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Can I use different internet connections using a switch? For example, I have three internet connections at home:

  1. PTCL Broadband
  2. Wateen
  3. Wi-Tribe

I have a 5 socket switch. If you put all internet connection's cables into the switch and connect another cable for my laptop, is it possible to access all of the internet connections via this one cable?

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What would the purpose of this setup be? Load-balancing? Failover? When would you select one connection, and when another? –  Ansgar Wiechers Sep 4 '12 at 12:48

3 Answers 3

Not through the switch itself, no. You'll need a DSL router that supports multiple lines and can priorisise traffic depending on load and capability of the line. You could have a managed switche and use methods to give ports 1 and 2 ISP 1, ports, 3 and 4 ISP 2 and port 5 ISP 3.

Bear in mind that this equpiment is not cheap.

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Is this effectively 'load balancing'? Would you need to alter the QoS if so? –  Dave Sep 4 '12 at 11:00
    
Yes it is load balancing. Not using this sort of setup before I can't say. –  tombull89 Sep 4 '12 at 11:25

No, a switch wouldn't be able to help you since the data that you're working with is higher in the OSI reference model than a switch can handle. Switches are only able to think about packet transfers between hosts attached to that switch. A switch's most common question is, "Is this packet destined for a host connected to me?" If the answer is "no" then the switch will push it to the "Outbound" or "Uplink" port and be done with it. Switches only understand MAC addresses.

A router on the other hand can work with IP addresses. With IP addresses you can get routing tables which provide information about how to get from one IP address to another. If you were to plug in all three ISPs to one router (and the router could handle that sort of thing) then the router would see three possible paths for data to flow over. It would then use some routing algorithms to decide which path to send data over.

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http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/523076551/dispatch-the-internet-faster

this project might be interesting to you. its a work in progress though.

if you want to do so with a non expensive router try DD-Wrt or OpenWrt and some linksys router (just check that it has more than 2mb flash or you will cut yourself trying to configure micro builds) :) its a regular linux box, fully configurable just the official firmware is very limited.

but remember not all connections can be spanned on all available WANs. (example : torrents will sky-rocket but you will have same ping in DotA :F )

if you want a professional solution i dont think its something you can explain via message :P at least idk how ^^

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