What speed can I expect from a Bonded Broadband connection?
Our bonded broadband service will aggregate the actual speeds of the connected lines connected minus a small overhead (see Q&A below regarding overhead). For example, if you have two Broadband connections, one running at 2Mbps downstream and the other at 4Mbps downstream, the aggregated performance will be up to 6Mbps downstream. We aggregate both the upstream and downstream bandwidth.
We cannot create “new bandwidth” – we aggregate the total bandwidth of the broadband connections and deliver what is actually available at that time.
Line speeds are not always as advertised or constant throughout the day or week.
Our software tests the line speeds periodically and adjusts the distribution of packets to optimise the aggregated performance. In addition, packet re-sequencing is automatically activated when connections are detected to be very different speeds and latencies.
Are there maximum speed limitations with the bonded broadband service?
Our throughput is limited by the processing power of the routers used.
For example, consumer grade routers such as the TP-Link W8968 can expect to achieve up to 20Mbps, depending upon configuration and the TP-Link WDR3600 which can support up to 120 Mbps in total, again depending upon configuration.
What is the overhead with Bonded Broadband Service?
Our service adds 25 bytes to each packet which is typically 1.6% of the packet size. In addition, a very small amount of data is used in the line testing process; the frequency of the line testing is adjustable and should be set to a minimum based on the stability of the speed of the lines being pooled.
How does the service deal with different latencies on lines; especially when I’m using different ISPs i.e. deals with out of sequence packets?
Each Internet device has a small amount of memory to deal with out of sequence packets – the amount depends upon the operating system. On two slow speed lines with large latency differences, this memory buffer is probably sufficiently large to cope with out of sequence packets. However if fast lines are used, or there is a very large difference in latency, it is likely that this buffer will not be sufficiently large resulting in packet loss and poor performance. We have built-in packet resequencing software that puts downstream traffic back in its original order. However because the routers are doing more work, the over-all maximum throughput is reduced.
My ISP’s line performance changes throughout the day. How does the bonded broadband service cope with this?
Customers can set up automatic performance monitoring of lines via the management system they have access to. This entails periodically checking the actual throughput of the lines (rather than what has been bought) and adjusting how much data is sent down each line accordingly. For example if a 2 line deployment showed line 1 was delivering 4Mbps and line 2 was delivering 2Mbps, double the amount of traffic will be delivered down line 1 than line 2. This ‘adaption’ period typically works in real time, but can be adjusted if required.
Is the service limited to ADSL in terms of the types of Broadband connections it can aggregate?
We can aggregate any type of Broadband connection together. Connections can be the same type (example: FTTC/FTTC or ADSL/ADSL) or different (example: Cable/Fibre or ADSL/Wireless). Resiliency is best achieved when different carriers and different technologies are aggregated.
Can I port forward using the bonded broadband service?
Yes, port forwarding (PAT) is supported.
Does you support VPN traffic?
We support PPTP VPN traffic and IPSEC using L2TP, UDP or TCP protocols.
What happens if I lose a connection on one of my lines? Does the service stop working?
We will continue to operate if a line is lost and as long is one connection is up, you will stay connected. Bandwidth will be reduced by the speed of the disconnected line until that line comes back on line. This is especially advantageous with applications such as VoIP when a disruption to a single line connection will cause the call to drop.
How does the failover work? If I lose the connection to my gateway, will I lose my connection to the internet?
Our bonded broadband enabled routers are configured in VRRP mode. Therefore, if you were to lose any of your routers in your network the VRRP function will maintain access to the internet. We also incorporate a DHCP server failover capability, so there is no need to be concerned about losing your DHCP functionality if that router is lost.
How does the bonded broadband service improve resilience?
There is no single point of failure and because aggregation occurs at the IP layer, multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet backbone infrastructures can be used – significantly improving resilience when compared to a single provider solution.
What if I want to add or remove lines?
Our service is fully scalable, meaning you can add or remove lines by simply adding (or removing) a router to the bonded circuit.
What about Leased Lines?
For many businesses Leased Lines maybe desirable, but frequently they are cost prohibitive. We can aggregate less expensive Broadband connections such as DSL and FTTC to provide the equivalent speed and reliability of Leased Lines, without the premium price.
What’s the minimum contract term?
We have a minimum term of three months for the subscription service, with a 30 day cancellation period. The ‘Pay Monthly’ service is subject to a minimum 12 month term and then a 30 day cancellation period.
What support is available?
First level support calls or emails are answered 9 – 5 during normal business hours.
Once I place an order, how quickly can I be up and running?
This will depend on whether you wish to aggregate existing connections or whether new lines or services, such as ADSL to an existing telephone line, need to be installed.
Once the lines to be aggregated are in place, it normally takes less than an hour to install the bonding-enabled routers and activate the service.
After we have received your order routers are dispatched typically within 2 to 3 working days.
What do I get when I order the service?
You typically have delivered bonding enabled routers (one per line), LAN Switch, a quick install guide and configuration details.
Why do you charge an ongoing subscription fee?
As we do not own the transit or datacenter, we effectively pay for every bit of data that is sent across the network. To ensure that our service never becomes the performance bottleneck, we provide an uncontended network using multiple tier one providers and premium co-location facilities which does not come cheap!
Are the bonding routers wireless?
For the bonding to work we have had to disable the wireless functionality on the routers, so you will require a separate device for wireless access.