Consumer-grade dual-homed connectivity options?

Tim Sanderson tims at
Wed Dec 30 10:12:59 CST 2009

Do you control or have access to the provider side-the PPPoE server-and would both PPPoE connections hit the same PPPoE server at the provider? If so, I recommend setting up a PPP multilink with both DSL lines. The DSL provider would have to support that capability. I also recommend something like a Cisco 2691 router with two WIC-1ADSL cards. I have used this hardware for a 2xDSL multilink to my own home and it worked well.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Bennett [mailto:paul.w.bennett at]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:50 AM
To: nanog at
Subject: Consumer-grade dual-homed connectivity options?

Not sure whether this is an appropriate place to post this, but I thought
I'd give it a shot, since you're all knowledgeable folks with regard to
networking things...

At home, I currently run two DSL lines. Right now, we just have two
separate LANs, one connected to each line, with my wife's devices attached
to one, and my devices attached to the other. For a while now, I've been
thinking about setting up a load-balancing routing solution to give both
of us access to both lines.

I have the opportunity to acquire a refurbed Cisco Catalyst 2960 at a
ridiculously low price. I also have access to a (nominally) spare
quad-core 64-bit PC with 8GB of RAM. I say "nominally" because I'm
thinking about setting it up as a media center / gaming rig connected to
the TV in the den. That's largely beside the point, but it bears pointing
out that keeping the PC available for my other needs would be a good thing.


Is it going to be a more-effective solution to drop a few bucks on the
2960 and go through the hassle of learning how to set it up (and then
setting it up), or would I be better off putting a secured Linux distro
(e.g. gentoo-hardened, or something) on the semi-spare PC and running the
load-balancing via iproute2 and friends?

Either way, I'm looking at a learning curve, and a good amount of time
fannying around getting the damn thing working -- there's a good chance
I'd spend almost as much cash on the PC-based solution getting
good-quality network cards, and maybe fast HDD tech (though it seems like
RAM and cores would be more important than disk IO).

What are your opinions?


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