WRT3200ACM - Load Balancing w/ TMo Home Internet & AT&T MR110 - Possible Channel Bonding

Here we go....

I have a Linksys WRT3200ACM that is Load Balancing between TMo Home Internet & Netgear's MR1100. I'm fairly new to OpenWRT.

I'd like some opinions. Will include screen shots of setup.

My interfaces include:

LAN 1 was repurposed to WAN B.

Setup works fairly well but I do have a few questions:

  1. Is there any value in building a Channel Bonding Router out of an older PC?

  2. Can someone explain why - at times - so my speeds shoot through the roof on Speedtest.net? I know load balancing doesn't combine speeds but my speeds go from 70-80 mbps to 150mbps when connected to the lid balanced network?

  3. Seems like ping increases from AT&T and decreases TMo ping. Upload speed increases through load balanced network. Is this due to traffic going through "better" network?

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  1. That merely depends on your (aggregate-) WAN speeds and the abilities of your router (the wrt3200acm is at the faster end), it just needs to be 'fast enough' to cope with your WAN speed(s). There is no philosophical difference between a router or a PC, both can do the same (within their abilities, in terms of CPU performance, I/O performance, number of ports, wireless, etc.).
  2. perhaps your ISP's bandwidth limiter has non-constant effects.
  3. probably, don't underestimate the highly volatile nature of wireless networks (both in terms of raw throughput and ping times)

Load-balancing is a difficult topic (unless you have cooperation from both ends, namely a remote gateway to the internet which re-assembles the two uplinks into one virtual internet connection), especially if the metrics of both uplinks vary as massively as cable and cellular connections. Load-balancing also can't speed up a single client's performance beyond the speed of a single WAN uplink (assigned semi-randomly), it only helps if you need to serve multiple different client systems concurrently. In a 1-2 person household, load-balancing is unlikely to be beneficial (unless you're really at the bottom end of performance or are a very enthusiastic internet user with dozens of gadgets), with 4-5+ users that might be totally different (although even there you'd want roughly similar uplink speeds- and characteristics). Setting mwan3 up in a fallback configuration might help more than attempting to load-balance.

IPv6 and multiple uplink connections is a difficult topic, sadly, If you have business class contracts (on all uplinks), as in an ISP who will cater to your needs (and transport packets out of /your/ prefix (which includes traffic from 'the other uplink'), not merely their own) you can get it working. Typical consumer class ISP's (dynamic prefixes, only the currently assigned prefix gets routed) generally kill this off quite quickly.

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