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GT-BE98 Pro- Dual WAN Load Balance (Fiber 1 Gig + Cable 1 Gig), Speed Test Surprise.

jzchen
Level 14

We have both fiber and cable until the end of the month.  Curious as to how it really works I have been running dual WAN with load balancing.  Fiber is rated per providers around 94x Mbps symmetrical.  Our particular cable modem service is about 1075 Mbps down 43 Mbps up.  I estimated a reasonable load balance ratio of 3 fiber : 2 cable, from 63 % fiber adding download and upload to cable download to upload 37%.  By dividing sum of upload and download of each service from total sum of all 4 specs.

Speed test results snip/screenshot below:

Once in a While it gets a Performance Boost!Once in a While it gets a Performance Boost!

 

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9 REPLIES 9

Saltgrass
Level 13

There are several questions I could ask but maybe just two to start.

Do you do anything with your connection that would exceed the ability of one or the other connections alone?

Do you know what the load balancing looks at to use for balancing?   You don't mention what is happening while creating the chart, but if you were to be streaming a movie, it might be more indicative of how the balancing is handled.

It seems the Fiber is doing about 75% of the total work.

The one entry in the chart that is interesting is the 1075.41 down and 42.52 up.  It looks like the cable had that one all by itself.

A line in one of the explanations regarding load balancing is also useful.  You would have to decide what is sufficient bandwidth for your operation.

If the primary connection is stable and has sufficient bandwidth, it is not recommended to use dual WAN load balancing.

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

I wasn't very clear in my initial post.  I only have dual WAN until the end of the month because Giggle Fiber won't prorate a month's bill, they prorate the first month's bill so everyone's bill starts on the 1st and ends at the end of each month.  If they prorated at the end of service I would have cancelled and returned the modem already...

When you enable Dual WAN an entry opens for the ratio you want the router to send traffic, primary : secondary.  I just took the sum so (960 + 960) / (960 + 960 + 1075 + 43) =  63%.  I then took (1075 + 43) / (960 + 960 + 1075 + 43) = 37%  Please pardon the math I remember the percentages only.  60 : 40 is 3 : 2...

I tried to do the router speed tests when nobody would be using the internet, so it would be the router purely doing its load balancing.

I have another set of data points from last night as my mother woke up hungry in the middle of the night, which I will attach...No Low Upload, but Minimal Boost!No Low Upload, but Minimal Boost!

 

So, the listing is just when you check the speed, there is no ongoing data collection like the Status type listing?

Since both ISPs are designated 1 Gbps, I would leave it as 1-1.  If you were streaming a movie from Prime, let's say, using the primary WAN, how would the router change data incoming from the primary ISP to data coming from the Secondary WAN/ISP?   Could it just keep track of how much the primary WAN is used and direct other traffic through the secondary WAN?

Does the load balancing happen during just one data stream or does it divide out which WAN is used for each data stream?

Does the Dashboard page split out incoming traffic from each WAN?

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

I do not know of tracking/distinguishing traffic WAN1 from WAN2.

Hmm, maybe I could give 5 : 4 or even 6 : 5 a try…

I’m not privy to the inner workings of Dual WAN, but if I were to venture a guess it would be it works like an Ethernet network switch, and just (port) forwards new request to the free WAN2, while streaming on WAN 1 as per your example.  It seems to be monitoring traffic as I would expect to see a lot more 43 Mbps uploads on the speed tests if it were a simple 3 : 2 ratio.

I highly suspect it keeps a “data stream” on one WAN.  This I can not confirm nor deny though, not being able to watch individual WAN traffic nor destination of traffic.

I didn’t think to look at the Dashboard to check.  (I will right now).  Thank you for that suggestion.

I find it amazing that once in a while it looks like it is WAN aggregating, getting up to 18xx Mbps download, when the data is coming from two separate ISPs.  I guess it is important that both sides have the same speed as I never seem to see it aggregate upload speeds, (although it would be harder to notice it add 40 to 9xx Mbps)…

jzchen
Level 14

I would have to venture that in low traffic scenarios like 3:20 am the router favors the primary WAN, and during times there are multiple/many data stream (requests) say 9:30 at night it starts distributing to the 2nd WAN using the 3 : 2 ratio.  Just glossing over the data I've attached...

jzchen
Level 14

Third set.  I noticed sometimes the speed test would crash during download when speed exceeds 1075 Mbps, (which is the fastest rate of the two), when it seems to be combining download somehow.  I would say this happens roughly 30 to 40 percent of the time.  I appear to be able to coax it to sum them by quickly pressing "Go" immediately after the prior test finishes.  This causes a drop in ping, and then further ping drop as well as utilize both WANs together.  (See last 3 speed test results which are on top/last of the three quick consecutive tests being on topmost).

3rd Set, Rapid Succession on Top, Read  from Bottom Up.3rd Set, Rapid Succession on Top, Read from Bottom Up.

 

jzchen
Level 14

Not much else I can think of trying, except click on "Go" as quickly as possible, consecutively.  I was able to get WAN aggregation twice consecutively, gaps in between the two sets, then on the 6th time it crashed, after which it seemed reluctant to WAN aggregate.  (I missed screen capturing the log with a lot of high speeds sadly).  This is what resulted after the crash, still clicking as quickly as I could recognize "Go".

Post Speed test crashing during "WAN Aggregation".Post Speed test crashing during "WAN Aggregation".

 

Something you might try is to download the Windows 11 .iso file.  It is around 6.6 GBs and will take a little time to download. 

Watch your computer using the Task Manager and the Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection on the performance tab, to see the speed of the download.  Mine will go up to 570 Mbps, which is my maximum tested speed with my connection.

 

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200