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Connecting two different internet connections is technically possible, but not easily and not likely to accomplish what you have in mind.

Is it possible combine 2 different internet connections from 2 different ISPs?

Technically, yes, anything's possible. :-). In reality though, this is usually left to the realm of high-end routers; there's no pre-packaged solution for multiple computers that I'm aware of. A single computer can sometimes make use of multiple connections which is similar to having two network cards.

Article C1971 - May 31, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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39 Comments
Craig
September 21, 2004 5:09 AM

I don't think having two network cards is the same as strapping two internet connections together, which is what I'm trying to do and I think was the original question, in my case it is to increase internet bandwidth as it would be cheaper than SDSL. Having 2 network cards does not increase bandwidth, there must be more to it than that. I have a wireless network and a wired network running off two different network cards, this does not increase my bandwidth. So can anyone answer this question. Can you combine multiple internet connections to increase bandwidth and if so how?

Mike
November 29, 2004 6:54 AM

I have a similar configuration. I use one computer on my network as the router using Internet connection sharing, but i also have two internet connections and would like to combine their bandwith. I have a cable modem connection and a wireless connection. It has been suggested to me that a firewall can be used to distribute traffic between the two adapters, but it seems like a very messy solution

ianare
May 5, 2005 4:02 AM

You can with iproute2 in linux. While not prepackaged it could be made to run on a cheap old machine. here is the url:

http://lartc.org/howto/lartc.rpdb.multiple-links.html

Gary
August 15, 2005 8:43 AM

There's a router/firewall from Netgear with two 10/100 internet ports and four gigabit Lan ports for computers.

It can be used to handle 2 internet connections at the same time and it should be nice to get a fast network aswell if you have gigabit network cards.

http://www.netgear.com/products/details/FVS124G.php

It costs about $165 at Pricewatch.

Russell
August 19, 2005 2:56 AM

Dual Wan Routers dont double your 'speed' They increase your bandwidth. If you DL a 2MB file it will not DL any faster with two WANs, but if you D?L 2 such files they will each DL at the same time via balancing..

aPeG
September 24, 2005 5:23 PM

Russell is 100% right, 2 connections means 2 IP's. if you are downloading a 2MB file, the computer you are getting it from cant sent 1/2 the packets to 1 IP and the other 1/2 to the other... the best you can hope for is fast multiple tasts...

Luke
October 6, 2005 12:06 PM

This is pretty much what I want to do. I've been searching for a way to implement load balancing on a WinXP Pro machine. My setup includes two ethernet ports on my workstation, one is connected directly to an ADSL modem, the other is connected to an internal LAN whose router is connected to another ADSL WAN network. I want to have windows use both network connections to download more files at the same time and faster. For example, most websites limit the connections per IP to 2, this could be theoretically increased to 4 by using two separate IPs. Also, fail-over protection would be nice. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Matt Ridings
October 11, 2005 1:49 PM

In general you would need to do your load balancing at the gateway/router level and not at the individual PC level. The reason is that standard TCP/IP protocol specs dictate that your operating system only use one gateway to route your traffic at a time based upon the last best known route to the destination.

Because of that your system will not send packets out *both* NIC's to a single destination (at least not if its conforming to standards). However if the gateway/router is intelligent enough to do the load balancing then your computer (and others on the LAN) can work as normal, stay in compliance, etc, while the gateway/router is doing the real work.

You can use either a hardware or software based solution for providing that intelligence. A hardware solution must reside at the router/gateway level but a software solution could exist almost anywhere. Sygate Office Network would be an example of a software solution, but there are lots of others.

Regardless, no solutions that I know of within range of consumers do true multiplexing of the data to increase overall speed. Instead you increase the overall bandwidth available to the network. This is extremely beneficial to businesses and other multi-user environments, but doesn't do much for the individual home user environment as most load balancing solutions use an algorithym that would not benefit a single user doing a ton of usenet downloads for example....even though there are lots of small files being downloaded, and you would think therefore you would utilize both wan connections fully, the truth is that most algorithyms would look at the source headers of the data packets..see that it is from the same source...and still limit you to using only one connection. This is done because the algorithym itself is geared to optimize the internet experience for multiple users..not a single user. So instead of completely swamping both wan connections it would let you have as much as you could get from one while reserving the other for the next source packet. This is not always the case, but most products within the reach of the average consumer that do load balancing do it this way.

