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Kind of a crazy question, but...

I am looking into getting a backup internet connection. I have DSL and ClearWire can now reach 4-5 meg speeds. I was thinking about getting that service as a backup connection, but I am wondering if I do that if I can combine the bandwidth to basically double my up and down speed?

Will this work, and anything special I would need to do?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You would need an outbound load-balancing router. pfSense is a free router package that you can run on an extra computer if you have one lying around.

This will not magically double your speed, but it will double your bandwidth. All of your connections will still go at 4-5Mbps, but you'll be able to have two connections running at 4-5Mbps at the same time. You could separate them manually by computer or something, but the advantage of a load-balancing router is it'll select the uplink that has the most available bandwdith. You can also set it to use one as a backup in case one fails, and automatically switch as soon as that's the case.

For the biggest improvements, make sure your web browser supports http-pipelining and has it enabled.

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You would need to bond your internet connections. But this would not double your speed due to the way the tcp/ip protocol works. It would single out one of the isp's for say a download. What this would do is what you already stated be a redundant line.

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I have used the Linksys RV042 in this situation. It allows you to load balance two internet connections. The only way to make it double your connections speed is if you have multiple computers accessing the internet, in that case the load balancing would separate the traffic over the two links based upon which link had more available bandwidth.

Bonding two connections to create a virtual larger pipe would require you to have a single provider for both links and the correct equipment at both ends that is capable and properly configured for link bonding. Your configuration would not be compatible with this having two different companies involved.

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