So, my internet connection at home isn't as good as I'd like and I'm at least 3-4 years away from getting anything better in this area.
So, until then, I'm looking at alternatives.
One thing I've come across is 'sharedband' bonding. So, this company offers a service whereby you get yourself 2 broadband lines through BT as normal, they then send you 2 of their routers, custom created for their system. The 2 routers work in concert with each other, splitting the data equally across the 2 lines and sending them through a tunnel to sharedband, where it is reassembled and pumped out to the internet.
The cost for this seems to be:
2 x BT lines
2 x Broadband costs
2 x Sharedband routers
1 x Subscription charge with 'sharedband'
+ Any setup fees.
So, for me, this would come to £70 a month for double my current speed.
Anyone else ever done this? Has anyone looked at it for their school?
Looking at it this way - with BT business broadband etc... and 4 lines, a school like ours would get around 60Mbps down, 6 up for a total of around £3200 a year, plus around £800 one off for router gear. For a small school, this doesn't seem terrible!
Anyone got any thoughts?
I manage a company that specialises in broadband bonding solutions and we provide the Sharedband service as a partner as well as a range of standalone router devices from an award winning, US based market leader in Broadband bonding technology (Mushroom Networks Inc.).
Your summary above of the Sharedband solution is accurate. In essence you purchase for each line a relatively low-cost router, with or without an ADSL modem depending on the router model. These routers run specific Sharedband software that enable them to bond the data over the lines. You should be able to continue to utilise your existing LAN firewall, routers and switches. The service is based on a monthly subscription, so cost of entry is relatively low, the purchase of the routers, self-install or setup service, broadband line rental and Sharedband service rental. There are some limitations, the maximum bandwidth across all connections is limited to @ 80Mbps and the subscription service has a monthly cap in terms of data volumes.
Alternatively you can install a standalone bonding device. For example, the Mushroom Networks Inc. 'Truffle Lite' will support 1 or 2 lines as standard and can be upgraded to support a total of 4, maximum throughput is 65Mbps. The 'Truffle' will support 4 broadband connections as standard and can be upgraded to support 8 or 12, maximum throughput is 940Mbps, standard is 300Mbps. Bonding capabilities depend on configuration and service options, a monthly subscription is payable for full bonding capabilities. Without a subscription bonding of all downstream 'HTTP' traffic is possible. Traffic shaping, data prioritisation and QoS is highly configurable making the units suitable for environments with a mix of data, voice (VoIP) and video traffic. The products also include the ability to 'peer' to one another to create, secure, virtual leased lines for site to site interconnection.
There is a lot of choice in terms of standalone router platforms, some built for purpose, others based on Open Source software running on PC architectures.
Other considerations include the number of concurrent sessions, static IP requirements, failover and resilience.
If I can help by answering any questions or you require further background please do not hesitate to contact me, without any obligation of course!
Hope this helps.
Broadband Bonding - Velocomms Ltd