Where to set latency cutoff for SpeedFusion Cloud?

Hi all,

I’m new to the community here, so please pardon any flubs in my first post! (I’m probably including more information than is needed—and lacking other information.)

I’m trying to use SpeedFusion Cloud with my Balance 20 and my two LTE Netgear modems and am finding that the combined speed is the same or less than what I get from an individual modem. Is anyone here able to help debug? It seems from other related posts that adjusting latency cutoff might help here; could someone point me to where that configuration is?

This is a home Internet setup for a rural area (haven’t moved there yet) where relying on a single LTE connection along will not give me enough speed. (The wife and I are WFH software engineers.) So I’m hoping to be able to bond two LTE channels into a single, higher-speed channel (even if it’s not exactly 2x the speed).

Here’s my setup (diagram showing actual topology attached):

  • 2 Netgear LB1120 modems on the Verizon network
  • 2 TP-Link TL-WR841N routers for administering said modems
  • 1 TP-Link Safestream Multi WAN VPN Router, with 2 WANs fed by the 2 TL-WR841N routers (why? because I wasn’t sure when I bought the Balance 20 that I’d be able to skirt around VPN limitations with Netflix, so I figured I’d keep this in the mix until I was certain I didn’t need it)
  • 1 Peplink Balance 20 with 2 WANs fed by the aforementioned 2 TL-WR841N routers; using firmware 8.1.1 build 4986.
  • 2 Archer A7 routers, one for broadcasting the Safestream (balanced, not bonded network) and another for broadcasting the bandwidth-bonded Peplink Balance 20 network
  • Trial version of SpeedFusion Cloud (waiting to upgrade until I get this working), which I set up via the SpeedFusion Cloud page in the UI on the Balance 20. I’ve tried “automatic” for my location and “Seattle,” since that’s closest to me. I also have set my Archer A7 that appears in the associated client list to utilize this SFC location.
  • I have not done any explicit setting up of PepVPN—just did the setup required for SpeedFusion Cloud, which presumably does some PepVPN setup under the hood.

Also, after playing around with the Peplink UI on the Balance 20, I realize that I can probably drop the TP-Link Safestream router from the mix by just plugging my two A7 routers into the Peplink Balance 20 and only sending one router’s traffic to the SpeedFusion Cloud, and letting the other’s traffic just proceed outside any VPN (again, for Netflix). I’m happy to just drop this whole parallel path from the topology for now if folks think it would make debugging easier.

As you can tell, I’m a novice about this Peplink stuff (not to scare you away), but I should be able to do what’s asked of me given some decent instructions. :wink:

Hello and welcome,

Bonding will never give you 2+2 = 4, there are overheads that will contribute to you seeing less than the sum of each link when aggregated.

One bit of information missing though is what are the individaul WAN links performing as when used directly?

The Balance 20 is not the most gutsy of devices these days, depending on what hardware revision you have this will top out at 30mbps of SpeedFusion traffic with encryption or 60mbps without (older hardware was lower figures).

It can be helpful to tweak this setting yes, in general I would start with this set at 300ms and then work down in 50ms steps until I find something that works well for the connection being uesd - basically at the point I’m able to get the most throughput without unnecessary backing off of sending traffic down a given WAN link.

Hi Will,

Thanks for the welcome and for the reply!

Bonding will never give you 2+2 = 4, there are overheads that will contribute to you seeing less than the sum of each link when aggregated.

Yes, I am expecting there to be some overhead. But I’m getting results that are at a bandwidth roughly equivalent to a single (non-bonded) connection.

One bit of information missing though is what are the individaul WAN links performing as when used directly?

speeds, as tested with speedtest.net

  • FC34 (T-Mobile 1): 33 ms ping, 27.92 Mbps down, 33.52 Mbps up
  • FC60 (T-Mobile 2): 34 ms ping, 21.01 Mbps down, 31.76 Mbps up
  • bonded: 43 ms ping, 23.68 Mbps down, 31.0 Mbps up

The Balance 20 is not the most gutsy of devices these days, depending on what hardware revision you have this will top out at 30mbps of SpeedFusion traffic with encryption or 60mbps without (older hardware was lower figures).

The Peplink website quotes the Balance 20 max throughput as 150 Mbps, which I figured would be sufficient for my use case given that the SpeedFusion max throughput is 100 Mbps (or 50 Mbps for the trial that I’m on). However, it sounds like the website is wrong, or that I’m misunderstanding it. Is this max that you quoted published somewhere on the website, or you’ve just learned it from experience? Regardless, if it’s true, I’ll need to return the device. My wife and I do various high-bandwidth things (e.g., SCPing tarballs around), so this won’t do.

It can be helpful to tweak this setting yes, in general I would start with this set at 300ms and then work down in 50ms steps until I find something that works well for the connection being uesd - basically at the point I’m able to get the most throughput without unnecessary backing off of sending traffic down a given WAN link.

Yes, this is my chief question: where do I set the latency cutoff?

Thanks!
Dan

I also realized that I forgot to upload the topology in my original post. Here it is. (Again, I realize I could drop the Safestream from the mix, but I’ll wait until someone tells me they need that for debugging.)

topology

Yes, the PepVPN numbers are on the website (150Mbps Dual-WAN Router Balance 20- Peplink)

So first thing to check is are the SF Cloud tunnels running with encryption (can’t actually recall of the top of my head if you even get a choice to turn it off on SF Cloud), if they are you are getting about the maximum the Balance 20 is capable of, if they are not then further investigation is warranted.

That may be a reasonable action here, and would probably suggest you look at swapping it for a Balance 20X with PrimeCare, the 20X is a much newer box and can do 100Mbps of SpeedFusion VPN without encryption (we use the 20X a lot, the numbers are fairly accurate). As it is PrimeCare you would also have all the bonding licecnes on the 20X and could then look at running your own FusionHub Solo in a public cloud provider which given Vultr or DO are ~$5 USD a month for 1Tb of data transfer would likey also be cheaper than the SF Cloud costs over time.

20X does only have one built in Ethernet WAN, however you could add a USB-Eth dongle to connect your second LTE modem, or just use the built in Cat4 LTE modem in the 20X.

My method is to typiacally saturate the WAN links and watch the latency on the SF status page, figure out where it would sit when the connection is fully loaded to the point it begins to drop packets and latency rises and then set the cutoff a bit below that figure, this should mean that if the link gets loaded up too heavily the PepVPN would backoff the traffic on it until latency recovers. In your instance though it sounds like you may be hitting thorughput limits on the Balance 20 so I’d probably not bother tuning this too much until we work out if that is the case.

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Will, and thanks for the help!

For now, I’ve just decided to swallow the pill of not getting the combined speed that I was hoping for. Ultimately, it appears to be no matter: both my wife and I have been able to do our regular day jobs just fine using Speedfusion Cloud as is. :slight_smile: