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2 network connections = 2x speed?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by inane5, Sep 2, 2004.

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  1. inane5

    inane5 Thread Starter

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    I live in an apartment for college students, and each room has a dsl connection which provides around 50 KiB/s download and 50 KiB/s upload. And some of the rooms are vacant!

    So I'm wondering if it's possible to double my bandwidth by having 2 dsl connections going into my computer. I heard this was possible but I have no idea how to get started, what terminologies are used, and what pros and cons there are in doing such. Someone please run the whole procedure by me.

    --Specific Areas I'm confused in: --

    what is the name of this scheme so I can google it?

    Does my 2nd network card need to be PCI? or can I use a usb2 one?

    Will the 2 connections appear as just 1 connection getting 100 KiB/s? (where I could download one file at 100 KiB/s). Or, will the 2 connections be seperate? (I can't download one file at 100 KiB/s - but I can download 2 files, each at 50 KiB/s).

    Assuming hardware works out? Will I need special software or tweaking to get this to work? (I use xp pro)

    When I no longer have 2 dsl connections available to me, can the 2 network cards on my machine serve as an internal router or hub? (where I connect to the internet through my machine, and another machine connects to me for internet).
     
  2. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    It's called bonding, and there are lots of different flavors, PPP, PPPoE, modem, etc. Generally its going to be easier to download 2 files at 50kbps than one at 100kbps, but depending on the implementation, its all possible.

    The real question is what is the limiting bandwidth? You are going to be competing with LOTS of other students for the same bandwidth to the internet, so as a practical manner, you will not get quite the speed up you're hoping for.

    As for sharing the internet, yes it's possible, it's called IP forwarding. It's used a lot for building your own firewall. However using the machine as a switch or hub is not cost effective. You can go buy a 4-8 port 100 Mbps switch for less than $50...

    -Scott
     
  3. inane5

    inane5 Thread Starter

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    Bonding eh? So... I just buy a PCI network card for 10 bucks and 30 feet of cat5, and it will work?

    I don't think competition of bandwidth is an issue where I live. The apartment complex comes with dsl so its just 1 awesome service plan cut into 1000 chunks of 50 KiB/s each. I don't use a modem, once the computer is connected into the wall, internet works.

    About using my machine as a switch or hub not being 'cost effective'... what do you mean? Do you mean money wise? or performance wise? My question was: will it even work? When I visit home, it's a hassle to setup the router inbetween the home pc and the modem just so I can also have internet access. I was thinking maybe I could just install another networking card into the home pc.
     
  4. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Ah, no, there's more to it than just plopping the cards in the machine and having it work automatically. Google for <NIC bonding "how to"> and read.

    DSL isn't as fast as you might think. You'll very likely be competing, even if they try to claim you won't be. It only takes 30 50 Kbps connections to max out a 1.5 Mbps link, I haven't heard of too many DSL links offering more than that.

    "Either wise" it's not cost effective to make a generic computer a hub or switch. As a router, well routers are expensive, so that's a possibility.

    For sharing a dial up modem, yeah sure, that will work. The home machine has a modem and an ethernet card and is configured to do internet sharing. Add a hub/switch connected to that card, and you can add as many machines sharing the one internet connection as you want. Course more than one person sharing the internet at once makes things slow down, but it will work. Without a hub/switch, you'll need a cross over ethernet cable to connect to machines directly.

    I'm confused about your home setup though. How are you using a router between a home pc and a modem? Are we talking cable modem? Then things are going to be different. And if this is the case, why isn't the router always between the home pc and the cable modem? Add a hub/switch to the router connection and plug the home pc into the hub/switch, then when you go home, you just plug into one of the other ports. No extra work needed.
     
  5. Feever42

    Feever42

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    5mi11er, if you don,t mind, I have a question about this.Are you saying that if i have one machine running XP home to a cable modem all I need to do is hook up an ethernet crossover cable to my P3 ME machine and they will both be able to eccess the net?
     
  6. VaporTrace

    VaporTrace

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    OK this is my last post for a the day so it's kinda long.
    Feasible Yes and practical maybe.

    Probably should stick with ethernet. The cable reaches much farther.

    Again maybe.

    The problem is delivering an IP address.

    Browse this link HOW TO: Set Up Multiple-Device (Multilink) Dialing in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307849&Product=winxp

    This deals with dial up rather than DSL. DSL doesn't accept the usual AT commands like a modem but the concept is the same.
    However the same applies concerning the hardware at the ISP.

    Putting that asside the ISP doesn't really matter using each modem individually. Each card has its own address. You would need to put routes to 0.0.0.0 (the internet) for each adapter. The problem is that in making a file xfer over TCP is requested across a single IP address. If you are downloading serveral files, internal routing should pick the other NIC (should) via load balancing mechanism. Web pages are multiple files and you (should) see a difference there as multiple files but not for a single file xfer boost. The only problem I can forsee is that your inet broswer ports to a single adapter on 98. On NT/XP that's not supposed to happen since the executive layer is isolated from the protocol stack.

    As for simply doubling your throughput on all data. . . .
    IE Your ISP must support synchronization of multiple modems.

    As for another machine getting access to the internet via your computer you would have to either forward DHCP to it, run Internet Connection Sharing or just connect both computers to an Internet Router that has internet connection sharing built in and they usually only have one WAN port.
    There's a few things to twiddle and for each modem you will need an authentication unless that is already setup within each modem.

    At a dorm I'm sure they are all audited in case somebody decides to start a dicey web site.

    The Bonding thing is using the DSL com.; Such as ATM virtual circuits can be multiplexed to increase throughput A N D the administrator would know about it since you would need to set it up at both ends.
     
  7. VaporTrace

    VaporTrace

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    Oh yah, crossover cables are used to connect ethernet card to ethernet card without a hub.
     
  8. 5mi11er

    5mi11er

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    Maybe. I'm not sure what your setup is, so I can't answer definitively better than that.

    After assuming a lot, I can offer this: Your XP box is connected via Ethernet to the Cable modem, yes? So, you'd need another Ethernet Card in the XP box, you'd need to turn on 'Internet Sharing", get the IP addressing correctly setup either via DHCP from the cable modem, or through NAT/DHCP on the XP box. Then use a cross over cable to connect the 2nd NIC card in the XP box to the additional machine.

    Get all that done, and then the answer to your question is "Yes."

    It's not hard to do all this, I just want to dispell the notion that it's plug and play. You need to get things configured correctly before the "simple" cross over cable is going to work.

    It may be much simpler to just buy a broadband router with a built in 4 port LAN switch. Then you don't have to worry about configuring internet sharing etc. The router will do all that for you.
     
  9. Feever42

    Feever42

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    tried it. Worked great. Thank you much
     
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