How to improve internet availability and quality

Draytek routers with dual WAN interface, load-balancing and QoS

Offices and stores increasingly depend on the internet for more aspects of their operation:

  • access to applications in the cloud, e.g. accounting, CRM, product information
  • payments systems
  • communication: e-mail, VoIP (Voice over IP), IP videophone
  • remote access to the office (control, monitoring, security)
  • offsite backup
  • offering free Wifi for customers

Problem

Access to the Internet is sometimes not available, or very slow, wasting time, bringing frustration to employees and customers, and damaging the reputation. The problem can have different causes:

  • problem with external internet line (e.g. maintenance by Telenet or Belgacom, failure due to contruction)
  • network saturation by neighbours (when you don't have guaranteed bandwidth)
  • failure of local devices (modem, cheap router) requiring frequent rebooting
  • unavailability of bandwidth due to internal usage (e.g. video streaming)

Solution

Get a router that

  • has better quality and keeps working without rebooting
  • has Dual-WAN failover and load-balancing. Using 2 different internet providers and technologies (e.g. WAN1: Telenet cable modem + WAN2: Belgacom ADSL) brings you high-availability and combined bandwidth with load-balancing.
  • has bandwidth usage management and Quality of Service (QoS), assigning bandwidth with priority as needed (e.g. VoIP, certain applications, certain users)

Most Draytek routers, like the Vigor2925 have 2 or more WANs that can be used as failover, or simultaneously with load-balancing. Some allow you to use the 3G or 4G network as a second WAN. All Draytek routers have bandwidth management and QoS. 

Most of our customers who have Draytek routers have 2 cheap consumer internet connections (asynchronous, no guaranteed bandwidth, dynamic IP address) and have been working like this for multiple year without error. They experience better speeds at lower cost, compared to professional internet connection offerings, and with equal availability.

These routers also can connect directly to the modem via PPPoE, bypassing the limitations of the router often combined with the modem in one box (e.g. Belgacom b-box).

When you need a high speed link between 2 branches (LAN-2-LAN tunnel), they can also do true VPN tunnel bonding (trunking), which gives you the sum of the bandwidths of 2 or more WANs as a single link. This could potentially double the speed (however, it is usually lower because of IP packet order losses).

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