Using SpeedFusion Cloud to Bond 2 DSL connections

Longer backstory, but question listed at the bottom if you want to skip.

We are in the process of buying house that is further out from the city we currently live in. Unfortunately, we’ve recently found out that the only internet provider in the area of the new house is CenturyLink DSL with 6mbps/500kbps service and our cell phone coverage is very spotty around the home. I’ve subscribed to CenturyLink to have 2x Lines Enabled, and will be receiving 2x DSL modems. I asked, but they no longer offer bonded channel offerings directly. Originally I was going to get a dual-wan router for the house and load balance, but I’d really like to set up a bonded network. As most of the SD-WAN offerings I could find required me to host my own SD-WAN in the cloud it seemed a very cost-prohibitive to setup. I’d need to set up a bonding router, and a host SD-WAN on AWS, and run the traffic that way. In my web searches, I ran across SpeedFusion Cloud and thought it would work great for me. The price of the Balance One was competitive and the “top up” packages for SpeedFusion Cloud seem reasonable. The part I just discovered that has thrown a wrench is the add-on software licensing to enable SpeedFusion bonding on the Balance One. It looks like that’s an additional $900 ( That almost triples my upfront cost.

My question:

If you are using the Balance One or Balance One Core with SpeedFusion Cloud and buying bandwidth top up packs, do you also need to buy the SpeedFusion Bonding License Key? Or is that only needed for running a connection between two of your own SpeedFusion routers?

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Great news, if you are using SpeedFusion Cloud, a SpeedFusion licence is NOT required for the Balance ONE or Balance ONE Core!
If you wanted to use SpeedFusion to another Peplink device or FusionHub, the licence you mentioned would be required.

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You just made my day! I’m going to order a Balance One and set it up for SpeedFusion Cloud to improve our abysmally slow internet endpoints. What’s a good reputable source to purchase hardware as a single customer online? I’d like to avoid gray market and buy from a supported source. Although I see the Balance products in several online marketplaces, it’s hard to tell which is a legit reseller.

Hi @rgeade (and welcome to the forum). Tell us what part of the world you are in and it’s highly likely one of the partners who lurk here will speak up. ;<)

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I’m located in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

Hello @rgeade,
Hopefull the previous post will assist in guiding you in making a wise purchase.

You may like to ask your local authorised Peplink Partner for local & personalised assistance.

Your local Certified Peplink Partner can help you with experience on the ISPs in your area.

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

@rgeade, please provide feedback on your use of the Balance One to bond your 2 DSL connections. I’m in an identical situation and wondered if you are still using the solution and if you are happy with it. Any gotchas, tips, or tricks you can share will be appreciated.

I’m happy to learn the additional SpeedFusion Bonding license isn’t needed on the Balance One when using SpeedFusion Cloud. I purchased a care plan (EssentialCare) with my Balance One Core, so it looks like I get a 500GB/100Mbps SpeedFusion Cloud package too.

SpeedFusion worked great (when both my DSL Lines were working). The problem I ran into is that the DSL service in my area (Lake Tillery, NC) is horrible. Aside from the very low bandwidth option available (6mbps/500kbps), the signal quality is very bad. I get a ton of CRC errors and packet resends. The circuits also disconnect, retrain and reconnect a dozen times a day. Because of this, the Speedfusion stuff was constantly having to cycle between the two connections, so I wasn’t even able to really get it working like I wanted. Ideally, it would have improved my throughput, but in reality, it was another layer to traverse on an already flaky connection.

Another wrinkle is that when an uplink gets saturated with data upload, it renders the download inoperable. This happens a lot to us when one iPhone uploads a picture or video. I will see a 200-300kbps upload, and the WAN connection starts to appear offline because nothing can download. That was also causing a lot of issues for SpeedFusion.

If it were in the mode where it was sending identical traffic across both WANs, it would likely improve the stability, but I’m working with my DSL provider now (CenturyLink) to improve the connection quality first. I’ve been on the phone with them at least 8 hours over the last few months working through it.

Not sure how helpful this was, but in my experience, SpeedFusion doesn’t work great when you have two very flaky and slow DSL WANs.

If I was able to get any sort of cell phone service in the area, I’d add an LTE path to improve things, but unless I install some sort of tall antenna on my roof, I don’t think I’m going to get that working well either.

This is a known problem with asymmetric DSL connections. You may want to enable “DSL/Cable Optimization” (it is in the Application section of the QoS section (under the Networks or Advanced tabs, depending on which device you have)).

The associated “?” explanation says:
"DSL/cable-based WAN connection has its upload bandwidth lower than the download bandwidth. When this option is enabled, the download bandwidth of the WAN can be fully utilized in any situation.

When a DSL/cable circuit’s uplink is congested, the download bandwidth will be affected. Users will not be able to download data in full speed until the uplink becomes less congested. The DSL/Cable Optimization can relieve such issue. When it is enabled, the download speed will become less affected by the upload traffic."



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Thank you for the information. I’ll report back after my solution is installed and up and running. Fortunately, I’ve had fairly stable connections in my area so hopefully SpeedFusion will work well or as intended.