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We have been using two separate Internet connections in our office. People will share internet connection by setting their gateways to either of these. Gateway is one of our local server through which internet is shared. So, we are using two local servers for two connections. Now problem is, if any connection is down, people have to manually change their gateways to the working connection.

How we can have multiple internet connection at office without people having to manually change their gateway settings? One of our server is windows XP and another is red hat.

Thanks in advance

EDIT
One requirement is that we need to have a server accessible via static ip

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7 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Use a router that connects to both ISPs and can handle the fail-over between ISPs when one goes down.

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You mean using something like this "Cisco RV082 Dual WAN VPN Router". But other than that, is there a way to make my PC as router? –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 15:17
    
Yeah, you make your PC act as a router with Linux, but it is pretty advanced. lartc.org –  Zoredache Oct 3 '11 at 16:53
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Use a dual-WAN router. On the low-end, the TP-LINK TL-R470T+ is around $60. On the higher end, consider the Cisco RV042.

Update: Some of the other answers suggest using a PC as a router. This is a more powerful and flexible solution. But it requires a lot more knowledge and effort on your part. If you don't have anyone available who is familiar with IP routing and NAT, it might not be the best idea. (I don't know of any easy-to-use, plug and play, PC solution.)

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I heard that in cisco dual wan router, internal PC's will appear to have an IP address from either one of your ISP's, and that address will change at random. If so it would be problem.. –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 15:30
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That's true of any dual-WAN router. How else could it use both Internet connections? (Without special configuration on the ISP side, BGP, and so on.) –  David Schwartz Oct 3 '11 at 15:59
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@DavidSchwartz: pfSense has a full Web GUI, is easy to install. I would argue that pfSense is easier to use than Cisco for your typical user who may only have experience with SOHO/consumer routers. –  gravyface Oct 3 '11 at 16:22
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As Shane Madden advised, you need a router that can handle multiple Internet connections and failover (and usually load-balance) between the two connections.

One such firewall/router is pfSense. It's based on BSD's pf, is open source, and is highly stable (I have dozens in production, including load balancing/failover for several).

You only need a modestly-powered workstation (an old Pentium 4 with 512 to 1GB of RAM will be plenty) and three NICs (I'd avoid older Realteks and stick with Intel).

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Ok. You mean without the hardware router, I can use one of my PC. –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 15:33
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@VenuGopalT I mean you can use an old, spare PC as your new hardware router by installing pfSense on it. I did make a mistake: you'll need three NICs, not two. NIC #1 will be your LAN interface and that's the default gateway that everyone will use; NIC #2 with be for ISP #1 and NIC #3 for ISP #2. –  gravyface Oct 3 '11 at 15:46
    
ok Thanks. what would be the best solution while going forward, hardware router or your suggestion? –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 16:04
    
@VenuGopalT well, both are hardware routers: pfSense gives you alot of features that you might not find in a lower-end router (if that's what you want to spend). –  gravyface Oct 3 '11 at 16:20
    
ok fine.. I will check and get back to you.. Thanks for your time. –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 16:24
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"One requirement is that we need to have a server accessible via static ip"

This is where things start to get pricey.

  • A: Change the servers static IP if one line go down, and update DNS
  • B: Use co-location at a facility with multiple ISP feeds
  • C: Get dual ISP's with BGP feeds, and two routers with BGP+HSRP

A is clumsy and manual, B is everything from mediocre to expensive, C can be very expensive.

Unless you have a LARGE server farm then co-location should be the obvious choice - unless you have requirements to keep the server on the same LAN as your clients or other servers.

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mmm right. But we are a small firm ~60 people. can't we configure two static ips to a router or pc? –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 16:38
    
You can not have one static IP across two different ISP's without using BGP. Not possible. –  pauska Oct 3 '11 at 16:42
    
I don't mean one static across two different ISP's. What I mean is, I will have pc as a router, I would set the respective static ip's from different ISP's to my PC. IP would work only when the Internet connection is active. Is it possible? –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 16:54
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Sensible dual-WAN routers should support this. Very low-end SOHO models might not. –  David Schwartz Oct 3 '11 at 17:33
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You need something (possibly redhat) to act as a router

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Ok How can I achieve it? Could you shed some light on it? –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 15:29
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Have a look at this (might be a tad old but will do the trick). lartc.org/howto/lartc.rpdb.multiple-links.html If you setup your redhat box like that and set it as a gateway it will do the routing for you. That is though if you don't want to simply buy a "dual" router as david schwartz said –  user Oct 3 '11 at 15:36
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You'll want to look for [probably] a hardware router that has "Dual WAN Links". I've personally had good success with the Netgear FVS 336G, which may be a little more than what you need, but this should be a good starting point (as far as looking at features and specs) for you.

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Ok sure will check it. thanks –  Venu Oct 3 '11 at 15:31
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I think the cheapest solution would be to get a extra ethernet card for the RH server (if it has a spare PCI slot) and connect both WAN lines to it. Make it the gateway.

On the server itself configure it according to this question. The only caveat is that the DNS servers might be different if the lines are serviced by different ISPs. In that case consider using OpenDNS' or Google's servers which should be generally available.

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If DNS servers become an issue consider using using dnsmasq on the gateway. Then there will be no issues for the clients. –  Allen Oct 3 '11 at 20:18
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