What is a dual wan router and how does it work

A dual wan router has two WAN interfaces or port as compared with a normal router. These routers are commonly used in scenarios where two internet connections from different service providers needs to be setup and integrated on the network. Common FAQ.s related to dual wan routers are answered at the end of the post.

How does a dual wan router work

Dual wan routers have two WAN ports. Each of the WAN port would connect to different internet service providers. The router predominantly supports two modes which are load balancing and back up mode.

In load balancing mode, the router would be using both the WAN connections simultaneously. The best available internet connection would be assigned to the users on the network at any point of time.

In backup mode, only one internet connection would be used at a time. The second connection would only be used when the first connection is not available. All the users on the network would be accessing the internet using one internet connection.

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What is the use of dual wan routers

Dual WAN routers are used in scenarios where access to internet is critical and a backup connection is always needed. Assume a home or small business network which has two internet connections. There are two options for setup.

The first option is to use two separate routers each for an internet connection. If one of the internet connections fails, you would need to manually connect to the other network.

When dual wan routers are used, the users on the network would be unaware of the unavailability of the internet since the router would take care of it. The cumbersome process where users are required to manually change to a different wifi router is avoided with the use of dual wan routers.

Dual WAN router FAQ

1. How many internal networks should you configure when dual wan routers are used

There would only be one internal network. Dual WAN routers have one LAN interface. The LAN interface would have a DHCP server which would allocate IP address from a single network to the users.

For example, if there are 20 users on the network, the network address 192.168.1.0/24 can be used where 192.168.1.1 would be assigned as the default gateway of users on the network and IP addresses from 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.21 would be allocated for the users on the network using the DHCP service on the router.

2. I have two internet connections at my home. The 1st connection is setup on the ground floor and the second connection on the 1st floor. How can I setup a dual wan router is this scenario.

You can setup the dual wan router on the ground floor and then pull a cable from the first floor to the ground floor which would connect the second internet connection to the WAN port on the dual wan router.

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3. Can dual wan routers work only with 1 internet connection or is 2 mandatory

No. They can work with 1 internet connection. Two internet connections are not mandatory.

4. Do dual wan router also have wifi inbuilt in them

Yes. There are dual wan routers with inbuilt wifi in them.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using dual wan routers when compared with a setup which uses two routers to accommodate multiple internet connection.

Dual wan routers would provide seamless internet connection when there are two internet connections on the network. Users need not manually connect when then there is no internet connection.

But dual wan routers can be a single point of failure , since if the router fails, then internet access would not be available. But some dual wan routers have fail over capability where on the event of a failure , the second router would be used. In this case you would need to buy two dual wan routers.

6. Which are the vendors which manufacture dual wan routers

Vendors like Cisco , Peplink, DLINK Trendnet manufacture dual wan routers. Check out dual wan routers

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