Like many people my Internet connections seems to be very slow. For some applications I need a fixed IP address and only DSL can offer this for a reasonable price here. Fiber is still a long way off. Cable has not the best reviews and gets expensive since the basic TV package is required.
The simple solution was to get a 2nd DSL line. For my daughter they had a special deal with her mobile subscription. It did take some time to explain that we needed a 2nd DSL line. They tried to explain that I could share the existing line using WIFI. Eventually it was all sorted out the electrician connected the new line and updated the intake for DSL for my existing line.
How to I make the DSL lines transparent for the family ? That was the big question. We have had our network behind a zeroshell for a few years this free firewall has been working great. It is not always easy and requires a little network knowledge but with the HOWTO guide I was able to set up everything I needed. Apparently it was easy to implement the load balancing feature.
To be honest the whole setup did take less than 1 hour including all the patching the ports on the switches, network. The wiring is not totally clean (I use the same network card as in on the firewall. I had to do this due to missing direct wires between the DSL entry and my server rack. I am not too concerned since this is the traffic between the firewall and 2 DSL routers. They run on different IP networks.
How does it perform ? Actually really good. The web could still be faster but there is definitely an improvement until we get fiber.
The statistics after running the setup for 2 weeks
My old link takes more traffic but for reasons that can be explained some traffic requires the fixed IP and will always run through the first Line. For the first 4 days the split was nearly perfect 50/50 each
My firewall is a custom assembled PC With an old AMD Sempron process from 2004 and 1GB of Ram.
Memory usage is very stable with no significant change. This is about 20% lower than previous release of zeroshell
Number of connection here there is clearly a big difference with what looks like a doubling of connections
If we take an annual look the difference is also very noticable
Bottom line. I love my new fast connection and the way it makes it faster to upload pictures and there are fewer cases where the internet seems to come to a halt.
My next experiment will be to try and add our portable phones which all have unlimited data plans as additional gateways to improve the performance even further. This setup is not the easiest but not more expensive that 1 big cable connection with added benefits like : fixed IP address or fault tolerance (not really since they share the same link from our home to phone switching location.