Home networking question

mubs

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#1
This is a question about using two ISPs interchangeably (when one goes down).

I currently have a local telco as my ISP, DSL over copper, 8 mbit down, 0.7 mbit up, 100GB bandwidth. There is a DSL modem connected by Ethernet cable to my ancient G-class 54-mbit Buffalo Router/Wi-Fi (called Master) that is being used only as an AP.

All the mobiles and daughter's laptop connect wirelessly to the Buffalo Master.

Another Buffalo AP without routing circuitry but with 4 Ethernet ports sits on my computer desk, communicates wirelessly with the Buffalo Master, and provides net connectivity for my desktop and the networkable printer via the Ethernet ports.

I have signed up for a fiber provider where I'll get 20 mbit down, 10 mbit up, unlimited bandwidth for less money. Connectivity between their box somewhere in a shaft in the building to my apartment will be via Ethernet cable. I have purchased an N-class 300 mbit TP-Link wireless router for this, which will replace both the DSL modem and the Buffalo Master.

For various reasons, I am going to keep the telco connection (primarily for voice, for peanuts, they give unlimited nationwide calling provided one is also a broadband customer). I will change the plan to the cheapest broadband plan they have.

This also enables me to use the telco broadband if/when the fibre goes down. In practice, once the fiber connection is up, I will switch off power to the DSL modem and Buffalo Master, so only one AP will be operational. If the fiber goes down, I will turn the TP-link off, and turn on the DSL modem and Buffalo Master. In either case, Buffalo Slave will continue to be used, and will have to connect to whichever AP is alive.

My goal is to not change IP addresses to accomplish this; wife and kid are not tech savvy and will be helpless if I am not home. The SSID will change, but selecting a different SSID in the phone or laptop is trivial.

I'm not sure how best to accomplish my goal.

The DSL modem is set to 192.168.1.1, and is the gateway for all devices.

Buffalo Master is set to 192.168.1.3 and SSID is MUBS.

Buffalo Slave (on my desktop) is set to 192.168.1.5.

All the devices in the home have hardcoded IP addresses; there were too many issues with leases expiring, two devices trying to use the same IP address, etc. There is a block open for DHCP for guests / visitors.

I guess I should set the TP-Link to 192.168.1.1 and set SSID to MUBS-2. That would have the least impact on the girls. I can always mess with the settings on Buffalo Slave; not a problem.

I hope there won't be security related issues; since the Buffalo devices were purchased almost 11 years ago, they only support AES WPA-PSK. Buffalo Slave will have to communicate with the TP-Link.

I'm all ears if someone wants to straighten me out. Thanks!
 

Mercutio

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#2
What you'll want is to set up a failover connection using something like dd-wrt or tomato. You'll have to configure a couple VLANs and set up a script to change the default route for the dd-wrt box when the fast connection dies. There's examples of how to do it on the dd-wrt wiki.
 

mubs

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#3
I don't need something that sophisticated, Merc. If it wasn't for the need for voice services, I'd just have given up the entire telco connection. Since I'll be having it, wanted a "throw the switches" sorta manual backup.
 
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#4
Do either of your internet connections have a static IP? If they are both DHCP, I'd just have both WAN cables labeled and sitting next to "Buffalo Master". Plug the appropriate one in and leave the rest alone.
 

mubs

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#5
Not sure I understand, DD. Buffalo Master is connected to the DSL modem now, so it will need WAN config to connect to WAN directly.

Anyway, surprisingly the guys came, strung the cable, and another guy came, configured everything, checked it, and left. The WAN Ethernet cable is connected to a Power over Ethernet box (that also needed to be plugged into the mains). A second short-length Ethernet cable connects the box to the new TP-Link router.

All the mobiles and daughters laptop are getting 19.5 - 20.5 mbps download, and 9.5 - 10.25 mbps upload connecting directly to the TP-Link. I got Buffalo Slave to connect to the TP-link, and desktop speeds through Buffalo Slave to TP-Link are similar. Ping is in single digits. Quite happy.

I had completely forgotten about power requirements. The extension strip didn't have enough outlets, so we had to unplug the DSL modem and Buffalo Master to plug in the PoE box and the TP-Link. I have a bit of work clearing the wiring mess and adding a second extension strip to allow the use of the DSL modem and Buffalo Master as backup.
 
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#6
Around here, unless you specify otherwise and pay a premium, the WAN port on your router gets assigned an address from a pool managed by your ISP via DHCP. Exactly the same as a DHCP pool on your local network. If this is the case for both of your internet connections than simply swapping the cable into the WAN port of your main router will be enough to get the internet going with either of the connections. No changing of your hardware or settings at all.
 

Howell

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#7
What is the poe injector powering? The TP-Link router in that room, or something in the basement?

I agree with David. If the fiber line goes down you would unplug the wan cable from from the TP-Link router and plug in the cable coming from the dsl modem. If you wanted to go a step further, as Merc suggested your router could be configured to change over automatically with various steps in between.

I'm currently configuring something similar in the digital wasteland that is Pomona, CA. 3Mb dsl plus 3G wireless.
 

Handruin

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#9
The Ubiquiti Edgerouters also offer the ability of load balancing ISP connections with failover links by use of weighting the connections and may be less expensive than the product ddrueding linked to. I can't comment on it being easier to configure though but there is a strong community support for their products and configurations. They have an EdgeRouter lite that may support this functionality also but I'd need to confirm it before recommending it 100%.
 

Mercutio

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#10

mubs

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#11
Thanks guys. A few models of Ubiquity are available here, but are terribly expensive.

As I said in my first post, only reason I'm still going to have the telco broadband is because it's bundled with voice and I'll save ~ 70% on voice costs this way. Since broadband is anyway available, I might as well have it as a backup solution in case the new ISP's service fails. The performance will be terribly asymmetrical: new ISP is 20/10 mbps, telco will be less than half that. Does not matter since it's for emergency use only.

I can manually switch from one to the other in seconds. Only issue is to rewire neatly so the mess of wires isn't visible.

You guys are spending way too much energy on this one, but thanks! :thumbright:
 
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