Dual CenturyLink DSL

Hello! Prospective customer here. I need more bandwidth and CenturyLink has no options other than selling me a second DSL line (non-bonded). I am considering it. In order to not do double NAT, the modem (modems plural in this case) must be in bridged mode and the firewall doing PPPoE and tagging VLAN 201. Is this a valid configuration with Peplink? I think with most networking equipment in order to do this you’d need virtualized subsystems to have the same VLAN number doing separate things.


I don’t have any experience with a PPPoE DSL modem, but since no one else has replied yet, one thing to think about:

You may find yourself using speedfusion to bond the dsl connections, to take advantage of the upload speed of each connection for a single upload for example. If so, double NAT doesn’t seem to create any added issue with the speedfusion tunnel active.

Yes it is. But. I would suggest you look at cellular as a viable alternative to the additional DSL. I never install dual DSL its always disappointing, but DSL and a CAT18 4G modem is normally epic.

Consider the MAX Transit CAT18 on primecare or the Balance 20x with the integrated CAT4 modem and the option of a CAT 18 module as an upgrade.

I wouldn’t say bonding two DSL connections was disappointing at all for me. I like the fast upload that LTE provides, but I liked the consistency of the DSL lines.

For a 50-67% increase in upload/download, it seemed to work easily and well and consistently. It might be a high price to pay for the % increase, but I didn’t want to go back once I plugged in the two ethernet cables.

The reward of the upload speed of LTE seemed far more exciting – since the upload could be an order of magnitude more instead of a 50% increase – but more difficult.

I wanted to bond for a single use/user, not load balance.

I was also a long distance from cell tower (so a cellphone barely works at all), had a cell plan I feared could be deprioritized if I used too much data, and wanted to keep latency very consistent and low if possible.

(Not disagreeing with Martin’s post – he is the expert and helped me a lot. But I didn’t personally have any regrets bonding the DSL, so if what you can get is two DSL lines I’d still consider it.)

My personal preference is BOTH - I have a balance 30 PRO LTE at home and have two crap DSL lines plus cellular. I bond the two DSL lines (both about 2M up/25M down) and have “things that are download heavy” on that.
My work laptop and IP phones are on the cellular, plus any time we upload to youtube etc.

And everything fails to cellular when both DSLs fail (regularly, I am 30,000 feet from the DSLAM)

My cellular is an old grandfathered, unthrottled true unlimited account (you can find them on ebay for about $120 to $150 per month). BUT it is LTE only - not going to get any faster than that. But it gives me 10M up/15M down. I had to mount antennas on the roof to get those speeds.

How would you guys compare Peplink to pfSense strictly for the use-case of dual WAN?

Last time I looked at pfsense in a dual wan config I think it could do round robin load balancing and wan failover based on healthcheck.

Peplink load balancing is much much better than that, more algorithms, easier to configure, WAN aware etc but Peplink products were designed and built from the start as advanced load balancers - so managing multi-WAN is where the product is strongest.

I have one last question. If I were to purchase my Peplink from Amazon, can I still get the software/firmware updates? I know many enterprise vendors require an active support subscription in order to get any updates.

thanks for answering some of my questions. It’s been really helpful. :+1:

Yes, firmware updates are free for the life of the product. You get the first year of InControl2 cloud management included with the purchase price then you have to buy a subscription to that in year 2 onwards.

I’ve just deployed two CenturyLink DSL connections myself. Both modems in transparent bridge mode. I bought a used Balance One (Rev 1).

I have a total of three copper DSL pairs active…
20/2mbps xDSL (Bonded 2 copper pair Small Biz Plan) Zyxtel c3000z Modem
10/1mbps aDSL. (Single pair Residential Plan) Zyxtel c1000z Modem

I did not have to setup any PPPoE or VLAN configs in bridge mode. It’s my understanding some former Quest or Non-Quest serviced areas have that additional step. I am located in central Texas.

Like you I looked at PFSense and even ran a $50 Ubiquiti ER-X for a few weeks before settling on Peplink for better load balancing algorithms and multi wan control. My plan is to add 5G and/or Starlink when they become available at my rural location.

With PFSense & the $50 ER-X my TV streaming would sometimes become stuck and over saturate my 10mbps line causing buffering. With Peplink that is well controlled and avoidable vs the limited and simplistic round-robin/weighted algorithms on almost everything else out there.

Understanding Peplinks target market, I think I would have bought a Peplink sooner if they had cheaper prosumer/home user options. It was a bit of a stretch on the wallet to try this out.

All in all… happy with the control I’ve gained over both WANs. Do miss the very flexible configuration ability of the ER-X and it’s superior FC_CODEL (Bufferbloat) mitigations.

Wow, my setup is going to be extremely similar. I did find out I don’t need VLAN tagging on the modem interface. Turns out the modem I was trying to use, the C4000, just can’t do transparent bridged mode properly. I grabbed a C3000Z off eBay and boom, worked right away. So once I proved that out, I ordered a second C3000Z and the Balance One. I should have everything turned up on the 22nd.

Not that it really matters for this forum… but I had invested in a pretty spendy Netgate pfSense appliance. I could not figure out how to get Netflix to work behind it. Factory defaults. No packages loaded. Everything worked peachy except multiple streaming services that we use. I probably wasted 8 hours of my life trying to get it to work and couldn’t. It’s up on eBay right now.