Load Balancing Internet Access

Nathan Hill-Haimes

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BT Business Mobile

BT Business Mobile BT is one of the UK’s leading telecommunications providers and offers an excellen...

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    Load Balancing

    Load balancing is a technique used by many to enhance their broadband – simply put, it is where your router has multiple WAN (Wide Area Network) connections to handle the whole gamut of your network traffic. This can help you get a better 'balance' of traffic, letting you make the most of your bandwidth.

    Load balancing can help you scale your internet to match your needs while providing far better bonded broadband performance. There are plenty of methods you can use to get these benefits either for yourself or your business – read on for more information.

    bonded broadband

    How to Load Balance Broadband

    You can achieve a load balancing solution by using a load balancing router, which does the heavy lifting of combining multiple connections. Many of these routers have built-in balancing capabilities to make configuration far more straightforward than it once was. On top of this, they can automatically detect when there is a service failure and accommodate it by transferring to another WAN connection.

    You can compare load balancing to bonding, where connections are 'bonded' together. Notably, load balancing only offers speeds as good as your lowest-performing network, while bonding can combine and easily split traffic. Bonding is much more compatible with Virtual Private Networks and has a better maximum performance in sheer speed.

    Load balancing may be the fix for your broadband needs. For areas with poor connectivity using 4G and 5G can achieve speeds above 100Mbps. 4G and 5G mobile broadband can work even more effectively than conventional Digital Subscriber Lines.

    Internet Load Balancer

    An internet load balancer is any device that (as the name might suggest) grants a load-balanced connection, and you can group them into Layer 4 and Layer 7 balancers depending on how they utilise data. The former works with network and transport protocols such as Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol, while the latter focuses on application protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocols.

    In many ways, both are vital for a strong overall connection; a business wishing to use internet load balancers should work to cover both transport and application protocols for the best results. The overall job of your load balancer is to route requests by the client across the available servers efficiently. This does not mean evenly – traffic is prioritised according to need, as an even distribution might not get you the best connection.

    load balancing

    Load Balancing Routers

    Focusing on Load Balancing Routers themselves, they work through having several non-dedicated ports which can be configured to serve as either Local Area Network or Wide Area Network connections. Essentially, this can provide you with an additional internet connection that blends with your pre-existing one. Many load-balancing routers support two WAN links – but it is possible to find Routers that allow more for an even more significant benefit.

    As mentioned above, you can get plenty of benefits from a load balancing router. You can access an increase in your internet bandwidth capacity. Your connection will be resilient, operating over multiple links with auto-failover. You can allocate priority to certain links for certain types of mission critical traffic.

    4G Load Balancing Router

    For the best connection in less connected areas, balanced or otherwise, a 4G or 5G router might be the best choice. This service is synonymous with high-speed internet, and has been since its introduction in 2012 – you probably use 4G with your phone daily. This contrasts with a DSL router, which uses a home telephone line to make its connections.

    4G and 5G mobile networks have rapidly become a cutting-edge alternative to a traditional line, as they can work better in some places than conventional connections. Mobile broadband can often work out cheaper than digging fibre into less connected areas, meaning a 5G load balancing router can provide a better service at a lower cost. Adding better reliability when it comes to fail-over (switching connections during an outage) and load-balanced 5G becomes a compelling option for many.

    Load balancing is rapidly becoming a go-to solution to enhance a broadband connection easily, and for good reason. The benefits it offers – especially compared to bonding – cannot be ignored or overstated, with this only being further enhanced by the availability of 5G mobile broadband services.

    Whether you are working at home, abroad, or at your business, load balancing could be the solution you need to ensure that you have access to the bandwidth you need wherever you're located.

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