One device to rule them all?

What is a recommended architecture for a home setup with multiple cellular and wired WAN connections?

Right now, I am using a Balance One (with WiFi off). I have a Balance 30 LTE connected to WAN 1 on the Balance One, a Netgear Nighthawk connected to WAN 2 on the Balance One, and a Spectrum cable modem connected to WAN 3 on the Balance One.

Wondering if there’s an opportunity to simplify the setup? I have about 25-30 devices hardwired via ethernet, so there’s a mix of them connected directly to the Balance One, vs additional cheap switches to add more ports that are connected to the Balance One.

All of the new offerings seem to have the same level of features as the Balance One, but offer only a single or couple LAN ports. So it seems these devices are meant to be used in conjunction with other Peplink devices. Essentially, you seem to be paying for features that don’t actually get used, at least in my case, since the Balance One is doing all of the routing between the other devices.


you dont mention what connections you have… what type how many mbps?

what is your budget?

Yes, I’d say there certainty is an opportunity to “simplify” there. ;<) The first two alternatives that come to mind are the Balance Two and the 20X. The “two” has two ethernet WAN connections and the USB can be used for a 3rd. But a better fit may be the 20X. The 20X has a single ethernet WAN port and a 2nd can be added via USB. It comes with a CAT4 modem but a second can be added – up to CAT18. So, this router can support as many as two ethernet WANs and two cellular. I should note that the USB ports run a bit slower than built-in ethernet due to USB bus limitations so that’s where you’d connect your slowest ethernet WAN.

If those two alternatives are insufficient we can move “up” in the line. Peplink has a handy tool that can be used to compare specifications here. If you are in the USA and would like to discuss and/or get a competitive quote just send me a PM.

Thanks. With those all having limited LAN ports on them, I would still need other devices (switches in the mix). It would be nice to have one prosumer device that can do it all to remove some of the redundant equipment.

Also, I am using the Nighthawk with some AT command customizations to do stuff like band locking and priority, among other things. All of which are not directly available on Peplink modems without pulling the modem and connecting it to a USB sled.

My primary want for updating would be to get additional band support (4G and 5G) and support carrier aggregation, something I don’t think the Balance 30 LTE can do, but the Nighthawk is doing. The Balance 30 LTE is basically a dumb WAN connection at this point, which is kinda silly considering how “expensive” it was, since the Balance One is (currently) doing all of the work.

I think it’s unlikely you’ll find a router with a couple of dozen LAN ports. So, yes, a switch will be on your equipment list – and Peplink makes some great ones – 8 to 48 port.

Band selection is a feature included with all Peplink routers with integrated cellular modems. Indeed, there is often good reasons to lock out certain bands. CA is a feature of CAT6 and higher (LTEA) modems. So, you are correct, your Balance 30 LTE cannot do that.

I guess there is always the option of an EPX with a full load of LAN/WAN modules in it… Probably a little bit outside of the “prosumer” price point though! :smiley:

The 20X is a good little box, and when the virtual wan licence appears in v9 it will have even more utility in these kind of setups I think (ditching the USB dongle for real ethernet ports!).

You could pop a CAT-18 LTE module into it too as a way of consolidating external boxes but those are fairly expensive, there is a 5G module also but I’m not really sure it is worth it given the bandwidth limitations on the FlexMini slot - the CAT-18 module would in theory already be capable of saturating that slots bandwidth capacity.

Another option again which wont help with “a few LAN ports” problem but might work when you consider just WAN connectivity would maybe be the 310-5G, it gives you one real Ethernet WAN, a USB-Ethernet WAN and one built in CAT12 LTE and one built in 5G modem.

Not the cheapest box but even with factoring in 3 years of PrimeCare it is probably not the worst option either if you want something with a bit of grunt to it and some reasonably good embedded cell modems.

All good ideas. I was trying to keep my recommendations in the realm of a reasonable upgrade to what’s there now. There are a great many solutions at the many-thousands-$ price points. Routers with 24 LAN ports are still sorta uncommon though. ;<)

One could also attach a MAX Adapter to the existing Balance One. THere are really lots of options. The best strategy for @Xerxes is to have a chat with his local Peplink Partner of PCE.

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Thanks all. It’s sad to hear that there isn’t one device that will “do it all” that is intended for home use that doesn’t cost thousands.

I can feel your frustration, but a couple of comments:

  1. The cost need not be “thousands.” The 20X solution, with additional module is well less than $1000 and would provide up to 4 WANs, for example.
  2. What you are describing (3 WANs, 25-30 devices on ethernet, etc) is not exactly a typical “home user” – sorta like the Balance 380 and 48 port Peplink POE switch I have at home. ;<) It’s in a home but it’s a rather atypical situation.

I’m available to discuss further if that’d help.

Thanks. What am I gaining by going from a CAT4 to to say CAT12 modem? Carrier aggregation?

im fine using my Netgear switches for the Ethernet devices. I was just trying to understand the value proposition for using all Peplink devices vs mixing and matching. You really only need one device that acts as the router for the network and my Balance 30 LTE is acting as a dumb modem.

different bands, carrier aggregation, etc. look up the differences between a cat4 and cat12 modem. cat 4 you can lock to one band. cat 6 two via lte-a. cat 12 i think is 3 or 4?


Cat 4 vs 12: Yes, CAT6 and beyond are LTEA and CA is part of the “package.” One also potentially gets faster speeds.

Switches: If we don’t need the features of Peplink switches we typically use Netgear ProSafe series. They’re not Peplinks but they are still quite “bulletproof.”