How do I combine multiple wireless connections for a faster internet?
Question by Jamie /

I have a spare computer to use as a router/server, as well as numerous USB/PCMCIA wireless interfaces. Is there a router-type Linux distro that will combine many wifi connections as a kind of distributed load broadband for my home network? What is this function called – multiplexing?

Thank you!

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Answers (10)
  • Jack Cola

    I heard something the other day that my ISP iiNet will be launching a new service in a couple of weeks that give ADSL2 customers speeds up to 40mb/s instead of the maximum of 24mb/s.
    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/214061,new-iinet-service-could-double-adsl-speeds.aspx

    So if you want to combined your ISP with your neighbours, it may work.

    I am not sure if such as service like this exists in the US, but it doesn’t exist yet here in Aus.

  • Jamie

    Thanks guy, I’ll look into all of those answers and see which sounds best. Sorry forthe late reply, I had no notification of a response.

    Just to clarify, as some have said already, I want to combine multiple Internet connections from neighbours wifi and my own Ethernet etc, hopefully increasing the speed overall.

    Will post back when I’ve tried some of the responses

    Thanks again!

  • jshm2

    You mean trunk a load of Ethernet and wifi connections? Azureus lets you do that and its easy in linux.

    If you mean use a wireless card like a multiplexor then it’s virtual wifi you want which Microsoft label virtual wifi creatively:

    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/994abd5f-53d1-4dba-a9d8-8ba1dcccead7/

  • D Lester

    For my answer to fit I have to make a couple assuptions.
    1. You have multiple neigbors who are sharing internet with you (hotspot a, hotspot b…). Preferably your all on different isps for better speed.

    2. You want your spare computer to act as a gateway to the internet for your other devices.

    Possible Solution (can’t confirm)

    1. Run a baseline speed test.

    Windows Way
    2. On windows xp – 7, connect to each hotspot.
    3. Under “Network Adapters” select all the adapters and right click to the “Bridge” Option.
    4. Run the “Internet Connection Sharing Wizard”

    Linux thought
    2. Setup every adapter to connect to a hotspot
    3. Bridge each adapter to the same lan
    4. Enable “Spanning Tree Protocal” (this stops using all but 1 path to the internet, it sounds bad but must be enabled or you will get “Broadcast Storms” that will totally clog your internet)
    5. Set very low timeouts for tcp and udp packets ( this should cause you to jump to the next hotspot as soon as the previous is stalled)
    [this same thought could also be applied to routers with dd-wrt, however you would need 1 for every hotspot and they all would have to be in client mode]

    Finally run the speed test again and see if it worked.

    If it did not you might try working with you neighbors to setup “WDS” on DD-WRT routers (1 for each person).

  • Scott_T

    I think what they mean is to connect to multiple wireless routers at the same time. not multiple connections to the same router.

    • Jack Cola

      Even if you do that, you will be still limited by the speed of your Internet connection

    • BrowningB

      Unless you have multiple internet connections (i.e., your neighbor’s wireless connection).

  • John

    If you arusing a windows PC, this software appears to do what you are asking about. http://www.nat32.com/

    You specifically asked about doing this using linux and this article explains how to do that as well.
    http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5031874.html

    I hope that this helps

  • Jack Cola

    I may be wrong, but as far as I am aware, what you are asking won’t work for the following reasons:

    1. The communication between router and computer is much faster than internet to router. So making many connections to your router from your computer won’t improve the speed of your internet

    2. I’ve done minimal testing, but if I connect my computer via lan cable and connect via wireless, data from my router only comes through one connection. This is using Windows Vista.

    3. Just because your Wireless 802.11N router says it can transfer at 54Mb/s, doesn’t mean that each interface will get 300Mb/s. If you have 2 wireless computers connecting the the router through wireless, each computer would get 150Mb/s.

    So basically, I don’t think it would work.