ASUS RT-AC88U Dual WAN in Load Balance

Dan G

New Around Here
Hi, new here so apologies for any noobness in advance!

I have recently purchased dual 1Gbps fibre broadband which I am wanting to run via my ASUS RT-AC88U in Load Balance mode with a 1:1 ratio.

I utilised LAN port 3 as my secondary WAN (leaving ports 1 & 2 free for NAS Link Aggregation when I purchase my NAS) but that's when some of the problems started.

Devices both wired and wireless, would drop in and out with nothing working consistently and ultimately having the entire network as unusable.

After a lot of troubleshooting at the client end, I soon realised that it was in fact the dual WAN setup causing the problems. As soon as I disconnected the second WAN, hey presto, everything was singing.

I'm assuming the issues are something to do with IP address conflicts. I am currently using dynamic IP, but from my limited understanding, I will likely need to purchase static IP from my ISP to be able to log into my NAS and network remotely.

I had the option to do policy based routing for each device but it seemed redundant given nothing was working.

I'd like some help setting up the dual WAN (load balance) properly and any insights as to why it may not have been working?

Any help would be great! Thanks in advance
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Dual WAN in load balance mode is hit and miss. (As you now know). If it isn't working, there is not much you can do (closed source firmware blobs). I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with IP address conflicts either.

If you're expecting to 'bond' your two ISP connections together, you can't, even if Dual WAN was working (it is impossible). Only ISP supplied equipment can do that (and at the 1Gbps speeds of each connection, I don't think they'll offer it anytime soon).
 

KtBken

New Around Here
Dual WAN in load balance mode is hit and miss. (As you now know). If it isn't working, there is not much you can do (closed source firmware blobs). I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with IP address conflicts either.

If you're expecting to 'bond' your two ISP connections together, you can't, even if Dual WAN was working (it is impossible). Only ISP supplied equipment can do that (and at the 1Gbps speeds of each connection, I don't think they'll offer it anytime soon).
Had a similar issue with duel wan on my rt-5300 but since changing to the latest merlin 62 beta it has worked as it should so may be worth a try if your model can use it
 

Wutikorn

Senior Member

princi

Regular Contributor
Can someone please explain the significance of the ratio?

What if you want to split the traffic evenly? 5:5 ???

Why not 9:9 ???

Or for that matter 1:1 ???

BTW, dual wan is working perfectly for me in Load Balance using 3:1 or 5:3 - I would just like to know what difference it makes.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
5:5, 9:9 and 1:1 are all 1:1. :)

The significance is when the two numbers are not the same. ;)
 

screege

New Around Here
I am on latest merlin and dual wan still doesnt work properly I have 2 n200 mbps connections and have setup 3:1 5:3 etc and nothing seems to make it work correctly
 

Wutikorn

Senior Member
I am on latest merlin and dual wan still doesnt work properly I have 2 n200 mbps connections and have setup 3:1 5:3 etc and nothing seems to make it work correctly
I remember RMerlin mentioned that he does not do anything with dual WAN. So you have to tell Asus to fix it. I had a problem with dual WAN failover mode as well, so I am not using it right now. Asus hasn't done anything about dual WAN since.
 

screege

New Around Here
Yes I suppose this is from the origin of the firmware that dual wan doesn´t work correctly, its a major disapointment since the router really rocks.
 

screege

New Around Here
Well finally I can say that latest asus firmware is doing a good work on my ac87u with load balance, just enabled it 4 days ago and no issues haven´t seen any drop and almost everything works flwaless, I upgraded from merlin latest to test.
 

Dan G

New Around Here
Well finally I can say that latest asus firmware is doing a good work on my ac87u with load balance, just enabled it 4 days ago and no issues haven´t seen any drop and almost everything works flwaless, I upgraded from merlin latest to test.
So are you using Merlin or standard ASUS firmware where you have the load balance working?

And if you don't mind, could you share a bit more info on what wasn't working previous when you tried running the Dual WAN? eg network would drop out, no connection etc

Thanks!
 

screege

New Around Here
So are you using Merlin or standard ASUS firmware where you have the load balance working?

And if you don't mind, could you share a bit more info on what wasn't working previous when you tried running the Dual WAN? eg network would drop out, no connection etc

Thanks!
Using standard asus firmware, it was working fine untill yesterday, it started again to drop packets on the second wan in load balance mode, returned it again to fail over mode.
 

HansoloAU

New Around Here
5:5, 9:9 and 1:1 are all 1:1. :)

The significance is when the two numbers are not the same. ;)
No they are not. RTFM. If you set the load balance to 5:5, for example, then if only 4 outgoing requests are made they will ALL use the primary wan.

If there were 8 outgoing requests then the 1st 5 are handled by the primary wan and the remaining 3 would be handled by the secondary wan.

So if you want 50/50 balancing by requests then you should set the option to 1:1...

However if your 2 wans have different speeds say 20Mbps (primary) and 10Mbps (secondary) then proper balancing setting, to make most of bandwidth, you would set it to 2:1

Cheers
 

Wutikorn

Senior Member
No they are not. RTFM. If you set the load balance to 5:5, for example, then if only 4 outgoing requests are made they will ALL use the primary wan.

If there were 8 outgoing requests then the 1st 5 are handled by the primary wan and the remaining 3 would be handled by the secondary wan.

So if you want 50/50 balancing by requests then you should set the option to 1:1...

However if your 2 wans have different speeds say 20Mbps (primary) and 10Mbps (secondary) then proper balancing setting, to make most of bandwidth, you would set it to 2:1

Cheers
Where did you get this information from? Is it unique to specific brand you got the info from? But anyway, I would do 1:1 instead of 5:5.
 

