Model Recommendation Needed


#1

Hi…

I am looking to use a PepLink product for balancing two Time Warner cable modems that are currently feeding a Guest Internet R20 captive portal box. It does 50/50 split load balancing but I am looking for just more data collection and control and maybe other balancing methods. The setup is in a RV Resort running over a Ubnt network for the Access Points. On a weekend, the R20 handles the traffic for about 200 connected devices that are 90% made up of cell phones and Tables. The R20 does this without missing a beat and handles the traffic without issue. I see sustained data use of only about 20 Mbps.

So the setup is like this…

Two Cable Modems with 35Mbps Down and 5 Mbps Up EACH.
Those go into WAN1 and WAN2 of the R20 Box
The R20 handles all DHCP and DNS as well as the captive portal and speed controls of the users. (Currently set at 3Mbps/1Mbps per device. But as mentioned, has not need an issue based on use.)

So a Peplink would be put in between the modems and the R20 with the R20 just then getting a WAN1 connection from the Peplink.
Peplink would then handle the load balance and give me reports and do firewall if I wanted it to seeing that it offers a lot more than the R20 does in this regard.

So in this config, the Peplink would just see the R20 and the traffic that goes though it and does not need to handle devices directly.

So…What Peplink product could I use for this?

Thanks.


#2

If I were in your shoes with the amount of devices you mentioned and based on guessing concurrent sessions, I would throw in a Balance 380 between your modems and R20 and put the Balance 380 in drop-In mode. The 380 also comes with speedfusion so you could connect to a FusionHub and converge your upload speeds to one pipe so instead of 5 Mbps each it would now be 10 Mbps (up to, this is cable were talking about here) and have seamless failover within the speedfusion tunnel.


#3

I agree with tjvoip45 although I would adjust his suggestion to the Balance 305 instead of the B380. Its shares the same hardware platform but unlike the B380 the B305 doesn’t support SpeedFusion bandwidth bonding (it does support load balancing which is what you need) so is a little cheaper.

The only caveat to that recommendation is that I suspect the R20 is in NAT mode and as such would become the only LAN device the Balance would have visibility of. Your reports in InControl would show one LAN device (the IP of the R20 WAN port) and I’m not convinced you would see all the benefits of our additional load balancing algorithms (since the B305 would be trying to load balance access from a single IP).

A more technically pure approach would be to replace the R20 with the B305. You can then offer web filtering, captive portal and social logon capability (via InControl) using the B305, but we don’t currently have paypal integration for paid guest access which might be a deal breaker for you.

In a perfect world the least intrusive method would be if you were able to turn off NAT on the R20 and use IP forwarding instead so that the B305 can see the requests coming from the source LAN client IPs on the R20 but a quick skim of the manual here suggests that that isn’t possible… http://www.guest-internet.co.uk/manual/manual.pdf


#4

Thank you kindly for the reply. I also thank you for actually looking into the R20 before the reply which only goes to show the dedication PepLink has to service and support and I am not even a customer. (yet!)

I agree with your thoughts on the IP’s and what your unit would see. As such I also agree it would not be of much help but would just add another layer not needed. I am not even sure why I did not think of that as it surely makes sense and I surely should have.

The R20 services us very well and is a very fast box for the needs of this RV Resort network. It is just somewhat limited in reports etc seeing that that they try to run it as lean as they can for speed. I surely would like some more control, but not sure I need to dive into another solution a that cost seeing what I have does work very well.

Thank you so kindly Martin.


#5

Martin,
You state: "we don’t currently have PayPal integration for paid guest access"
Is this integration (or any other billing options) going to be available soon?
Thanks
Rory


#6

I’ll expect the engineering teams will dive in and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we have payment platform integrations in the development pipeline at the moment.

In my experience, having to pay for WiFi access tends to be a little old fashioned. There is an expectation of free WiFi just about everywhere now (certainly I wouldn’t book a hotel without free wifi and would choose one that provides it free over another that doesn’t), and so our development focus is more on bandwidth management and filtering than payment gateways.

That said, working out ways to monetise a free WiFi service (such as with advertising) is very popular, and we have an upcoming solution for that - which we will be publicising shortly…

In the meantime if you require a billing platform for WiFI access I would suggest either rolling your own or deploying a third party captive portal such as http://www.hotspotsystem.com/ (supported since fw6.3.2)