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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Routing for multiple uplinks/providers

I've been researching the topic in the subject line for a little while now. My plan is to use my old desktop box to route for my home LAN. I have DSL and Cable at home (large house, lots of roommates), so I will be (finally) hammering out a way to use a single box to provide DHCP and other LAN services as well as provide outbound routing for BOTH ISP's.

This should be fun!

Anyways, I have here a couple links that address this:
Routing for multiple uplinks/providers
Multiple Connections to the Internet

They seem a bit stale, but I will try to post back with my progress.

I've already tried out pfSense, but found it to dislike my hardware as well as having a very sluggish web interface. The multi-WAN features of pfSense also turned out to be very unpolished and a bit confusing. So I figured that if I was going to be confused anyways, I may as well teach myself something useful.

I will probably begin by using gentoo, since it is what I have on my laptop, though I may go back to a more streamlined distro once I have things "figgered". Gentoo is also appealing as some of the baselayout changes in the latest version are designed to help out multi-homed hosts (particularly laptops, but I figure I can take advantage for my own goals).

A few extra goals I have beyond simply load-balacing/aggregating over both ISP connections will be to make it fairly easy to direct specific traffic across one ISP or the other (provided that ISP is up, of course). I also want my DHCP server to provide DNS servers from BOTH ISP connections (which are both DHCP... *g*). So a little bit of scripting beyond just setting up a multipath route.

I guess an alternative DNS approach would be to get a DNS server running on my router box itself, and provide special DNS routing rules that would prevent lookups from going out on the wrong interface.

I'll try to keep things updated -- my intended starting time for this project is this weekend. Any additional information that might be of use is, of course, appreciated.

Please help us make the "multiple wan" support less confusing by telling us what you find confusing about it.

Have you seen: http://www.pfsense.com/mirror.php?section=tutorials/policybased_multiwan/policybased_multiwan.pdf ??
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the reply.

No, I hadn't seen that document. I started trying to research how to configure pFsense to do this by following links from your main page, www.pfsense.com

I don't see the document linked here:

(Yes, I'm being fascetious, I don't see anything linked from there at all)

Nor did I find anything useful here:

Nor here:

The instructions here were a bit more specific, but I encountered problems, such as the instructions seeming to assume static IP addresses (which I do not have):

So maybe I should rephrase to say that I found pFsense's website and/or documentation a bit confusing? *grin*

It is also unclear to me where/how I should provide this feedback to you. I'll email you at the address listed in your blogger profile.

I was hoping for a very simple configuration process, but failing finding that, decided to learn the nuts-and-bolts myself. If you feel pFsense would be a better arena for this than a linux-based distro, I'd be happy to give it a serious try and possibly contribute some code.

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