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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, MLPPP routers in Technical; We're possibly in the process of getting bonded adsl - looking for suggestions for router hardware for mlppp. I've been ...
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    MLPPP routers

    We're possibly in the process of getting bonded adsl - looking for suggestions for router hardware for mlppp.
    I've been looking at projects like tomato mlppp - but that seems to only support older routers - any suggestions?

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    You may want to look into using a small appliance running pfSense which supports MLPPP giving you a pretty powerful routing platform. Would just require a few ADSL2+ modems such as a Netgear DM111P (can be had as refurbs, good modems though). Then you'd need a low-powered PC with one NIC for LAN, one port for each WAN you plan to use. Do make sure that your ISP supports MLPPP before doing anything though, as thats a small minority here in the UK.
    Alternatively you can find a few providers around in the UK which provide multilink VPN based solutions where you set up two or more vanilla ADSL connections, and then layer VPN's over the top which are aggregated at the service provider and provide 'bonded' connection. A potential bonus of this method is you can use different ISP's on different lines, allowing for more redundancy if a line should go down.

    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    We're possibly in the process of getting bonded adsl - looking for suggestions for router hardware for mlppp.
    I've been looking at projects like tomato mlppp - but that seems to only support older routers - any suggestions?
    edit: can't spell..
    Last edited by deebee; 24th April 2012 at 03:54 PM.

  3. Thanks to deebee from:

    caffrey (24th April 2012)

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    I looked at pfsense earlier, wanted to keep away from another pc in the cab - but might look at this idea - cheers

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    It's never ideal to put a PC, or indeed home-targeted modems into a cabinet but at times its not something you can get away from without spending a great deal more on a complete product - which I'm sure is out there, probably some cisco routers with ADSL2+ interface cards in them, cost is bound to be far higher than a put-together system.
    There are a number of vendors in the UK that produce rackmounted low power machines for using pfSense (or m0n0wall etc) within a rack. Don't need much in the way of CPU power, just a few NICs!

    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    I looked at pfsense earlier, wanted to keep away from another pc in the cab - but might look at this idea - cheers

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    looks like its a pc in the cab, now to find something cheap enough...

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    There are a few atom based mini-itx boards around with a couple of gigE ports on them, Jetway do one with dual gigE (JNC9C-550-LF), and a small daughterboard that provides a further three gigE ports, total cost around £150 with the IO plate.
    Just need to add a small case/psu to that, some memory, and a tiny SSD.
    More than likely under £250 would get you a complete system with a dual-core Atom, plenty of grunt for routing a pretty hefty connection. Power usage should be under 25W too at a rough guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    looks like its a pc in the cab, now to find something cheap enough...

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    Look at the http://www.firebrick.co.uk/ stuff that supports bonding.

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    oof price thing is, currently running 2 x schoolguardians already , so no need for excessive firewall stuff just mlppp that can handle 2x26mbit (ish) (BT infinity FTTC).

    Ive found an old gb-750 appliance in the back of the cupboard just need a CF to try it, doubt it's up to the task

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    Any PC with three NIC's would do the job then, reason I suggested those mini-itx boards is they can be put in very compact cases which would take up less space in your rack - that and, power usage is very low on those!

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    A friend of mine just pointed out that MikroTik RouterBoards with RouterOS are able to act as an MLPPP client, under £80. I've no experience myself but that could be an extremely cheap and compact system for accomplishing what you're after, without eating much valuable rack space.

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    I'm pretty much a newbie at this, am I wrong in assuming I *need* MLPPP? Been trying to read up as much as possible, is it LAGG with LACP I need? Basically will have two modems going to a pfsense box.
    I built a test machine this morning to play around with pfsense, before committing to purchasing hardware - seems ok to use

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    I'm a huge fan of pfSense, been using it since version 0.3 or so back in 2006. Even hosted a mirror for them for a while. The guys in their IRC channel are very helpful if you get stuck, and the forums are a good place to get help.

    As for your requirement for MLPPP, it entirely depends on what you're trying to achieve exactly. If you want to just get two connections working and people going over both, you could get by with a load balancer on pfSense, along with two ADSL modems such as I said originally. This would work 'ok' for web browsing, but ultimately, some traffic would go over each connection, but one download stream could never break past the bandwidth available over a single line, in your example of tow 26mbit (ish) FTTC connections, no single user could get more than 26mbit down on a single download. You also get the issue of being on the internet with two different IP's. This shouldnt pose a big issue for general web browsing, but it can cause issues with SSL and other site logins where they check to see if you're on a given address. Also if you access any services which filter based on source IP, it can be hassle to have two addresses.

    MLPPP solves both shortcomings as packets are split evenly over the available links, allowing you the sum of all the links bandwidth to be accessed by a single stream (2x 26mbit so 52mbit 'connection'), packets are then reconstituted at the ISP end, and go out to the internet as a single address. This has a few advantages, but as I said, relies on ISP support for using it.

    LACP/LAGG isnt quite the same as MLPPP, and requires the far end of whatever interfaces you have LAGG/LACP running on (PPPoE interfaces in this case) to be running LACP/LAGG at the far end in order to coordinate a 'bonded' connection. Not sure its even possible over a WAN link, and still gives the limitation of a single stream only getting as much bandwidth as the link it happens to go over, its generally something you'd use to increase bandwidth/increase resilience between on-site switches/routers.

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    Ta for all the help, appreciated.

    Think i'm just getting confused with the connections, the 2nd line (bt infinity hasnt been installed yet) I'm just trying to pre-empt it and get familiar with the terminology, it's not something you do (well I) everyday

    Basically two BT modems will be installed, I'm assuming they will be routers (not entirely sure) so rj11 from the wall to the router, with rj45 out - these connect to a pfsense box with cat5 via two nics which does the job of bonding them (aiming for bonding rather than load balancing) using mlppp and exits via a 3rd nic (maybe to a switch) then to the smoothwall boxes, then internal domain.

    From what i've read Ill need to set the modem/routers up in bridge mode for pppoe passthrough for authentication in pfsense - think i'm starting to grasp it... ;p

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    If you're getting BT Infinity, I doubt you can do MLPPP - unless BT support it (I'm not aware they do..). Also you can just hook pfSense straight into the Openreach FTTC modem (forgetting the existence of the home/business hubs they provide) and get pfSense to sort the PPPoE connections to BT directly.
    If you want to end up with a 'bonded' connection over an ISP which doesnt support MLPPP, there are still options such as I touched on lightly with my first reply to you, which is getting a service from a suitable provider which you bond muiltiple VPN's together each end to give you the bonded connection. CCS Leeds do such a service - which is used by a friend of mine with pretty good success. I suggest you contact them before doing much else to discuss the exact setup that would be required. It *WILL* be an additional monthly subscription to achieve it I'm afraid. Again, assuming BT do not support MLPPP.

    Edit: I am referring to BT Broadband here - as the ISP, vs BT Openreach who provide the physical infrastructure.
    Last edited by deebee; 26th April 2012 at 03:24 PM.

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    It's what they sold us, was one of the options for faster internet

    BT Business Direct - Sharedband: Bonded ADSL Internet

    was weird tho, when asked for what to use to bond the connection they didn't know....

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