible to limit the video portion as well since I would prefer that the video degrade a bit rather than use up lots of bandwidth.
I imagine I need to figure out what protocols the VOIP apps are using along with the Microcells and then setup the outbound rule to make the destination the DSL WAN IP network using an algorithm of either Priority or Overflow. From what I am reading Overflow seems preferred since it would use up the DSL bandwidth and then overflow to the Satellite as needed?
Anyway I hope I am not posting too much information but it does seem to be a rather complicated picture.
Thanks for any help!


#2

Hello,

I would keep both connections active and use Outbound Policy to control all traffic. The default rule handles all traffic not specifically matched by earlier rules. The out of box setting of auto uses the Least latency alogorithm with only makes use of a single link. I would change the default to use Weighted, Priority, or Overflow as desired. Here are some suggestions:

  1. I don’t know which protocol the microcells use but you could create a priority rule to prefer DSL and match by LAN source IP since they are single purpose device. If they use DHCP you can make a static dhcp reservation for them.

  2. For Lync you can create a similar priority rule. I believe Lync uses SIP but you can review the following link for more information on ports used:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398833.aspx

  3. Skype is problematic as it uses random ports for outgoing connections or port 80/443 preventing matching with outbound policies or differentiating from normal web traffic. One alternative is using a proxy for Skype and matching against the proxy address.

  4. There is no specific way to control the video without restricting all bandwidth. If your programs have reduced quality video settings you may want enable them to conserve bandwidth.

  5. To avoid overages on satellite I would use the Bandwidth allowance monitor to give you warnings about your usage. You can set outbound default policy to prefer DSL and use the satellite for highbandwidth needs or in overflow. An internal proxy server is certainly a good idea in this case.

  6. To access your NAS remotely you will need to setup port forwarding of required ports from your DSL IP to the internal NAS IP. You can review an example here:

    http://www.peplink.com/knowledgebase/configuring-inbound-port-forwarding/

  7. Outbound policy rules are processed in order until there is a match. Your first rule is very broad matching anything so make sure to keep it near the end of the list.

-Jonan


#3

I have a very similar setup (in the UK): 1 x Tooway Satellite (18Mbps down / 6Mbps up) + 2 x ADSL (each approx. 1.5Mbps down) and have the same problem and haven’t had too much success to-date, without creating per-destination rules, which is painful to manage.


#4

Oh, one other thing. I don’t know what your Satellite service is like, but mine (Tooway) is an outbound service only, so there’s absolutely no inbound connections allowed so I have to use my ADSL connections for remote inbound VPN access.