= SD-WAN based on Peplink Balance One and Vultr VPS =

Hi, I have acquired used Peplink Balance One device. I have two ISPs: Starlink and mobile AT&T. II would like to bond those two into single reliable connection - it's called WAN Smoothing I believe

How do I self-host my exit node on Vultr VPS and what kind of licenses do I need? Do I need to register anywhere within Peplink ecosystem? I'm new to Peplink

To echo another comment, I believe the Speedfusion license is a separate purchase for the Balance One. But, you may not need it for FusionHub Solo. Sorry I can't answer that. I will say that these license costs can easily make a used Peplink purchase seem ludicrous

The best how-to for setting up FusionHub Solo is probably this one from Martin, of the Peplink forums. httpswww.martinlangmaid.com/2019/10/08/setting-up-fusionhub-on-vultr/ I've tried to set it up on the low costs VPSs (Nerdrack, SSD Nodes etc) that are an order of magnitude cheaper than the mainstays but none of them support installing the Peplink FusionHub image. Neither the VPS providers nor Peplink appear to be interested in changing this. Vultr does appear to be the cheapest option at the current time

Some 2-bit comments:
My experience with bonding has been mixed. I would suggest that you downgrade any expectations for 'bandwidth aggregation'. My tests have always shown a net decrease in throughput when bonding two WAN connections vs the speed of the faster WAN alone. Smoothing might be a different story. In my case, I'm still working out how best to isolate VOIP and video call traffic to a speedfusion tunnel without routing all connections to it. Outbound policy, QoS and SpeedFusion application routing have been tricky to work out and I don't have all applications routing correctly. On top of that, I haven't had the time to significantly test applications to see if smoothing is actually making a difference for any of the applications. This stuff takes a LOT of time

Peplink is in the business of taking as much money as possible. They seem to suffer from the same issues that many tech companies do. They have a customer base that spans large institutions and small 'consumers'. The maths used to justify various costs are dramatically different between the two customer bases and in the face of that, I think that the licensing structure and therefore the fees that Peplink charges are confusing

Good; The Balance 20x model has been pretty stable for me. PepVPN just works between my pep routers (although I'm essentially paying an ongoing fee for it) and I like some of the extra configurability the Peplink devices offer over most of the consumer level routers

Of course, given the 2.5Gb multi LAN small board computers that have been introduced lately AND the numerous open source networking projects available, I think I would probably roll my own router system today rather than buy closed source Peplink products. Even bonding appears to be within reach via open source nowadays

I think I have 40 hours into testing all the different bonding options connecting to a local Vultr server and I still don't think I've cracked the code

Half the time the performance is worse when bonded. Often one link without bond is much faster than the same link bonded with anything

I've tested wirh hard lines, three different cell carries and Starlink

I've also been testing Speedify, which allows you to bond devices just on your computer and this product is brilliant! It does what I really wish peplink would do and it bonds it perfectly, so I know it's possible for peplink to do it right

You upload the FusionHub .vmdk as a custom image, launch it and configure it at the provided IP Address, then make a SpeedFusion profile and have the two connect to one another

You need to pay an additional $900 to activate SpeedFusion on your Balance One. FusionHub Solo is free for all Peplink devices, but SpeedFusion isn't

Keep in mind that "bonding" is often misunderstood. Your speeds will not be the sum of AT&T aand Starlink, but be set by the slower of the two connections. SpeedFusion and FusionHub allow you to push more data over the same pipes at the max speed of the slower connection while also providing a seamless transition if one of the connections fails

Keep in mind that "bonding" is often misunderstood

You're right, it is often misunderstood. But Peplink has also made claims of "bandwidth aggregation" in various Speedfusion literature over the years. I've come to the conclusion that if I want faster download or upload speeds by "combining" my connections together, then Peplink is not going to do that regardless of what it appears to say on the tin. I'm saying this with experience on the cheaper end of the Peplink product catalog (B20x etc). Conversely, some other companies do apparently provide combined speeds. I've heard lots of good things about Speedify although it's a very different service than anything that Peplink currently sells. I'm tempted to believe that some of the more direct competitors to Peplink can also provide aggregation

It is my understanding that most users of "bonding" are instead reaching for a more consistent/reliable connection and in that case "smoothing" is perhaps a word that better describes to the layman what Peplink bonding is about. With smoothing, you are transmitting the same data over both connections at the same time and the system uses this dual pathway to "smooth" things out

I personally have wished for both things but in different contexts. When streaming video, I want smoothing. When I'm uploading content to a server, I want aggregation

As always, if you know more, please feel free to correct what I've written

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