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How To Combine Two or More Internet Sources: Bonding, Load Balancing, Failover

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So, you’ve got two or more internet sources and you want to combine them to create one faster, more reliable connection? Here’s how to do it. 

Bonding

Combining multiple internet sources into one connection is called bonding the connection, and it’s not quite as simple as you might assume. Because internet data is sent and received from your device, if you split up those data packets and send them over multiple internet connections, you will need a server on the other end to combine them again. 

The easiest way to do this is by installing software on your computer like Speedify and running multiple internet connections into that computer. If you want your bonded internet connection to work throughout your home, you’ll want to install Speedify on a router or a Raspberry Pi and connect your internet into that. 

Of course, Speedify will cost a monthly fee, so many users will be looking for a cheaper option. 

Load Balancing

The next step down from bonding is called load balancing. You can buy a very inexpensive load balancing router and connect multiple internet sources to it, and the router will use each source for different devices. For example, it may use one internet source for a computer and another for video streaming on another device. 

The benefit of load balancing is that it’s easy and affordable, but unlike bonding, it isn’t capable of speeding up things like a single large upload or download or streaming a video. 

Failover

Maybe you don’t want to combine multiple internet sources, but you want to use a second as a backup in case the first fails. This is called a failover system. Load balancing routers can be set to “failover” rather than load balancing if you have a data cap on one of your internet sources and you only want to use it in emergencies. 

Another option is a wireless router that has a SIM card slot and automatic failover. The Netgear Nighthawk AX4 will use your standard internet source via Ethernet, but if that connection fails, it will automatically switch over to the 4G network from the SIM card. 





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