How to setup a home network with two internet connection

This article explains two different methods to setup a home network which has two internet connection. There would be scenarios where a home has two internet connection. This could either be for better performance or for redundancy. One internet connection could be used as a backup connection or it can be used to setup a home office network.

There are two options by which you can setup a home network for two internet connection. This would be setting up of two separate routers or use a dual wan router Dual WAN Routers – Click here which has dual interfaces for accommodating multiple internet connection.

Method 1 – Using two wireless routers

This is the most common setup method. In this method each internet connection is connected to individual routers. The home would have two networks. The users in the home network would have to manually connect to whichever internet they require access to using the wireless router. The users connected to each of the networks would be on two different logical networks.




Method 2 – Using Dual WAN routers

The second method is to use a Dual WAN router. Dual WAN routers have two WAN interfaces as the name suggest. This is used for connecting two internet connection. In this setup, a single router is used and there is only one network at home. The internet connections can be configured in the following two ways on the router.

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Load Balancing

The two internet connections can be configured for load balancing. This would ensure that the internet connections are balanced efficiently and the best available internet link would be chosen and traffic distributed evenly. When users connect to the internet, the router would efficiently distribute traffic through the best available link and this would improve the efficiency of the home network significantly.

Back up

In this configuration, Internet connections can be configured as backup. This would ensure a primary and secondary connection at home. In the event of primary failing, the secondary would take over. Not that this method does not use load balancing. There is only one internet connection which is used at any point of time.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

If load balancing is not your priority and manual connection to each of the routers as and when required is not a problem, then method 1 would not be a bad choice. If you do not want to manually connect and is looking for optimal usage of both internet connections, then method 2 would be a better choice.

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Method 2 would also save the time of setting up of two routers as well and will also be better from a manageability perspective. Method 2 would also require that both the internet connections are on the same location. If they are setup on two floors, then appropriate cabling would be required for connecting the WAN interface on the Dual WAN router to the internet link.

IP Network Design

The IP network include parameters like TCP/IP network address configuration for the routers, clients and also configuration of DHCP servers on the routers. The details of the IP address which needs to be configured on the routers, devices and dhcp servers on the routers are explained in detail in the below section.

Using two wireless routers

When two wireless routers are used, there are two physical networks created. Each of the routers should be on different IP networks.

TCP/IP network design for router 1

Assign the network address of 192.168.1.0/24 for router 1. The TCP/IP address configuration for the devices connecting to the routers and details of configuration on the router is provided below. It is assumed that there are 10 devices which require connectivity to the home network.

The IP address for each clients connecting to router 1 is assigned the range of 192.168.1.3-192.168.1.13. The IP addresses 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.2 is set aside for the router and the DHCP server.

The subnet mask of devices on the network would be 255.255.255.0. The default gateway and dns server IP address assigned to the devices on the network would be 192.168.1.1 , which is the IP address of router 1.

The TCP/IP address is provided to the clients using DHCP service on router 1.

TCP/IP network design for router 2

Assign the network address of 192.168.2.0/24 for router 2. The TCP/IP address configuration for the devices connecting to the routers and details of configuration on the router is provided below. It is assumed that there are 10 devices which require connectivity to the home network.

The IP address for each clients connecting to router 2 is assigned the range of 192.168.2.3-192.168.2.13. The IP addresses 192.168.2.1 and 192.168.2.2 is set aside for the router and the DHCP server.

The subnet mask of devices on the network would be 255.255.255.0. The default gateway and dns server IP address assigned to the devices on the network would be 192.168.2.1 , which is the IP address of router 1.

The TCP/IP address along with details like subnet mask, default gateway, dns server is provided to the clients using DHCP service on router 2.

Using dual wan routers

When dual wan routers are used, there is only 1 network, as opposed to two networks when multiple routers are used. The details of TCP/IP network design is provided below.

TCP/IP network design

The network address of 192.168.1.0/24 is assigned for the network. The LAN IP address of the router is configured as 192.168.1.1. The IP address of the clients on the network are assigned IP address in the range 192.168.1.3-192.168.1.13. The IP address 192.168.1.2 is set aside as the DHCP server IP address.

The subnet mask of devices on the network would be 255.255.255.0. The default gateway and dns server IP address assigned to the devices on the network would be 192.168.2.1 , which is the IP address of the dual wan router. The IP addresses are provided to the clients using DHCP service on the dual wan router.

It can be observed that, from a configuration and manageability perspective, using a dual wan router would be less time consuming and complex as opposed to configuring multiple routers for setting up the network.

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