Balance 20x for Home?

Currently at home I have 2x VDSL2 lines of about 30 Down 5 Up, although they have differing latencies.
The current ISP does offer bonding but it’s essentially nth packet and it plays havoc with applications (games mostly) that don’t expect out of order packets.

I’ve also tried an opensource bonding solution and whilst it kind of works it has some irritating quirks that can lead to periods of sudden latency spikes or just something breaking, usually mid game or voice session.

Someone pointed me in the direction of pepwave/SpeedFusion.

My understanding is although the 20x only has 1 WAN port it’s possible to use a USB ethernet as WAN2, is this correct?

4G might be useful for failover, bit it’s around 10Mbit on a good day and often drops to 2 and has huge bufferbloat so it probably wouldn’t be a suitable as a primary wan.

5G may be available but it’s “weak outdoor” coverage at best and the 5G kit is still a bit too expensive for a “you might get something”.

Basically I’d want to say for most TCP traffic use both Lines (Via the tunnel) for UDP prefer the line with the lowest RTT (But still via the Tunnel to ensure source IP doesn’t change).

I’d also want IPv6 but I’m ok for now with tunneling that over IPv4 using a tunnel initiated from a device ether side of the Balance 20x and the fusionhub. (I’d just spin up another VM at the remote end for landing the v6 tunnel)

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Personal/home user here… I am using a Balance 20x w/ cat18 module using 12v-power in my converted cargo van. I have the 20x ethernet-wan wired to a Max Transit cat18 which has roof mounted antennas and the usb-ethernet(works fine) wired to a wireless bridge. 4 active wans… when parked at home, 3 active while “mobile”. I am using only outbound policy to manage priorities/balance.

Just to tinker, I setup a SpeedFusion at vultr and it was super simple. I dont use it as my requirements dont demand it yet. Mainly wanted to set it up just to see how it works. For remote access I have the 20x IPsec back to my home. I might migrate that to Speedfusion in the future.

The builtin cat4 modem may not help you much, but in the future (once available) you could install a 5G module in the expansion slot. External roof mounted directional antennas would likely solve your cellular signal performance…

Correct, there is a list of supported dongles if you search on here.

This should be possible, you’d create a SpeedFusion profile with some sub-tunnels, one tunnel would be straight up per-packet bonding, the other would be using lowest latency and then use some outbound routing profiles to direct traffic into each sub tunnel.

You need to use the support.cgi page to enable access to the buttons that let you choose the traffic distirbution profile for each SF tunnel.

This is something I’ve been meaning to test in my lab, the FH does allow you to port forward based on IP Protocol so in theory forwarding protocol 41 directly to an IP behind the SF VPN should just work to push a 6in4 tunnel to another firewall/router behind the FusionHub and Balance…

I tried the 20x with a USB/Ethernet adapter and it did not work. The manual for the Balance 20x says nothing about supporting a USB/Ethernet device. Maybe it works with some USB/Ethernet adapters and not others? Don’t know. I did not check if my adapter was known good. Or, maybe it does not work at all on the Balance 20x? After all, its not in the manual.

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FWIW I think this “feature” is not that well documented, I only found out about it on other models after finding posts about it on these forums.

Tested it yesterday on a 20X and a 310X using the old Apple 10/100 USB Ethernet dongles, worked just fine.

You do need to change the interface mode though to enable it to work with USB-Eth rather than the USB LTE modem it is expecting.

Screenshot from a Balance 20X:

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Ok, got bored and tested this very quickly.

Firewall -> Balance 20 -> SF Tunnel -> FusionHub -> IPv4 Interent <- HE.net 6in4 Tunnel

Setup an HE.net tunnel pointed at the WAN IP of the FusionHub.

Configured the Balance 20 to tunnel all traffic via the FusionHub, only 1 WAN on the B20 so no SF Bonding here.

Configured the Firewall behind the B20 with a static IP from the B20 LAN range for its WAN.

Configured a port forward on the FH for IP Proto 41 toward the IP of the Firewall behind the Balance 20.

Seems to work, I can reach the IPv6 internet, not tested performance and no idea how SF bonding would handle the tunnel packets, cannot test that too easily at home as I only have an old B20 here which does not have a SF bonding license :slight_smile:

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WillJones is correct. My USB/Ethernet adapter worked on the Balance 20x after I made the somewhat hidden change he pointed out. And, that is without checking if my usb/ethernet adapter was on an approved list.

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The Balance 30 PRO LTE may be more appropriate. Two WAN ports plus cellular. I use one at home.

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Although if you add things like SF bonding licenses which would be needed by @dragon2611 and essential care, both of which are effectively included from Primecare on the 20X that makes the 30 Pro a fairly costly alternative, and all you really gain is one extra built in WAN interface.

The price for the SF bonding license is a €500 add on, and essential care over 3yrs for the 30 Pro would be €559 (pricing direct from the Peplink online store).

A Balance 20X can be had for ≤ €400 with the included year of Primecare, and then its ~€50 a year to add extra years of cover.

This!

A 20x is in the realms of costs more than the average home router but the price seems resonable for what it is, where as what @jmpfas is suggesting goes in the territory of should I be looking at DIA circuits instead.

Ultimately if you work for a peplink reseller/distributor or your company is buying you the kit it might be a different story but I’d be the one directly footing the Bill I’m not sure the 30 Pro makes sense.