by January 5, 2004 0 comments



To increase bandwidth, you generally opt for either a cable connection or subscribe for higher bandwidth. There’s another way out, one that will give you much, much more bandwidth. This is combining bandwidth from two connections into one, such as combining two dial-up connections. This is called bandwidth aggregation. 

In this article, we will see how you can aggregate bandwidth on both a home PC and on your corporate network.

Here, you need to select the Negotiate multi-link for single link connections option

Home use
If you have one dial-up connection on your home PC and want to increase bandwidth, then you need to add another modem on your PC and connect both the modems to your ISP. This solution works on
WinXP.

Now you need to configure both the ISP connections in a way that you get a single pipe of high-bandwidth from your two (or even more) dial-up ISP connections. To do so, open your ISP connections from Start>Control Panel>Network and Internet Connections and select your ISP connection. This will open a connect window that connects to your ISP, where you click on the Properties button. Another window will open, showing your modem configuration. 

On this window, go to Networking>Settings. This will pop up a dialog window, which has three options (Enable LCP extensions, Enable software compression and Negotiate Multi-link for single link connections). Tick the ‘Negotiate Multi-link for single link connections’ and then click on OK.

This is the test result, while aggregating bandwidth in Linux

Follow the above procedure for all the ISP connections that you have on your PC.

Now dial out to your multiple ISP connections one by one, after connecting to the multiple ISP. WinXP will automatically aggregate your multiple links in to a single link with increased bandwidth. The same procedure can also be applied on your DSL or ADSL connections.

Corporate use 
In a corporate setup where hundreds of users access file, Web and proxy services from a single server, you can aggregate multiple physical LAN cards in to a single logical LAN. Our recommended solution for bandwidth aggregation for corporates works on Linux.

You need to create a shell script, which will do the link aggregation on your Linux box. 

This is the Properties dialog box of your dial-up connection

Open an editor on your Linux machine and write the following lines.
modprobe bonding 
ip addr add 192.168.1.29/24 brd + dev bond0
ip link set dev bond0 up
ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1
ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1
cat /proc/net/bond0/info
Save this file with any name (say bw.sh) and also give the executable permission to this file by issuing the following command.
#chmod 777 bw.sh
After this run this file on the shell prompt.
# ./bw.sh 

This will create a logical LAN interface called bond0 and will send and receive data from both the physical LAN interface (eth0, eth1) with a single IP, mapped to both the physical interface. 

We tested this setup on the 100 Mb per sec network, with a Linux box as the server and two Window clients. We were able to achieve the throughput at around 200 Mb per sec, while transferring the data to a Linux box, from the two Windows clients.

Sanjay Majumder

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