Internet connection bonding is a popular technique to enhance internet speed and receive better performance. It is beneficial for dealing with lag, buffering issues, and carrier outages. Apart from high download and upload speeds, multiple internet connections also minimize work interruptions due to delays caused by carrier network slowdowns and outages. Most businesses rely on the internet to access cloud-based voice and data applications, so having reliable internet access is a critical business requirement.

Here are six effective to combine multiple internet connections in your organization.

Software-Defined WAN

SD-WAN is one of the most robust and cutting-edge solutions that cater to small, medium, and large business locations and data center sites.  It enables a business to utilize multiple internet connections such as fiber optics, DSL, cable coax, fixed wireless, and LTE 4G/5G. You can use two, three, or even four internet technologies, depending upon the level of uptime needed for a particular site and whether or not there are any budgetary constraints.

How does SD-WAN work?

SD-WAN technology acts as an overlay spanning diverse communications infrastructure. It often resides in a SaaS application running on a public cloud. It can be centrally managed as control is decoupled from the hardware. A virtual private network (VPN) is typically set up across each WAN connection for security.

Dual Internet Connections with Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

This protocol enables you to connect to two different ISP providers via a single router or two different routers.  BGP is a path-vector routing protocol. Just as Routing Information Protocol (RIP) selects the best route based on the hop count of data packets, BGP selects the best path based on the shortest Autonomous System (AS) path. BGP routing domains are identified by an autonomous system number (ASN). ASNs are regulated by the same entity that regulates IP addresses, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, better known as ARIN.

Load Balancing Router

Load Balancing Router

A load-balancing router is designed to combine different internet connections into a single large broadcast. A dual connection load-balancing device can be a good investment for small, medium, and large branch offices.

How to set up a load balancing router:

  • Begin by connecting modems to your router. This is done by attaching one end of the cable to an available internet port on your modem and the other on the router.
  • Configure the load balancing router and enter the IP address of your network.
  • Load balancing routers come with similar-looking pages. So, you can begin by clicking on the ‘Advanced’ tab on the router’s page to open the ‘Load Balancing’ tab.
  • Uncheck the following:
    • ‘Enable Application Optimized Routing’
    • ‘Enable Bandwidth Based Balance Routing’
  • Your load balancing router can now combine and distribute the wi-fi networks that are connected to it. Remember to save your settings.

Bridge Connection Method

The bridge connection method is specifically meant for combining and establishing LAN and WAN connections. Windows computers come with inbuilt bridging connection features allowing users to enable internet connection bonding fairly easily. This method is useful for small offices.

  • To utilize this feature, you must have a minimum of two active WAN/LAN connections on your system.
  • Click on the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ tab in your Control Panel. This is where all your available networks are listed.
  • Simultaneously select all active connections.
  • You can then right-click on any of the selected connections to select the ‘Bridge Connections’ option that opens up.
  • By clicking on the ‘Bridge Connections’ option, you have successfully created a network bridge and combined the selected internet connections on your PC.

Third-party software

Third-party software programs like Connectify allow users to convert their computers (wi-fi enabled) into an internet hotspot and also combine internet connections that are available on your PC. The latter is performed specifically by Connectify Dispatch. Such programs are easily downloadable and can be run from most computers that are Windows 8 or above.

Third-party software

Speedify is another internet connection bonding software that also helps keep your devices secure. The basic Speedify account is free of cost, allowing users to consume up to 5GB of data every month. Speedify is useful for very small office setups.

For desktop devices

  • For wired connections, begin by connecting a cable to your PC from an ethernet port. This will open a LAN (Local Area Network) port on your router or modem. In the case of wi-fi connections, just click on the wi-fi icon and select the wi-fi network. The next step is to enter the wireless passkey.
  • If you want to bond wired and wireless connections, all you must do is connect the wi-fi network, followed by connecting to the PC with the help of an ethernet port on the system.
  • If you are bonding two wireless connections or two wired connections, or your PC is missing an Ethernet port, you will need an ethernet adapter to connect the cable. If the bonding is wireless, you will require a wireless USB adapter for connecting the 2nd wi-fi connection.

On Mobile Devices

  • Once you have downloaded the Speedify app onto your mobile device, you just have to open the app and register on it.
  • The app will require you to allow access to certain features. Once you have given the permission and agreed to terms and conditions, you can go ahead and decide if you want to apply data caps or not.
  • It is important to apply a data cap if your monthly data plan is not unlimited.
  • The last step is to initiate toggling that will switch on bonding for your mobile data connection and wi-fi.

Why do you need to get internet connection bonding?

If your business opts for more robust solutions such as SD-WAN and the installation of two fiber optic connections with BGP, you will double your bandwidth and dramatically increase your reliability and redundancy.  For very small branch offices, combining your internet connections in some cases may not literally ‘double’ your network speed, but it will undoubtedly increase reliability and improve employee productivity. Efficiency gains will ultimately positively impact the bottom line.

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