Question DSL modem won't connect to load balancing router

Nov 10, 2021
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I'm trying to connect my Starlink and DSL connections to a load balancing router. Starlink connected with no problem. My DSL connected once, then disconnected and won't reconnect. What setting am I missing?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm trying to connect my Starlink and DSL connections to a load balancing router. Starlink connected with no problem. My DSL connected once, then disconnected and won't reconnect. What setting am I missing?
You are missing some significant details. What "load balancing router" ?
How is your DSL provisioned PPPOE ? DHCP?
Can you get the DSL to successfully connect to the router with the Starlink disconnected ?
 
Do both the routers use the same IP subnet on the lan. Most dual wan routers want these different. Most also do not like it if the wan ip subnet is the same as the lan ip subnet.

It is strange it doesn't work with the starlink disconnected. I assume you can connect your pc directly to the DSL router and it will work ?

You are just beginning your challenges setting up a dual wan device. They work good as primary/backup. If you attempt to use both connections at the same time it takes extremely careful configuration. The concept of load balancing traffic to increase capacity doesn't work well because you are using 2 IP addresses at the same time. You will likely see lots of captcha messages even for application that will tolerate running 2 internet connections.
 
Nov 10, 2021
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I will have to check the subnets. The load balancer doesn't allow same WAN/LAN subnets -- it will stop the setup. Believe me, I would rather not be running this, but I have crappy DSL and Starlink drops intermittently. I can't do video conference calls at home on DSL alone, but the Starlink drops aren't acceptable, either. I would use channel bonding software but my company won't allow the download.
 
So first step is to make sure you can still get into the DSL router configuration screens. I would run a factory reset if you can not.

See if the router will show you the status of the DSL line. Maybe there are some logs that have messages as the dsl starts. Most dsl is pretty simple but I would check the ISP web site to see if you need any special configurations. Some you must put in a userid and password.

If the DSL is not coming active I would try router in where the phone line comes into the building. Many of these demark boxes have simple rj11 plugs that connect to your house wires. This will let you eliminate the house wires.....which the ISP is sure to blame.

So normally I do not even mention this because of the huge limitations but since you mentioned channel bonding I will explain it.

There is a vpn called speedify if I remember correctly. They try to pretend that you can actually combine multiple internet connections and get more bandwidth. This is only partially true. It solves the problem of having different IP addresses. So something like your video conference call would not actually drop if one of the connection fail. Both connection appear to come from the same VPN IP.

The new problem is that you get packets out of order because the latency on the 2 paths is different. You could also put a 1500byte packet on the slower link and then send a bunch of smaller packets on the faster link getting the packet very out of order.

The end device does not actually know that the packets are just out of order it thinks the late packet is actually lost and many times will request a retransmission. So you get a lot of extra data being sent. If the packets gets too many packets before it get the one it really wants it will drop the session. Packet out of order is even a larger problem for online games because they do not really have the ability to wait for data.

At least speedify is honest and in the fine print they acknowledge this problem. There solution though is to send all the data on both links....like what...you double the bandwidth but you double the traffic. Why even use the service.

There actually is a way to solve this and companies that have extremely expensive load bonding boxes have solved this. They cost more than most cars so they are not a option for a home user. If you really want this ability what you do is rent a VPN hosting server and then do this yourself. There are free versions of this available. The key difference in this solution is it chops the data into small chucks to avoid some of the delays and reassembles the data and makes sure it is in the proper order. This does not work well for online games because of the extra delay but if you really wanted a dual wan solution that didn't go down for video conferencing it does work fairly well. You would likely use a small PC rather than the load balancing router in your house
 
Nov 10, 2021
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Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I hadn't thought about a factory reset. It does require an ID and password. I would love to try channel bonding but I work on my company's laptop and they won't allow us to download channel bonding software.
 
Nov 10, 2021
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New problem! I was able to connect both Starlink and Centurylink DSL to the load balancer and it worked!!!! Alas, the DSL connection keeps dropping. Any ideas? WAN port for DSL is set at Dynamic IP.

I can send more details if someone has any ideas.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
New problem! I was able to connect both Starlink and Centurylink DSL to the load balancer and it worked!!!! Alas, the DSL connection keeps dropping. Any ideas? WAN port for DSL is set at Dynamic IP.

I can send more details if someone has any ideas.
Bypass the in-house cabling with a brand new cat5 run across the floor to the outside point-of-presence for your DSL provider. Bad wiring is always the easy, first place to test with phone (DSL) type issues.
 

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