With the increased demand for reliable Internet connection, businesses opt for solutions with multi-WAN to be able to manage their Internet connection depending on their needs. As well as assuring that productivity is not interrupted in case the Internet link goes down.
This guide describes the utility and steps for configuring the Load Balancing and Failover on GWN70XX* business routers, as a main feature when having multiple and redundant Internet connections, preferably from different ISPs, which ensures reliable Internet access.
The load balancing feature improves the distribution and balancing of broadband connection between multiple network links, to maximize throughput and minimize latency. The redundancy can be also ensured when having Multi-WAN configured with a Failover feature.
Load Balancing is using simultaneously both broadband connections through the two WAN ports, offering the ability to use the total bandwidth of the two connections.
Failover is mainly used when the aim is to be connected using only the primary connection, and use the secondary broadband connection only when the primary is failed, this may be helpful for path-sensitive connections, such as VoIP or VPN traffic.
This guide will need the user to have a similar topology to the one illustrated below, the router is supposed to have two different broadband connections or to be connected to two different ISPs. The GWN70XX will be handling both WAN connections using the Multi-WAN feature as displayed on the following diagram:
Dual WAN Ports Configuration
When configuring Load Balancing on the GWN70XX router, both WAN Ports will be used and will share the bandwidth of both Internet connections, instead of using only the primary WAN.
In the case of Failover, one WAN will be used. If it goes down, then the router will switch to other WAN port automatically.
Various scenarios can be deployed for Load Balancing and bandwidth sharing, this can be done either per destination or per packet. When the Load Balancing is based on the destination IP, all the packets for destination 1 will go over the first WAN port, all the packets for destination 2 will go over the second port, and so on.
On GWN70XX, the Load Balancing is based on sharing all the packets on both WAN ports, meaning that the router sends one packet for destination 1 over the first path, the second packet for (the same) destination 1 over the second path, and so on, which will guarantee equal load across the two links, and equal utilization of both bandwidths. The following diagram illustrates the deployed scenario:
By default, only the port WAN 1 is enabled on the router, to ensure that the WAN 2 port is enabled, please do the following:
- Access the GWN70XX’s Web GUI from a computer connected to a LAN port, and navigate to Network Settings → WAN → WAN Port Settings
- Enable Dual WAN Port as shown in the screenshot below.
To configure Load Balancing or Failover, we are going to need to configure two metrics, Priority and Weight
- Priority: Indicates which WAN port will be used as the primary. The priority range that can be set is 1-128. Please note that the lower the number, the higher the priority and vice versa.
- Weight: Indicates the load which will be transmitted through each WAN port. The weight range that can be set is 1-10. Please note that the higher the number, the higher the load transmitted and vice versa.
In this step, we will create a rule for the policy routing which will enable load balancing. To create a policy routing rule please access the web GUI of the router, then navigate to Routing → Policy Routing
Click on to add a rule
Then click on to add a member to the policy.
Select WAN 2 as the second member of the rule as shown in the screenshot below.
In the case of Load Balancing, we should configure equal Priority values, and then set the Weight according to the amount of bandwidth available on each link. Please note the GWN70XX routers use Unequal Cost Load Balancing. There, when setting the weight values, please use the values mentioned below to achieve the desired ratios.
After creating the rule, we should apply it to a VLAN. In our case, we will apply it to the default VLAN. To do that, please access the router’s GUI and navigate to Network Settings → LAN then click on edit the default VLAN, please see the screenshot below.
Click on Policy Routing and select the rule that you have created, then click
To configure failover, we will follow the same steps above. However, we will set a different type of policy that ensures that one WAN port is used while the other link is on standby. Once one link goes down, the other link will automatically take over.
Then associate the rule with the VLAN.
In this case, WAN1 has a higher priority. Therefore, it will be used. Once it goes down, the router will switch automatically to WAN2.