I am technically knowledgeable enough to know that this most likely isn't possible, BUT, I am curious just the same (it must be put to rest). Is there anything preventing us from creating a means to use two different internet connections, like two different ethernet cards or an ethernet card and a wireless card, and using the two IP addresses at once for more internet speed?

My specific situation is that I would like to use both a wireless card and my wired connection on my machine running Kubuntu 13.10. Using two internet connections would allow me to do things like:

  • Torrent and browse simultaneously without lag
  • Open Firefox with multiple tabs faster (?)
  • Download a couple or a few large files at once double time
  • Increase overall internet connection speed (?)
  • Can you expand on your practical interest in the question? "Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do." – minopret Oct 29 '13 at 1:11
  • Are there actually two Internet connections involved? Or do both the wireless and wired connections actually access the very same Internet connection? – David Schwartz Jan 21 at 3:58

Without a setup (bonding) from the access provider side, you cannot increase speed this way. It can increase volume (if doing two things at once, or running a network with multiple users through a router which has two uplinks, dividing user traffic between them) but a single connection is limited to going over a single link at the speed of that link - if there's only one connection, the other link will sit idle. The common method for doing so is to use a dedicated (PC-based) router machine which supports two uplinks - it must be possible to pull this off on a non-router machine, but it would be a headache compared to using an easily configured router (given that you are contemplating having the ready cash to throw at an extra internet connection.)

  • +1 for clarifying the difference between speed and volume. If load balanced, it would appear to a single machine to have more "speed", but that's not the technical reality. – brandonscript Oct 29 '13 at 6:41
  • On distinct advantage for the hardware approach is that it can also run squid (or some other web cache) which can significantly speed up anything that would otherwise be downloaded more than once. – Ecnerwal Oct 29 '13 at 13:08
  • Isn't it possible to download files in fragments? Could such a functionality be used to download large files faster, by splitting it up and using different connections for different fragments? Do any programs do this? I note that curl has --range, which seems to be half the work (if a program could utilize that with multiple internet connections). – Kat Jan 8 '16 at 22:10

There's software that does it, but it works only in some situations

What you're looking as is essentially load balancing over multiple internet connections - apparently on linux, its supported through adaptive load balancing, but the setup seems seriously involved and may need a custom kernel. If this is 'local' connection bonding may work as well, but requires control, and work on both sides of the network connection

Connectify dispatch is probably the 'easiest' way to do this on a windows system - it takes care of most of the details automatically, and speeds up some downloads. If nothing else, it lets you use multiple connections as once. There's currently an ad-supported free version if you just want to test this out.


You need to use load balancing or channel bonding

Load balancing is easier to setup and is more compatible. It works with all network devices, but it doesn't guarantee that speed will double (or a multiple of the number of connections) since packets from a socket to another socket still goes through a single connection. The throughput of the whole system is multiplied, but for a single app then only apps that can take advantage of multiple connections may be faster

There are both hardware load balancers (quite expensive) and software load balancers. Without any 3rd party software Windows 7 and below can already use multiple internet connections with a manual metric settings and some configurations. It isn't real load balancing but it basically works. For more information read

Windows 8 and up can automatically use multiple connections without user concerns. You can also use Connectify Dispatch like Journeyman Geek said (update: it's now discontinued and changed to Speedify which is a channel bonding solution, see below) for simpler config and better results

Alternatively use a Linux virtual machine that's specifically set up for load balancing as a proxy, VPN server or something like that. The most famous one being pfSense

Channel bonding works at a lower level, hence requires setup on both ends. That means it'll be less compatible, but all applications will enjoy the benefit of faster connection

As noted above, instead of Dispatch now you'll use Speedify

Dispatch is no longer being sold as we have transitioned to Speedify (http://speedify.com). Speedify is a completely new product, separate from Dispatch. Whereas Dispatch was a load balancer that could only help with downloads using multiple connections (BitTorrent, or downloads using a download manager), Speedify is connection bonding, with support for combining more types of Internet connections and works for more of the things you do online, including regular file downloads, video streaming, and uploads. Try Speedify for free today!


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