Gregory Phillips

Senior Member
Gentlemen initially I setup my RT-AC88U using ratios like you mention. I read another site that explained it differently in that the sum of both numbers should equal 100% of the available bandwidth of both connections. Using Merlin 380.65_2 I was able to use the dual wan in load balance. mode My Comcast cable to the WAN is 80% of my available bandwidth so I set it at 8 and the second WAN on lan port 2 ATT VDSL was 20% of my bandwidth so I set it at 2.

This method allowed seamless surfing, however, when I tried to play a game I would get disconnected if the router shunted my stream to the other modem during gameplay. I ended up putting it back in standby with fallback enabled to prevent this behavior.
 

HansoloAU

New Around Here
Where did you get this information from? Is it unique to specific brand you got the info from? But anyway, I would do 1:1 instead of 5:5.
Each brand does load balancing differently, all are pretty basic.

https://www.asus.com/support/faq/1005714/

So Ausus states the balancing is a proportion of transmissions. It does it sequentially...it is pretty easy to test assuming you can setup so only 1 pc is connecting to your router.




1. Set your balancing to 3:3 (this is just to demonstrate test).

2. On your PC BLOCK ALL internet traffic APART FROM PING (i use NetBalancer - you can get a free trail version for 14 days i think)

3. Then in your PC open 1 cmd window and ping say google.com with 10Kb (ping www.google.com -l 10000 -t) - NOTE -t option is important so ping keeps going through out test.

4. On your routers admin ui - look at the traffic monitor (it has a tab for WAN and a tab for the 2nd WAN [usb or lan]) - you will see outgoing traffic on the Primary WAN (10Kb)

5. open another (2nd) cmd window and do the same ping. Again you will notice only outgoing traffic on Primary WAN. (20Kb total)

6. open another (3rd) cmd window and repeat. Again all outgoing traffic is on the Primary WAN. (30Kb total)

7. open another (4th) cmd window and repeat ping. Now look at your Secondary WAN traffic and you will notice it now has traffic. (10Kb)

8. open another (5th) cmd window and repeat ping. You should notice your Secondary WAN traffic has gone up a small amount (20Kb)

9. open another (6th) cmd window and repeat ping. You should notice your Secondary WAN traffic has gone up a small amount again (30Kb) and should be the same bytes as your Primary Traffic.

10. At this point open a (7th) cmd window and repeat ping. You should notice your Primary WAN has taken that request (so now 40Kb).

If you opened a 8th and 9th cmd window and repeated ping then all that traffic will go to the Primary WAN. The 10th would go to the Secondary Lan. That is simply how the load balancing works, sequential distribution of requests. So in the above tests this is the distribution of requests... (R=request P=PrimaryWan S = SecondaryWan):-

Requests:-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
P P P S S S P P P S S S P


So as I mentioned, and as Gregory mentions, to efficiently balance between the P and S WAN you should do it based on each connections bandwidth.

Gregory suggests doing it by percentage i.e. if the balance is 80% and 20% then set the load to 8:2 So you would get this :-

Requests:-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
P P P P P P P P S S P P P


However what i prefer if balance is 80% & 20$ i would use 4:1 (80 divided by 20 = 4 [it has 4 time more bandwidth]) so i would set it up as:-

Requests:-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
P P P P S P P P P S P P P


The balance is the same (you are using more of P WAN) the difference it is just "when/how often" it make use in the 2nd primary WAN. So in my case it makes use of it every 5th request, in Gergory's its every 9th & 10th request. When i get some free time i will try do a youtube video demonstrating the above mechanism of distribution.

If your 2 connections have the same speed then just set it to 1:1...unless you want 1 connection to take more traffic to try manage actual data quota usage as the other connection has less data allowance.

Things like torrent apps work great with load balancing. As Gregory points out load balancing can mess up certain apps so what i do is route certain devices to specific P or S wan, so for example my Xbox1 & PS4 i always direct to the P or S wan.
 

Wutikorn

Senior Member
This method allowed seamless surfing, however, when I tried to play a game I would get disconnected if the router shunted my stream to the other modem during gameplay. I ended up putting it back in standby with fallback enabled to prevent this behavior
Have you tried using routing rules? Set your gaming PC to use Primary WAN. I am not sure if when the primary WAN is down, it will use Secondary WAN for that PC instead or not.

@HansoloAU , if you set routing rule for a PC to use Primary WAN and then the primary WAN goes down, will the PC get Secondary WAN route? Great info about load balancing ratio, btw.
 

Gregory Phillips

Senior Member
Have you tried using routing rules? Set your gaming PC to use Primary WAN. I am not sure if when the primary WAN is down, it will use Secondary WAN for that PC instead or not.
No sir I didn't set it static on the primary so I am unsure of how it will respond. I might try that and see how I am affected. I'd sure hate to be in the middle of a heated multi-ship exchange in dreadnought and get tossed from the game. When I do try it out I will report back on the results and thank you all for providing such insightful information.

Edit: I have assigned myself a static IP and created routing rules on the dual wan page to keep me on the primary WAN. I will keep you posted of any strange occurrences while I'm running this configuration. Since I couldn't find any firm rules I set the source IP as the pc I want to stay put and the destination IP as 0.0.0.0. The article I read said the destination IP should be 0.0.0.0 - 0.0.0.0 indicating that anything was acceptable but I could only input a single instance of it. I'm hoping that will suffice but if it doesn't I will report back in.
 
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