Multi-Homing in Windows XP

Network management software
Any ideas about multi-homing multiple conenctions with their own IPs? That is, using multiple NICs (or a single NIC) with different IP addresses on one computer to increase bandwidth. What I am thinking is if I have multiple IP addresses, then I could download on the shared Internet connection alot faster. Because every IP address has to share the same bandwidth, I would basically be getting 2 pieces of pie rather than 1. Any idea on how to combine the 2 IP addresses from separate NICs into one internet access? My experience has left off at only bridging them while only one actually does any Internet downloading. Another way to phrase it would be to say that I have a Cable modem hooked into one ethernet jack, and my school's LAN hooked into another, and a DSL modem hooked into a third. The question would be: how do I use all 3 at the same time getting transfer rates over 1 MB/s instead of the individual 400 KB/s?

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Load balancing, – bridging – network shares.
This gets very complicated very quickly.

A – If you have an existing LAN connection, is it 10 or 100, half or full. Optimize this connection first. If it is embedded, try a ‘smart’ NIC that does some of the processing for you.

B – Peer-2-peer or workgroup or domain? Is ‘File/Printer sharing turned on and why? Multiple IP addresses, especially from different subnets can cause your system to ‘disappear’ from the network, Name resolution problems, vastly increased login times, and possible total system lockup. Be cautious when setting binding order for protocols and adatpters.

C – Processor speed, RAM, HD and interface, Is network spped/bandwidth the major limiting factor.

D – What are you trying to download? Up to 25 MB (i.e. xrays) the limit can be local system. Above that size the factors are usually the gateway, facility pipe size, community pipe size. Depending on where you are 400k is quite respecatable.

E – Most schemes to combine IP sources are for fall-over. If one fails the other takes over. True load balancing will require matching NIC’s and careful system setup. Good luck

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  • JamesTPHP
    First off, I would say that you are most certainly into the area of advanced routing. I would recommend that you have a solid understanding of IP Subnetting and Routing Protocols before you start. What you want to achieve is going to be difficult and time consuming (but sometimes that the fun of it..). That said? While there are cards that allow you to bind multiple IP addresses to a single interface, your cheaper option is 3 separate NICs. Both the cable modem and DSL connects only need an old 10BaseT adapter as they will never push more than 10meg. I would assume you have a built-in 10/100 NIC for your schools NIC. (side bar: your school is most likely going to have a cow if they find our you are doing this, as it will most likely backdoor yours schools entire security perimeter so you might want to find out just how upset they will or might get before you attempt this. I know we have taken corrective actions against employees who attempted similar setups within my organization.) The next problem you will have to resolve is that even if you get all three NICs connected and communicating, your computer is going to try and use the ?best path? for all communications. I will most likely pick the 10/100 adapter and send all traffic over that pipe and ignore the lower speed Cable and DSL links. You will have to try and either change the default Metrics for each card and try to come up with what looks like equal cost paths for all adapters, or you could setup the cards to route only certain address ranges, but this may also defeat your purpose. One option I would investigate before I did too much would be to see if there is some sort of software out there that allows you to load balance across non-equal cost routes at a software layer. This will most likely be much easer than trying to do it by hand. Also I would point out there are some much easier things you can do to increase your download speeds using a single pipe. Things like DNS caching. Optimizing your MTU and DUN settings, and using some sort of downloader that opens multiple sessions for downloads. Any way you go it?s should be a great learning experience. Good Luck.
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