Multiple Internet Connections

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Is there any way to connect a single LAN to the Internet with two routers. I have two SDSL lines for my business and I am wondering if I could not just use two different routers on the same LAN and just send traffic to one or the other by setting up custom routing instructions in the DHCP server or on the individual Servers. I have used a single router with multiple connections, but was unable to get it to work the way I wanted with my Citrix Servers. Short of answering this questions, could you recommend a good book which may speak to this problem. Thanks, Gary
ASKED: January 30, 2006  5:08 PM
UPDATED: April 12, 2011  8:08 AM

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If you’re trying to do it with inexpensive off-the-shelf consumer/SOHO grade routers, you’ll just get frustrated. You’d need a more programmable (and more costly) router to route the traffic through your two available connections (or perhaps use a Linux box running “route2″ as your router).

Simple-minded routers have a single-rooted connectivity tree and only the simplest rules for directing which packets are to be sent to which port. I suppose you could set up a bunch of carefully worked out static routes that would enable you to send some traffic over one SDSL line and other traffic out the other one, but it’d be a pretty fragile arrangement.

Once you add Citrix to the mix, I’m afraid you’ve blown past the point where I can give advice based on my own experience.

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  • Ttully
    Are you trying to have specific servers use an alternate router or is it random? If you have specific servers that you want to direct to a different router then give these servers an alternate default gateway. You can do it in DHCP using reservations or assign it in TCP/IP. You could also create two scopes on two different DHCP servers and give each a different default gateway. Terrence
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  • Vbspotnet
    I am not exactly sure what type of traffic you are desiring to route through both routers or why you need two. You would have to provide more information to get a specific response, however, you can use the configuration that you have described. I would draw out the design to be sure that you need two routers if you are on the same LAN. As for a book that may assist you following is one that may be of some help. It does not speak directly to your scenario, but does contain a chapter on Static and dynamic routes. It was written for a Cisco router that would have much more intelligence than a COTS (commercial of the shelf) brand, but the concepts are the same. I hope this helps. Cisco IP Routing: Packet Forwarding and Intra-domain Routing Protocols ISBN: 0201604736 By Alex Zinin. Published by Addison Wesley Professional.
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  • Petroleumman
    Hello, What are you trying to accomplish in your configuration? Are you trying to perform load balancing of your internet traffic or possibly use one pipe in and one out, or are you looking to set up a failover scenario? Where does Citrix come into play? Citrix is primarily a bandwidth throttle and most often operates on the LAN. How do you want to incorporate Citrix with your internet traffic? More detail would go a long way in helping answer your question. Good luck!
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  • Dfng2002
    You may need a designer router, Netopia has a SDSL router that does two SDSL hook-ups simultaniously. As for the rest they have already asked, what exactly are you trying to accomplish?
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  • Bobkberg
    Linksys makes a nice box for this purpose, the model RV 082 I've installed one of these at one customer site and it works very nicely. The inside interface is the common gateway for all systems, and the box will load balance outgoing traffic across two WAN connections. If you've got round-robin DNS entries on the outside (assuming fixed IP addresses) then it can load balance incoming traffic as well. I found this solution after they got frustrated with the work required to support their Pix. I also benefitted (if you can call it that) since they gave me the Pix for free. Bob
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  • Paul144hart
    If you're trying to dedicate one connection for Citrix traffic, you can add a specfic route to those servers for the 'alternate' router. (outgoing). If you are separating inbound traffic, then have people use the each external IP for each router for different purposes, the traffic will go back out on them. If load balancing is what you are trying do, then I would go with adding a linux box as IP forwarding 'cop' to the two routers.
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  • BullwinkleJMoose
