Add 4g as second connection to home Network?

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Hi everyone!

I currently have a Sky Hub/connection at home, and I have it connected to a BT Wholehome Mesh. It's working great, and I am happy with the performance of the Wireless network. However, I am not really happy with the bandwidth the Sky connection is providing (Max 20 Mbps down, 7 Mbps up), which is limited by my location. I have toyed with the idea of using Starlink, but found that locally I have great Vodafone 4g coverage, and this would work out cheaper monthly for an unlimited 4g Sim. Vodafone have confirmed this use case is allowed with the Sim, but I am not entirely sure the best way to proceed.

Essentially, I want to add a 4g connection to my network, not as a "backup", but as a second link to widen the bandwidth available overall and provide redundancy if needed.

Keen to know if this is easily done, would it need a hardware component to join the two networks, or can it be done more simply?

Thanks for any ideas!
 
Caporegime
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You could just buy a 4G router and keep it there then switch over. You can get devices that switch over to 4G on a down connection but yes it does require hardware either way.
 
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Yup, but it seems daft to be paying for it and only using it unless there is an issue.

I think I need a dual wan switch, so I can plug in both the 4g router and Sky router via RJ45, and then let the switch load balance it, and plug that switch into the mesh main unit.

I found this device - TP-Link Load Balance Broadband Business Router with Up to 4 WAN Ports, Grey (TL-R470T+)

I think this is what I need to do what I want :D
 
Soldato
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Are you in contract with Sky? BT Business have a service called Hybrid Speed Boost which does what you've described and might work out more cost effective, though it would be on the EE network rather than Vodafone.
 
Joined
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Are you in contract with Sky? BT Business have a service called Hybrid Speed Boost which does what you've described and might work out more cost effective, though it would be on the EE network rather than Vodafone.
Yup, I am. But I am unwilling to change all my Phone/TV stuff also, not to mention EE signal is absolutely dire here. I cannot make/take phone calls in my house, or most of my street, or village in general.
 
Associate
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I found it was not straight forward, SKY and VM stop the services working properly when you are not on their network, so I had to segment my network such that the VM TV stuff was using their own gear always via sticky connection in router and the rest of my network could use what it likes as and when, even combining the bandwidth of both connections where latency wasn't an issue.
 
Don
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If you want full flexibility of the load balancing, then you'd be better off with something like a draytek (Or building something yourself with PFSense/OPNSense and using a xDSL modem and 4g modem)


With something like the draytek, you can load balance between the connections, or manually force certain devices to each connection (e.g. gaming PCs to the FTTC connection for low latency, whilst offloading everything else to the 4G)

If you do look at the draytek's - you don't have to buy a specific 4g model, you can plug in a USB 4G dongle to all of them, or connect a 4G router that has an ethernet connection into the WAN2 port
 
Joined
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I found it was not straight forward, SKY and VM stop the services working properly when you are not on their network, so I had to segment my network such that the VM TV stuff was using their own gear always via sticky connection in router and the rest of my network could use what it likes as and when, even combining the bandwidth of both connections where latency wasn't an issue.
Yeah, not too worried about the SKY stuff, I figure I can force it down one way if needed :)

If you want full flexibility of the load balancing, then you'd be better off with something like a draytek (Or building something yourself with PFSense/OPNSense and using a xDSL modem and 4g modem)


With something like the draytek, you can load balance between the connections, or manually force certain devices to each connection (e.g. gaming PCs to the FTTC connection for low latency, whilst offloading everything else to the 4G)

If you do look at the draytek's - you don't have to buy a specific 4g model, you can plug in a USB 4G dongle to all of them, or connect a 4G router that has an ethernet connection into the WAN2 port

I will have a look :)
 
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Soldato
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Anything Draytek should work fine.

I don't think the experience is too seamless unfortunately. You'd need some policy tools to shape the traffic that goes over 4G (i.e. non latency sensitive).
 
Associate
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This is exactly what I did

using a draytek 2862, sky vdsl wan 1 & Smarty sim via usb dongle wan 2, works well but needs a bit of knowledge to get working perfectly I.e sky q downloads didnt like it with 4g sim so had to set rule to use wan 1 only,

Definitely recommend draytek been solid since set up

fergin
 
Man of Honour
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It is a bit of a chore but I generally just use the 4G for general stuff and manually swap to the FTTC for gaming or if one connection is busy with Windows updates, etc. - we do have a load balancing setup but most of the time I'm just using the 4G anyhow.
 
Associate
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If you want to load balance them, connect FTTC and 4G modems to a Pfsense router, otherwise look at Draytek/Asus for a router with 4G failover option, phones with Android 11+ can do reverse USB-C ethernet tethering.
 
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