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Well, the title says what I'd like to achieve: I'd like some workstations connect through my 1st internet account and some through my second one.

  1. The workstations are in a workgroup. They're not in a domain. So They don't have a server. One workstation has the internet connection and shares the internet through the whole LAN.
  2. I have 2 ADSL internet accounts on that workstation.
  3. The workstation's OS is Windows XP SP2.

I think I should define two http proxy servers on the workstation (probably via a software) and set the IE/Firefox proxy settings on each workstation to the appropriate proxy server. e.g. If I want station A to connect via ADSL1 I should set the proxy settings for ADSL1 as I have defined it in my workstation.
My question is:

  1. is my approach correct? Do I need to use a third party software to be able to achieve what I have described or can I just use Windows connection sharing features?
  2. What if I have to connect via ftp/telnet/etc? should I define other proxy servers and set the appropriate values in workstations as well?
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

That's one approach...but it doesn't solve other protocols.

if you just want to load balance over the two networks it's as simple as making sure the route cost is the same...route /? for help i think.

The other possibility is to run a linux router in a VM and bridge network connections to the VM so you have a fully configurable router running on the XP host hardware.

Yet another approach is to make everything happen over socks proxies(this can handle any socks aware app or you can try a socks wrapper). You could then run 2 different socks proxies that forward over different links.

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Thanks for your complete answer. – Kamyar Dec 14 '10 at 13:30

Connect each router to your switch and make sure they have different IPs in the same subnet. To define which internet connection is used by a particular machine, set its default gateway value to the corresponding router.

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Will workstations be able to see eachother in the network if I use your approach? Group1 workstations are connected to Hub1 and Group2 workstations are connected to Hub 2. – Kamyar Dec 14 '10 at 15:10
@Kamyar they should...broadcasts still work and direct connections still work...if i were going to take this approach i would look at multiple dhcp servers with different ip ranges in the same subnet and static mac to ip mappings – RobotHumans Dec 14 '10 at 15:22
Thank you. I'll definitely give it a try. – Kamyar Dec 14 '10 at 15:27

Please also refer to @aking1012's answer.

If you are not familiar with routing setups, you can consider dual-WAN routers like the infamous Cisco RV042 Dual WAN VPN Router. These offer reasonable performance at ~$150.

Similar products exist from other brands, and you can also consider dd-wrt on certain router hardware to get similar solution at a lower cost. ( refer to Dual-WAN for simple round-robin load equalization for an example )

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