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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to switch from Rogers to Teksavvy in the next little while, but I am concerned about being without internet connectivity for a little while. I have had DSL or cable since these services were first available over a decade ago and have always used a router - currently a Linksys WRT54G running Talisman firmware. I have about 7-8 computers in the house plus an Xbox360, Wii, five Sage media extenders and various other network devices

To smooth over the downtime I can borrow a 3G USB "Rocket stick". How would I connect this in to my home system so that my WAN connection goes through the rocket stick but the rest of the network still work properly with my router still acting as a DHCP server?

Can I just plug the rocket stick into one of my PCs and use Windows to bridge the rocket stick and my ethernet card and will that work? Or do I have to set up one of my PCs as a router to the outside world?

Or is it even more complicated than that? Ideally I would like a Windows solution - I have PCs running Win XP Pro, WinXP Home, WHS, Win7 Pro and Win7 HP, but I could temporarily set up a Linux PC if that would work better.
 

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I believe those sticks work with Linux. If so, it'a a simple matter to set up a Linux box as a NAT router.
 

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Win7 has internet sharing built-in that should be fairly painless. I believe you'd just need to connect your host PC's cable into the WAN port of the router and enable connection sharing in 7. Your router should then do the rest to feed the other devices.

MS gives a step by step here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/Using-ICS-Internet-Connection-Sharing

Then when you're up with a wired modem again, just plug that into the WAN port of router, and your pc back into a client slot (and disable ICS)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Win7 has internet sharing built-in that should be fairly painless. I believe you'd just need to connect your host PC's cable into the WAN port of the router and enable connection sharing in 7. Your router should then do the rest to feed the other devices.
I have used ICS at times in the past - if it works the way the way they are indicating then it may just be a case of just plugging the rocket stick into a PC, going into Network connections and enabling ICS on the rocket stick network adapter. The ethernet port of the PC will be connected into my LAN which then connects into my switches, router, other PCs, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I believe those sticks work with Linux. If so, it'a a simple matter to set up a Linux box as a NAT router.
This is going a bit beyond what I asked but could you connect multiple WAN connections to a Linux PC that is running router software and have it do load balancing and hot swapping between Internet connections.

In other words, could you simultaneously connect a cable modem from Rogers, a DSL modem from Bell (of course you would need a second Ethernet adapter), a rocket stick from Telus and a tethered Blackberry from Rogers(via USB) and have the router combine all of these WAN connections into one honkin' fast and super redundant Internet connection? I know that you can buy dual WAN routers that can do the first two steps.
 

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^^^^
No, you can't just load balance in the way you think, because you've now got multiple default routes etc. However, you could have some computers use one path and others the other path.
 

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As mentioned on that link, it's not true balancing, although it does spread the load. With load balancing, any given packet might travel over any of the available routes, based on loading of the individual routes or other metrics. This method does not do that and it cannot be done unilaterally. There must be some means to aggragate the connections at the ISP end. As an example, consider the return traffic from some remote site. It will come in via the exact same connection as the corresponding outbound traffic. With true load balancing, that may not be the case. Also, with this method, you need at least two IP addresses. With load balancing you do not. One method of load balancing available to consumers is when an ISP provides multiple ADSL lines and then bonds them, so they effectivly become one with available bandwidth equal to the some of all links. This also provides some measure of redundancy, in that if one link fails, there are others to carry the load.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One method of load balancing available to consumers is when an ISP provides multiple ADSL lines and then bonds them, so they effectivly become one with available bandwidth equal to the some of all links. This also provides some measure of redundancy, in that if one link fails, there are others to carry the load.
Is this not what Teksavvy offers as MLPPP? It requires a special router, or at least a special version of Tomato firmware in a Linksys WRT54GL, and has the added benefit of not being throttled by Bell.
 

