Replacement for "Old Reliable" Balance 50

Hello. New here and I’m sure this is redundant somewhere, so forgive me.

I’ve been using a Balance 50 for I don’t know how many years. It’s been a great performer and still is. I use it to load balance three 3Mb DSL lines out in my rural home. It’s never given me a single problem and I can’t say enough about how much I like it.

However, I am days away from getting Starlink as part of the beta community. That said, the 100Mb throughput rating (which has never been an issue for me) will now become a problem. I plan to use Starlink as Always On Priority 1 and keep one DSL line for a backup. It’s a simple setup but the throughput is the issue.

What would be a good choice for upgrade in my situation? I have over 50 devices on the network, pretty much the standard fare: Laptops, tablets, phones, AI, smart plugs, Smart TV’s, etc. We don’t stream much but we will when Starlink matures and we can get burly bandwidth. I average ~600G a month, but that will certainly increase as our bandwidth allows as well. I don’t have an unlimited budget and I don’t need any features I don’t already have on the Balance 50. I just want the same priority/backup setup plus future-proof throughput. Thanks, and nice community here!

I haven’t seen a Balance 50 for many many years - welcome back! :slight_smile:

Generally I am recommending the Balance 20x for this Starlink job. It can do 900Mbps comes with a 4G modem built in as a backup connection and has a module slot so is ready for future upgrades too.

1 Like

Yes, the old boy has been rock solid for me. I usually seek out forums like this for product questions and assistance, but really, it’s been so reliable and intuitive I’ve never had a reason in all the years its’ been in service. Says a lot about the thing, really.

So, the Balance 20x seems to have only one ethernet WAN input, and I need at least two (3 or 4 if I keep all the current DSL lines). Is there a module for additional ethernet WAN ports? Also the 4G modem won’t help much since I have terrible cell service as it is and probably wouldn’t have a reliable use for it. Thank you for the suggestion; the throughput does look a lot better than the ol’ 50.

Ah I had assumed you would get rid of the DSL lines to pay for the starlink.

OK then you’re looking at two options - the older Balance One or the newer faster (about twice as fast but also twice the cost) Balance two. The balance one claims 600Mbps throughput (400MBps if you activate the extra WANs so there are 5 in total). The Balance two is 1Gbps rated.

Starlink is already doing 400MBps+ in some regions. I would suggest the Balance Two is a better fit technically.

1 Like

Well, planning to keep one or two especially during the beta since its not 100% uptime yet. And since I need a direct DSL link for work’s CVO, I need to keep one long term anyway. May as well use it as a backup for the home LAN too.

I don’t disagree. I like that one… but for at least a year Starlink is unlikely to be fully mature so I might be able to get by with a temporary ‘less capable’ upgrade as a stopgap, maybe a used or refurb unit of some kind (maybe 200Mb throughput would suffice for a while)?

I’m using a B20X for this. you can search this site for Starlink for our SpeedFusion configureations and the limitations of connecting to the statistics page right now.

#1 To start you can just use your B50. Yes it will top out at 100Mbits, but outside of speed tests, I’m rarely pulling over 100mbits unless it is a straight software/data download. Streaming HD video peaks in the 40-50Mbit range.

#2 the B20X can give you a second ethernet via a USB adapter. More than fast enough for one of the DSL lines.

There is a Flex-module mini for DSL that is new, but I haven’t seen any live reviews of the product, the USB adapter will be much less expensive.

#3 the LTE modem with even modest antennas has much better gain than a cell phone.
I have a friend’s place where Verizon cell phone coverage is poor to zero(They gave him a nano-cell to get by)… but the B20X immediately gave 50Mbit+ speeds with just the basic included antennas.


+1 for trying the 20x with the vdsl add on module.
Whenever I get starlink, I’ll update to this model , use starlink, cell, dsl, and maybe another wan on usb for another exterior cellular.

1 Like

Thanks guys, good stuff. 20x is looking a lot better now. I’ll see how the P50 performs first. I suspect that after years of 3Mb garden hose speeds, 100Mb is going to feel like standing in front of an open sluice gate anyway.

1 Like

By the way, when the time comes, where is the best place to purchase it from?

Well, Starlink arrived today and is active as Primary at the moment. Ol’ P50 is having a hard time keeping up, actually. It froze once and I had to power cycle it to wake it up. It stabilized when I took down the DSL backup links.

CPU is >75% all the time, with frequent spikes to 99%. I guess the time to move to the 20x will be coming sooner than later. So far the max download seen has been 83Mb, upload 27Mb. That’s light years ahead of where I was just a few hours ago, so no complaining here. And the P50 has done a super job for many years so I harbor no ill feelings about its’ current struggles.

what area of the country are you , still not available in Dallas Area,Tx

Foristell, MO, about 50 miles west of St. Louis.

Nice hopefully in Dallas soon!

1 Like

I already can’t say enough good things about it so far. I’m between 20 and 90 down and about 20 up on the tests so far. Amazing. City folks don’t understand our struggles! :sunglasses:

I’m 70 miles north of Dallas and currently use ADSL, Verizon and T-mobile, on a balance 30, just ordered ATT fixed wireless and so far that does the best. I can’t wait for starlink to get here. I miss my days of verizon fios in the city for sure.

1 Like

It has stabilized a lot from yesterday. CPU seems to have settled in at ~40% and it has not flaked since the reset yesterday. Oddly, it’s seeing this on Ookla’s speedtests.

I guess I don’t completely understand the throughput ratings, unless these tests are different from the way the P50’s 100Mb throughput works. Still, the P50 has an older processor and will not perform as well as the 20x will, so I will pull the trigger as soon as I’m able. But as of right now, no complaints.

1 Like