cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Line Bonding

corringham
Pro
Posts: 225
Thanks: 115
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎25-09-2015

Line Bonding

Does anyone have experience of using a line bonding service (such as SharedBand) with PlusNet ADSL Max?
I work from home, and my  ADSL Max Premium just doesn't have enough upload bandwidth for the VoIP and video conferences. The latency is also very variable, which makes VoIP rather choppy, and VPN less enjoyable than it should be - I'm often typing several words ahead of what's visible - it takes me back to using a 56kb modem in the 1980s. A bit more download bandwidth would be nice too.
Since I'm in a Market A area, the ADSL Max costs £16.99 + £16.99 line rental plus an extra £7.83 for the "Premium" part. I don't really want to commit to another 12 or 18 month contract at that price unless the bonding (which costs an extra £20/month on top) will give me the desired result.  £100 a month for a 1Mb upload seems a bit expensive, but I just need it!
Annoyingly, I have a very good line (12db SNR, 28db attenuation) and sync at the max line rate with no errors (ever!) but the only connection available is ADSL Max.
10 REPLIES
Highlighted
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,053
Thanks: 4,347
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Line Bonding

Can you please post your router stats.  One hopes that the 12dB SNRM implies that you are on adsl(1) maxed out.
I'm surprised that a good ADSL(1) line is doing so poorly.  My ADSL2 line runs nowhere near as good as ADSL(1) at its best but copes fine with Skype and VPN.
corringham
Pro
Posts: 225
Thanks: 115
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎25-09-2015

Re: Line Bonding

OK, the stats are below, sorry I haven't figured out how to get the formatting right, but I think the relevant figures are fairly clear.
This is a Vigor 2860n+.
I usually have the full 8Mb down sync, but OpenReach are messing with the exchange at present and I've had a couple of line drops which have had the result of lowering the sync temporarily - it dropped earlier today hence the 6816Kbps. The line profile is currently 5.5Mbps. Until OpenReach started installing fibre in the area I had a solid connection for over 4 months with no drops, and no errors at all. There is no electrical interference (nearest neighbour is a furlong away) and the cable is underground.
Unfortunately I'm on an EO line that won't be moved to a cabinet. The BDUK body for the area - Fastershire - have advised me that nobody on an EO line in my postcode will be upgraded. They also told me that there is no possibility of ADSL2+ ever being installed - it is fibre or nothing, so in my case nothing :-(  If my down bandwidth was ess that 2Mbps I would be eligible for a satellite connection - which would be less than useless for my usage anyway. I'm not eligible for any BDUK connection grants, as they are only available for connections >30Mbps - which is unachievable at any price for me.
So in summary, my ADSL Max Premium connection is working perfectly (apart from increasingly variable latency, which I think is a separate issue). It is adequate for some simple VoIP, but I'm increasingly involved in online conferences with presentations that require more than 500Kbps - which leaves nothing spare for the up bandwidth. Any other activity (I run servers too) maxes out the up bandwidth.
My options seem to be bonding or EFM. EFM would cost me £2400+VAT installation, then £200+VAT per month for minimum 2 years for a 2Mbps/2Mbps connection. Bonding should be 10Mbps/1Mbps for around £100 per month so looks like the better option if it works as advertised.
Line Statistics
   
Downstream            Upstream               
Actual Rate 6816 Kbps 832 Kbps
Attainable Rate 6880 Kbps 1248 Kbps
Path Mode Interleave Interleave
Interleave Depth 0 0
Actual PSD 19. 9 dB 12. 3 dB
Near End                Far End                 
Trellis ON ON
Bitswap OFF OFF
SNR Margin 10 dB 13 dB
Attenuation 28 dB 15 dB
CRC 0 0
FECS 0 s 0 s
ES 0 s 0 s
SES 0 s 0 s
LOSS 0 s 0 s
UAS 0 s 0 s
HEC Errors 0 0
RS Corrections 0 0
LOS Failure 0 0
LOF Failure 0 0
LPR Failure 0 0
NCD Failure 0 0
LCD Failure 0 0
NFEC 0 0
RFEC 0 0
LYSMB 0 0
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,053
Thanks: 4,347
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Line Bonding

With that attenuation, you ought to be seeing the full 8128kbps DS.  There is enough SNRM head room to deliver that, unless it is the case that there was interference at the time of the last resync.
If the BT work has brought your line down too often, it is possible that the line has been banded.  Have you raised fault report?  See link below.