    For the most part, I whole heartedly agree with McGiness. However, if you really want to experiment (hack away at this) just to see if you can make it work, I doubt you will find your situation covered in a book. You are attempting to use the routers in a nonstandard way -- inotherwords not the way they were intended to be used on a network. Routers have an inside and an outside. The inside faces your LAN and the outside faces the rest of your Intranet, WAN, or the Internet. I'm using OR in the exclusive sense. Why would you attempt to use two routers in parallel. It is redundant. Even if you could tweek them to act somewhat independently of each other, there is really no need since one router can do the same thing. Actually, if I think I understand what you are tryng to acheive, it should be done the traditional way since routers are designed to work in a serial fashion so that each one is placed either upstream or downstream of each other on the wider network. A simple book network design can ilustrate this. If you decide you don't need both routers after all, I suggest you either keep the extra as a spare or sell it. Let me know if this advice was helpful.
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  • Gary767
    Wow, I am impressed with quality and helpfulness of your replies. You understood more than I said. Thanks. Here is a little more information. The reason I have two SDSL lines(each with 5 static IPS) is simply to have more bandwidth. As one of you mentioned Citrix is a bandwidth hog. I have three Citrix servers(serving a single application) in my office serving 50 or less remote users at any given time. I also have 5 to ten office users on the same LAN who use the Internet to get mail, for searches and other stuff. I thought that I could use the extra SDSL line as the least expensive way to get more bandwidth for the Citrix users. My hope was that I could somehow combine the two lines for all uses, but routing to the Citrix servers seems to require that all get routed through a single gateway. So now I am thinking that the best I can do is to have one line for the office users and one for the remote Citrix users. This at least would dedicate one 1.5m line to the citrix users, keeping the office users out of their bandwidth. I have bought an inexpensive router(Linksys RV042) that I had hoped would do the job, but have yet to get it to work. The Citrix traffic cannot pass through. (Either it won't work or I don't know how to configure the port range forwading and one to one NAT).If you are still with me,Thanks. I know this is a lot. Gary
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  • Stevesz
    I'll second the person who suggested the Linksys RV series router. They have two WAN ports that can be used either for load balancing or for seperate purposes. In your case, you have have one IP and router port dedicated to your Citrix server and the other for general use. We have been deploying these routers for about a year now to our clients, and they are easy to set up, and they just work. The only addition configuration we have had to do was when the client had to open more ports for a specific purpose, or some other business related change. They don't break down under a heavy load, as I have seen with consumer grade routers used in a business environment--they just run. Steve
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  • WiFiMnCFL
    Personally for security reasons I reccomend using a piece of equipment manufactured by Net Integration Technoligies which is a specific Debian Based Linux platform with the ability to manage multiple WAN Ethernet connections with a sigle LAN and route traffice dynamically based upon which connection can provide the fasted connectivity. It is also capable of dynamically routing traffic across only one connection should one of them fail. Check it out at the following Website. http://www.net-itech.com Rodger Sweet Central Florida Computer Specialties Leesburg, FL 352-504-4435
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  • Stevesz
    First, setup your 1 to 1 NATIP addresses. Once you have done this, you will then set up your port addresses under th eport forwarding tab. I take it you already know which ports you need to open. Go to setup and forwarding. Now select the service management button. Take a look at the default services to see if they open any of the ports you need. If they do, you'll use those services. If you do not see the ports you need listed, you'll have to create them. Put in the service name (eg.CITRIX1, CITRIX2, etc.), slect the needed protocol (TCP or UDP) and ente the port range. If the ports are not contiguous, then the starting port is teh port number and the ending port is the same port number. Click on add. Proceed to the next port. IF you need both TCP and UDP for the same port, you will need to create a TCP and a UDP entry. When you are done click on save settings. Close this window and you will find yourself back on the forwarding page (well, it sepends on your browser and ho wit handles this--I normally work with tabs). Now select the services you need and enter the internal IP address of the machine, you will need to add each port three times, once for each IP address. Once you have added all your wntries, click on save settings and you should be good to go. Steve
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  • Raphael7
    The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot have more than one router on the same network. You split the networks using the subnet mask. The PC's should be receiving their IP addresses automatically from a DHCP server. So you should only have to reconfigure that. If you don't use a DHCP server and are configuring IP addresses manually then I don't see that you have a choice.
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