Broadband woes in lockdown - Archer MR600 4G+ load-balanced solution with ADSL
Here is my setup at home:
I originally only had ADSL at home but because of the ‘lockdown’, I needed to come up with something else to give me and the family enough bandwidth to work and live with?
I decided on a 4G Max mobile broadband SIM from Vodafone and tried several 4G routers before deciding that the Archer MR600 router was the best one for me. I also purchased an Eightwood 4G antenna and installed in the loft alongside the Archer MR600 router. The 4G antenna improved my signal strength to 75%; was 50%. Here are the ‘readings’ I am currently seeing for Band 1:
RSRP: -97dBm (Mid Cell)
RSRQ: -8dB (Excellent)
SNR: 18.2dB (Good)
The Archer MR600 router has beta firmware installed, so I can configure which bands to use for 4G+ to work effectively. I am located between mid-cell and edge-cell for band 1 and edge-cell for band 20. My band settings are as follows: ‘Band A – 20’ and ‘Band B – 1’. If I did not have this capability, I would automatically connect as 4G ‘Band A – 1’ and ‘Band B – 20’, which considerably affects my download speeds. With 4G+, I currently get a download speed of 70mbps and upload speed of 20mbps.
I then had to come up with a solution to use both of the ADSL and 4G links and make it resilient in case one of them failed. Funny enough the solution was a TL-R470T+ load-balancing router. This allows me to load-balance traffic using the bandwidth available on both links. It looks like I currently get 4:1 load-balancing ratio in favour of the 4G. You can also configure online WAN detection for each link, so if one link goes down then traffic is re-routed over the other link.
I pretty much only use the firewall as an eight port switch, but it is occasionally handy to look at the firewall logs to work out what's happening when something isn't quite working as expected?
I also have a WiFi mesh setup, which works really well