PlusNet does not do line bonding.  An alternative approach might be to use a load balancing router connected to a number of ADSL circuits.  See something like the Vigor V2890 range.  These can be configured to balance the loading across two or more WAN connections.  I'm looking at obtaining the V2890Vac (new in the UK) which has lots of functionality.  I rather expect that it will be possible to direct specific traffic to (or way) from one of the WAN links.  You might thereby keep 'other' traffic off one of the links and keep the other for VPN / Conferencing.
HTH?
dragon2611
Grafter
Posts: 283
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Line Bonding

Quote from: Townman
With that attenuation, you ought to be seeing the full 8128kbps DS.  There is enough SNRM head room to deliver that, unless it is the case that there was interference at the time of the last resync.

Not with interleaving I don't think, the max always used to be about 7.6Mbit/s
There are other options for bonding, e.g http://openitc.co.uk/broadband_bonding_and_failover.php might be worth talking to them (In the interests of Full Disclosure: I'm friends the owners of that site) essentially any "bonding" that isn't done by the ISP is going to be done using VPN tunnels and will have variable results, that said it's usually easier on slower lines than on fast ones (Faster Lines require significantly more processing power at both ends).
Also if you did end up wanted to use openITC talk to them first to make sure it's the right solution but also I suspect they can do better bandwidth pricing than is on the website
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,691
Thanks: 1,570
Fixes: 37
Registered: ‎16-10-2014

Re: Line Bonding

Line Townman said Plusnet do not have support to enable bonding, been there, didn't do it and didn't get a T shirt.
Quote from: Townman
I rather expect that it will be possible to direct specific traffic to (or way) from one of the WAN links.  You might thereby keep 'other' traffic off one of the links and keep the other for VPN / Conferencing.

I am sure this can be done already in the 2860 and 2925 units with the v3.7.8 firmware. I'm going to be looking at it to route my VoIP out over my second WAN using the 'Policy routing with Metrics'. If you're interested I'll update this thread with the outcome.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,053
Thanks: 4,347
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Line Bonding

@Dragon,
Quote from: dragon2611
Not with interleaving I don't think, the max always used to be about 7.6Mbit/s

Thanks, I'd rather forgotten the over heads of interleaving ... which might be a contribution to the reduced speeds.  Looking at the stats, one wonders if interleaving is really required on this line.  Removing it might just be enough to make a difference.
Community Veteran
Posts: 380
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Line Bonding

Quote from: dragon2611
Not with interleaving I don't think, the max always used to be about 7.6Mbit/s

You can sync at 8128 with interleaving applied as I used to before I finally managed to get it removed from the line.
This is similar to an issue I had with my draytek router with a couple of drops and poor up throughput,  switched to a different router and it solved the throughput and have managed several more months with no interleaving applied than I was ever able to achieve with the draytek.
corringham
Pro
Posts: 225
Thanks: 115
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎25-09-2015

Re: Line Bonding

Responses to several of the replies follow (in no particular order):
Yes, you can get a sync of 8128Kbps sync with interleaving, that's what mine usually is. It only dropped yesterday because of OpenReach working on the exchange, and it is back up to 7552Kbps today. I can force it back up by reducing the SNR (now 9dB), but the down speed isn't a particular problem so I'll let it sort itself out.
I'm aware that PlusNet don't do bonding - that's why I was asking about 3rd party bonding solutions such as SharedBand. That works with any ISP, even with ADSL lines from more than one ISP. I just don't know of anyone that has used it for real.
The Vigor 2860n will do load balancing. However that is quite different to bonding - the max upload speed is limited to the fastest individual ADSL upload speed, rather than the sum of all of them with bonding. It also does QoS management - which I'm already using to prioritize Lync sessions (although I can probably tweak that a bit more...).
I do have one other possible workaround - that is to get a high gain antenna for EE 4G and route all my priority upload traffic via EE, and use PlusNet for lower priority upload and all download. That will minimize the traffic over EE (which will minimize the cost) while providing fast upload speeds for priority traffic. I may try that with PAYG SIM before I commit to any long term contracts. I'm not sure what the latency over 4G would be like - does anyone have any experience of that?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,618
Thanks: 629
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Line Bonding

Have you spoken to Virgin Media about the cost of a leased line?  If I recollect, with the BDUK grant they came in at £350/month for 30 mbps uncontended symmetric. Of course that level of monthly commitment may be too much.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
corringham
Pro
Posts: 225
Thanks: 115
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎25-09-2015

Re: Line Bonding

I haven't spoken to Virgin Media, but I did previously read up about what they can offer. The £325+VAT is a bit too steep for me, and I'm not in a BDUK eligible area so I can't get a grant towards the installation costs - which I think would be eye-watering. I did get a rough estimate from another provider who suggested the installation cost for a leased line would be upwards of £9500+VAT, but they weren't willing to do it even at that price.
To be honest if I was in an area that was eligible for the BDUK grants I would be happy with the standard ADSL2+ (or FTTC) that would be available there. Only places that already have good internet connectivity available are eligible for grants - which seems somewhat perverse to me.