Last year, we purchased a pair of Peplink Balance 380s for our office. Their ability to load balance across multiple Internet connections including using a cellular USB dongle as a backup connection was very attractive. I received the pair of devices and without too much difficulty got them connected and routing traffic in and out of the blocks of IP addresses we have with two Internet service providers.
I tested the load balancing/failover by pulling the plug of one of our Internet connections. The Peplink router quickly moved all traffic to the remaining connection. Over the last year, none of our employees have ever even noticed when one of our connections has gone down.
Several months ago, I tested the reason we purchased a pair of them. Once configured in high availability mode, the secondary router is supposed to take over for the primary upon failure. I simulated this by pulling the plug on the primary while pinging the virtual gateway IP address and an IP address outside of our network. The results were impressive:
- 7 seconds total for the secondary router to re-establish internal connectivity.
- 13 seconds total for the secondary router to re-establish Internet connectivity.
The primary router was configured to re-establish its primary role upon rebooting. I plugged it back in, and the results were similarly impressive:
- 2 seconds for the primary router to re-establish internal connectivity.
- 8 seconds for the primary router to re-establish Internet connectivity.
While purchasing two of these routers cost quite a bit more than just purchasing one, the pair allows us to sleep soundly at night knowing that if one fails, our Internet connectivity will remain intact and business can continue normally while we replace the faulty router.