-matt

victor
October 15, 2005 11:09 PM

hi frnds
i have two dsl conections , it is connected to 4 +4 pcs,all eight pcs wont use net always,so iwant to use the maximum bandwith available is there any software hardware available,i need help urgerntly,pls send me a reply on iforisaac@gmail.com
thanks for ur advice in advance from my heart
vicky

Steve Martin
October 19, 2005 4:46 PM

There is a very good hardware solution for 'multiplexing' several connections, for example, 4x ADSL 512 accounts multiplexed would give you a single 2MB up 1MB down connection, I don't know what the cost is but I believe it's not *too* high as it's aimed at small businesses who can't afford leased lines but need good outgoing bandwidth....

http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/pooled/articles/BF_NEWSART/view.asp?Q=BF_NEWSART_92071

Harold
November 22, 2005 1:59 PM

I have Verizon dsl I have 2 connections 1 wont run without the other I have a lan and verizon [default] connection 1 wont run without the other when I first got dsl it loaded as lan Local Area Connection now I had to redo it for some reason and it now has 2 connections any suggestion would be appreciated ..hcarver@verizon.net Thanks

john
December 16, 2005 2:23 AM

can i use 2 net connections at d same time? if yes how do i do it? will it increase my internet speed?

Leo A. Notenboom
December 16, 2005 10:00 AM

Please read the article you just commented on, and the comments.

William J. Murphy
January 24, 2006 10:38 AM

Can you name some other programs like Sygate Office Network? Since they are no longer offering Sygate Office Network. Unless you know of where I can obtain a copy of Sygate Office Network? I would like to attemped the double internet connection with a software program but I can not find one. Please help me out thank you.

Sukanat
February 2, 2006 12:14 PM

I'm sorry I didn't understand Matt's answer, I know so little about PCs/networking, I was wondering, does anyone know: How do you choose which ISP/connection to use when web-browsing? I have two connections, with two ISPs, two phone lines, one with USB modem and one with wireless adapter(obviously connected through a different PC). I also have an ethernet connection I can use and have used. For emails, it's easy to choose the connection, using Outlook Express. I am using Firefox as my web browser, and I don't understand their connection settings, it's all about proxies and I haven't a clue if that's how to set it up, and, if so, how, i.e. what settings to put in. Any ideas? Thanks a lot if you can help.

Pawan Tokas
February 12, 2006 8:43 PM

Hello Friends,

I Am using 3 DSL Connections, 2 from one ISP and one from the other. Now I need to Bunch them all (Multiplexing) to get one single output line. Pls suggest me how to do it.

badboy0737
March 10, 2006 12:53 PM

You may want to check this Netgear:

http://www.netgear.com/products/details/FVS124G.php

It costs about $200. Not sure how exactly it balances, but a friend of mine told me that going to www.whatismyip.com and pressing f5, shows different IP every time. He uses one DSL and one Cable connection.

zaman
June 1, 2006 12:30 AM

hi i have 5 ips and want to connect 17 pcs i used 3 ips for 3 pcs, 2 1 ip share with 7 pc`s and another with 7 pc`s now i have 3 networks. i have printer which i want to share for all pc`s can anyone give me idea how to do that or how can i combine my 3 networks so i can share my bandwitdh and sharing resources. please mail me on ameen_zaman@hotmail.com

Guest
June 20, 2006 2:35 PM

use Intergate www.vicomsoft.com or Midpoint www.midpoint.com

Maximiliam
August 1, 2006 5:37 AM

It is possible to load balance your nics in Windows using an random algorithm, read more how to set it up at http://www.geekquestions.com/load-balance-two-internet-connections-vt4.html

Paul
October 21, 2006 9:48 PM

Yes it i s posible to do that with very simple equipments and you can combine as many networks and internet conections as you wish and share the bandwith with single or multiple computers but only one company that i know dos have technology to do that witch is MAHA PC INC.
you can contact them and ask them how to do that by visiting www.mahapc.com under network and spacial internet access tab.

adam
October 21, 2006 9:56 PM

Yes it is posible and ther is a company out ther witch I know is doing it. In fact thay have don it for me and it works Grate and now I am using 4 Fiberuptich lines with total speed of 80 MBPS same up and down streem on my network by using a single Linksys wireless G Router and have 2 wired and 12 wireless computers conacted to internet and secure network.
you can have themset it up for you as will by calling (888) 462-0476 or visiting www.mahapc.com
thay even have UK and AU Local Numbers if you are from Austoralia or United Kingdom.
Hope that I could be of help to you :)

