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At my dad's workplace they often have internet outages that cause them to lose business.

My dad wants to have a 3G internet connection as backup to their primary connection. They want to have it automatically kick in when the primary connection is down.

Is this possible? My dad's first thought was a router with builtin 3G support that can automatically switch to 3G and back as needed. Does something like this exist? Or any other solution?

closed as not constructive by Sven, Chris S May 20 '13 at 13:51

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    This is going to get closed, because shopping questions are not allowed, but yes, plenty of broadband routers have 3G backup, either integrated or they have a USB port to attach a dongle. – NickW May 20 '13 at 13:31
  • Shopping Questions are Off-Topic on any of the Stack Exchange sites. See Q&A is hard, lets go Shopping and the FAQ for more details. – Chris S May 20 '13 at 13:51
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You can do this with a pfSense box, or if you want a commercial solution, Sonicwall, Watchguard, Cisco, et al have options to fit your needs.

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Yes, you just need a dual-ported device of some description which is capable of failover in the event of a connection failure. There are many such devices on the market, typically marked up as "dual WAN". General purpose firewalls such as pfSense also support this functionality.

There are also now devices which are able to terminate a 3G connection, and it would appear also feature dual WAN support.

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I recommend using a router with WAN failover. With this setup you will need 3 devices:

  • Router w/ WAN Failover
  • DSL/Cable Modem
  • 3G/4G/WiMax Modem

While perhaps more costly than a integrated device, this will provide you with greater freedom in case 4G comes along or you switch primary internet providers. Also, in my experience, a dedicated office router can yield additional benefits such as better VLAN and VPN management.

Cisco and other brands have various routers/gateway devices with WAN failover built in. Many Cisco IOS devices can have WAN failover added to their configuration.

There are also software based solutions like: http://www.untangle.com/

You have not mentioned what services you are trying to access? But with these devices, your public IP address will switch and any persistent connections will drop. So any services that depend on a persistent connection or specific IP can be impacted.

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