Balance One Core - Third Wan license reduces throughput?

I currently am using 2 WANS on my Balance One Core. A microwave antenna that allows me to have a static IP and a t-mobile Home Internet box which i tried on a whim and it’s giving me fantastic throughput - over 400 Mbps at times.

Starlink just sent me notice that they’d like to ship me a dish now.

So I looked into a license to run 3 WAN ports on the Balance One Core and in very small print they state that adding this license will reduce the throughput of the router to 400Mbps - Really? That would cap out what I currently get with T-mobile and make adding the Starlink device kind of a waste of money.

I’m wondering why this is true - is it simply the added overhead of balancing 3 links? Has anyone actually seen this speed reduction in action?

Well it appears I have 3 options.

  • Pay $100 for a license that will throttle my current performance by 33% - unacceptable.

  • Buy a MUCH MORE expensive Peplink that can handle 3 WANS at GB speeds ~$1,900. Will not be approved by my lovely accountant.

  • Abandon the Peplink brand and buy a TP-Link ER7206 for $149 that claims GB speed to the internet across 3 links and appears to only lack one feature I use on the Peplink (local DNS - easily fixed).

I know you get what you pay for and it’s been a good ride with Peplink, but I think test driving the tp-link seems like the obvious choice. :expressionless:

Somebody please prove me wrong. :slight_smile:

Balance 20x can handle three WANs, 900mbps, was just on sale for $349 on amazon

The Balance 20X has 900Mbps throughput. Out of the box it has 1 WAN port and a USB port which can be used as a second WAN using an USB to Ethernet adapter albeit limited somewhat because of USB speeds (TP-LINK TL-UE300 for example). You can further extend WAN’s by purchasing a Virtual WAN license (BPL-210-LC-WAN) to add a VLAN WAN on a LAN or WAN port: B20X Virtual WAN Activation License FAQ

Thanks for the info on the 20X - i did not know it could be configure for 3 wans. If it were still on sale for $349 I’d be tempted. Right now it is $449. But then again i am seeing that the virtual wan activation license is another $200, so right now that makes it a $650 option. I wonder if adding three lans to the 20X has the same bandwidth reduction issue that my beloved Balance One Core will suffer from?

The crazy thing I’m finding out about my peplink is that if i connect directly to the T-moblie device via wifi I regularly get speeds in the 600Mbps(!) range - sometimes more - but if i connect through the balance it is reduced to 250-300 Mbps with occasional spikes to 400 and that is driving CPU usage into the red. I’m not convinced the system is capable of the speeds they advertise and am wondering if the same is true with the 20X?

If you connect a PC directly to the T-Mobile Home Internet box and compare its speed to a PC connected to the Balance One, is there a difference? If there is, then perhaps Peplink should look into the issue since the results should be the same.

FYI, my Balance One saw CPU jump to 90% and be in the red running a speedtest on my Comcast 300Mbps line when downloading. (I have Mitigate Bufferbloat on, but that only works on the upload portion currently, so wouldn’t have affected the cpu results on download. Fixing Mitigate Bufferbloat to work on download is on Peplink’s todo list.)

I have no idea how the TP-Link ER7206, or the quite popular Firewalla Gold, works for multi-WAN. I do know that I rely on Peplink to handle situations such as recovery from failover properly (i.e., if failover occurs, Peplink will move a connection back to the primary WAN when it comes back up). And handle persistence of a session under load balancing, so for example a banking session doesn’t experience different IP addresses causing it to disconnect.

Connecting directly to a PC from the T-Mobile device gets me a reliable 500-600Mbps

Connecting through the balance one gives me about 200Mbps less and the CPU goes to 97% so it seems that the throughput is being bottlenecked at the CPU.

Another option you might have is to try using a USB / Ethernet adapter dongle on the USB port.

I had the same dilemma (two primary and one backup) but have found that moving the cellular Ethernet connection to a USB dongle worked out great, no need to add the 3rd WAN port option.

This was the adapter I used.

Hope this helps!

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very interesting… i might have to try that - thanks!

I am running a 20x with 4 Wan connections, using VLANS so far so good. I am using USB + Default WAN + 2 virtual WANS. non of my connections are that fast but I can confirm that I am able to hit 400-500 combined across all connections during the late evening hours. This is all ISP limited not peplink in my case. It have not read of any speed reduction from the quoted 900 Mbps so I am assuming that is not the case especially since mine are running on VLANs on a different switch. 20x has become a utility system for me. I tried TP-link previously and there LB was ok but would have random disconnects that I could not explain. Since upgrade to Peplink those are gone so I guess problem solved.
My connections are
WISP, WISP, Verizon, Starlink.

This is the adapter I am using for USB https://a.co/d/hf5LyCL

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