Tint
October 26, 2006 8:59 PM

I am using 2 Internet lines, 1 is Broadband wireless and 1 is Satellite(IP Star), they are diffrent IPS and they have different proxy gateway. Currently I using 200 PCs, So I build the local proxy server with ISA 2004 Standard. Now I need the bunch these two lines(Multplexing) also need load balancing, pls let me know how can I do this.
Tint

Jimi
December 23, 2006 12:38 PM

I also have two broadbend 256k connections at the same ISP, and I want to combine it into one 512k. Is there any software solution for this or I need to buy a router or something?
Thanks

Leo Notenboom
December 24, 2006 9:09 AM

In general, you need a special type of router to do what's necessary to combine two connections. And even then, it's doesn't always get you the results you want.

jeff
December 27, 2006 8:57 PM

you can combine any tipe of connections no matter what ISP provides tham and thay do not have to be even from same ISP but ther is a spacial equepmint needed for that witch is called MAHA INTERIGATOR witch is provided by MAHA PC INC.
as far as i know thay are the onlyone with this technology and Maha Interigators are not expensive at all
how ever you can only buy it from them and it is not avalible in any stores
you can se exactly what they offer by viziting www.mahapc.com
hope that I have bin a help to you all

Dave
January 24, 2007 8:54 PM

A simple & cheap solution is a Dlink DI-LB604 Load Balacing Router (USD$180) is http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=452

Leo Notenboom
January 24, 2007 9:18 PM

Cool. I wish my experiences with dlink equipment was better.

kirti prakash
February 15, 2007 8:06 AM

I have two internet connection both are from same ISP(airtel).Both are 256 kbps broadband connection.Is it possible to combine both line.

prashant
June 19, 2007 2:06 AM

I also have two broadbend 256k connections at the same ISP, and I want to combine it into one 512k. Is there any software solution for this or I need to buy a router or something

sam
September 14, 2007 10:00 AM

Hello dear,

i want to combine tata indicom & pacific connections. both are 256. is there any way for combining these two conections to be 512

harinder
October 4, 2007 7:53 AM

yes it is possible to combine, its called bonding adsl but you will also require a unit to install the links into. visit xrio for how this works

spg
October 27, 2007 1:16 PM

what about with wireless connections? i sometimes can see 20 hotspots from my house. is there a router that will let me use all 20 at the same? i assume that they would have to link to a server somewhere to have a single IP address. it seems to me if someone came up with a router like this it would be extremely popular since there are so many open wifi connections these days in urban areas. and if I do the same amount of surfing I would only be using a little bit of each connection therefore not slowing down any one connection being used by someone else.

mannmadhann
April 14, 2008 6:14 PM

vmware player wil do 4 u all using multiple broadbad connection.....in a single pc..download it free from brother soft

microali
September 10, 2008 5:01 AM

I have two internet connection both are from same ISP(airtel).Both are 256 kbps broadband connection.Is it possible to combine both line.

majid
April 11, 2009 2:38 AM

i want to combine tow ISP speed one is 1.00 Mbs and other one is 2.00 Mbs tell me what is procedure

craig d
May 12, 2010 4:17 AM

I have 2 diff copmuters. One for work and one for home. Currently I'm still using dial up at both locations. Which isp can provide highspeed internet w/out me having to pay two different bills in two locations?

Morpheus Exegis
January 4, 2012 8:21 AM

yes, you can combine 2 different Internet connections even without a high end router. routers are not that complicated and are essentially a highly specialized miniaturized computer. so take your old machine slap on any Linux firewall type distro. there are several, and good tutorials can be found through Google and you tube. jam extra cards into the box as needed for you internet connections the rough formula is n+1 cards where n is you number of Internet connections e.g. If i want to combine 2 internet connections I will need 3 Ethernet cards on one box. two incoming ISP connections 1 feed to my network. Also check out the article on LAN speeds and you will see that Internet connection is your bottleneck and not the Ethernet to your LAN.

Morpheus Exegis
January 4, 2012 8:23 AM

Almost prepackaged solutions
- pfsense
-m00nwall
-smoothwall
-ClearOS (I am currently using this so i can actively vouch and redirect people to help for this).

Google is your buddy.

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