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^^^^
Quite possibly, but they're providing the load balancing to the customer. You're not using two different providers. That special router would be paired with similar equipment at Teksavvy. Another name for this sort of thing is bonding, where multiple paths appear as one. I first heard of bonding back in the mid '70s. A major bank wanted a blazing 2400 b/s connection, but most modems of the day couldn't do more than 1200. So, the company I was working for then provided a multiplexer that allowed the two modems to be combined as one. Since then, I've worked with various types of equipment that could bond DS0s (64 kb/s), DS1 (T1), SHDSL and Ethernet. In all cases, the bonding is completely tranparent, unlike that method Scotta mentioned, which merely sends traffic to one provider or another, but does not provide true balancing. This becomes apparent with TCP, which cannot tolerate a change in end point addresses. If someone were to start a large download, the entire connection would take place over one connection and the other would be idle with the method he mentioed. With true load balancing or bonding, the traffic would travel over all available paths.
 

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As mentioned on that link, it's not true balancing, although it does spread the load.
True, but it's better than:
However, you could have some computers use one path and others the other path.
It more or less does what Wayne is asking except it wouldn't be "honkin' fast" (give any speed benefit) for a single link from a single computer. It would, however, offer increased speed when multiple connections and computers were involved and could also offer redundancy.
If someone were to start a large download, the entire connection would take place over one connection and the other would be idle with the method he mentioed.
There exist some file transfer protocols and applications that use multiple TCP links for a single download. Torrents are one example. These could gain a speed advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Win7 has internet sharing built-in that should be fairly painless. I believe you'd just need to connect your host PC's cable into the WAN port of the router and enable connection sharing in 7. Your router should then do the rest to feed the other devices.
This didn't seem to work. When you enable ICS you have to tell it what other network adapter you are using - in my case it is ethernet.

It then sets your IP on that ethernet device as 192.168.0.1 and it wants to act as a HDCP service. The problem is that all of my PCs use static IPs in the 192.168.1.X range and I don't know how to really deal with this since what is acting as the HDCP server? My router? Or the PC plugged into the WAN port of the router?

I noticed that FS now sells a 3G router for about $80. If I wanted to do this more often it might make more sense to spend the $80 rather than spend hours futzing around.
 

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For ICS (and any other type of gateway) two Ethernet ports are required. 10/100 NICs can be purchased for about $10 so it's not a big expense. Make sure the ICS machine is aggressively protected with firewall and A/V software. A lesser used machine that does not matter if it is hacked might be the best choice for an ICS gateway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For ICS (and any other type of gateway) two Ethernet ports are required. 10/100 NICs can be purchased for about $10 so it's not a big expense. Make sure the ICS machine is aggressively protected with firewall and A/V software. A lesser used machine that does not matter if it is hacked might be the best choice for an ICS gateway.
Why do you need two ethernet ports if your connection to the internet is not via ethernet but via 3G USB modem? You just need two ethernet ports if one is for a connection to a cable/dsl modem and the other is to connect to the rest of your LAN, don't you?
 

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Good point. I forgot it is a USB connection. OTOH, maybe ICS doesn't work with USB devices.
 

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You can change the subnet that ICS uses:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230148

Since you have static IP addresses that you don't want to change you would need to set the host IP address to be the same as your router (disconnect the router first, of course) and set the IP range to 192.168.1.x. Make sure to set the range outside of the addresses that you have hard coded so that if you connect a device that does use DHCP it won't get assigned a duplicate address.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hmm, on my Win XP Pro system I don't see a Reg entry for Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ICSharing.

I see the listing for Win7 which is HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\services\SharedAccess\Parameters .

Is the first half of the KB entry for XP or for Vista? I tried searching but I couldn't find anything else that seemed to apply to XP. The laptop that I want to use as the 3G Gateway is running XP.
 

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The article says it's for XP as well. Do you have ICS enabled on an interface? I don't think the keys will show up unless ICS is turned on.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did not have ICS turned on when I looked at the registry although I didn't on the Win7 box either and it showed up there. I will try that again.
 
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