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Can I combine two LANs into one to get double speed?

I live in a small apartment building and we can catch each-others wifi networks. We have different service provides and were wondering if we could amalgamate our networks so that we could use each others bandwidth transparently.

I would assume this would reduce latency.

Does anybody have a tutorial on how to fuse together wifi networks for a throughput increase? The target machine is a Linux computer.

EDIT

My work makes me do lots of 1TB flat file-transfers, so I believe my motivation is sound.

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Dave M, Canadian Luke, Shiki, Randolph West Aug 25 '12 at 21:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This would only reduce latency if you measured the latency of both networks and used the one with the lower latency. For a single TCP connection, it is impossible to use both ISPs at the same time because they will have different public IPs. For UDP "connections" (e.g. in online games), the same would apply. –  LTR Aug 25 '12 at 19:46
    
Can I get all 4 routers in my building to have the same ip, similar to when you do a trace-route on Google. –  Mikhail Aug 25 '12 at 20:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Although Im sure this is technically possible, I wouldnt recommend it.

First off, it wouldnt reduce latency. Latency is the time it takes for information to travel from one location to another, not the amount of data. Just because you have a bigger pipe, does not mean the data is flowing faster, its just that there is more of it.

Just because you have two connections to the internet, does not mean you use them both concurrently. When you download something from the internet, it will pick one path for traffic, say from yours. If you start downloading something else and it takes your neighbors path, you will benefit from a speed increase. But if your neighbor starts downloading something, then any benefits would be lost.

On top of that, 802.11g has a max speed of 54 Mbps, however its rare to obtain that speed. If you both have 20 Mbps download from your ISP, you have saturated your wireless networks capacity. Not to mention if he decides to transfer something wireless within his own network, then your capacity is lost.

If you really wanted to do something like this, it would be much easier to purchase a Small Office Home Office (SOHO) load balancing router and connect the wired internet connections into it. At that point the aggregation would be at the fastest point, not at the wireless level. Then you could each plug your wireless routers into it and still have separate networks.

some new thoughts:

I think you would be better off just paying a few dollars more a month for higher bandwidth for yourself. For all you know, your neighbors will start torrenting movies and eating all the bandwidth. Not to mention if they get caught, you might be culpable, as it might be happening over your network.

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I use full wireless N, which is ~ 300 Mbps. There are 4 internet contracts rated at ~10 Mbps. This SOHO thing looks interesting but our apartments aren't connected. –  Mikhail Aug 25 '12 at 20:57

A typical Wifi adapter can only be associated to one network at a time.

So you first need a unique adapter for each Wifi network you want to be simultaneously part of.

@LTR is correct, because a TCP connection is only going to "work" over one network. You need something like SCTP to do what you want; unfortunately it isn't in wide use (except possibly for SIP)

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