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You are here: Home Knowledge How to Make Your Office's Internet Connection More Reliable with a Linksys / Cisco RV042/RV082 Router

How to Make Your Office's Internet Connection More Reliable with a Linksys / Cisco RV042/RV082 Router

When Internet access is critical for your business, consider using two separate Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The second ISP is kept in reserve as a spare, a hot backup that you can automatically use if your primary Internet connection goes down. In this article, we explore using a Linksys / Cisco RV042/RV082 Router to inexpensively create a backup Internet connection that can automatically switchover. We prefer the RV082 over the RV042 because the RV082 is rack-mount and does not require an external power supply.

 

Linksys / Cisco RV042 Redundant Internet Connection DeploymentA popular solution for improving the availability of an office's Internet connection is to use a dedicated WAN router such as the Linksys / Cisco RV042 or RV082 . If you have an RV082 and two Internet connections from two ISPs your office can be protected from losing Internet access when your primary Internet connection goes down. Employees will continue to be able to use their PCs to access the Internet with no reconfiguration needed and little or no notice of any problem.

The RV042 can operate in two ways.

  1. In Link Balancing mode it will share your two Internet connections all the time, alternating traffic through your ISP's as it sees fit.

  2. In Smart Link Backup mode it will always use your primary Internet connection until it detects a failure, then it will automatically switch and use the other Internet connection.

At first glance it seems that using both connections all the time in Link Balancing mode is the smarter way to go. After all, you're paying for both connections; you may as well use them both and benefit from the combined bandwidth all of the time.

However, we've seen problems with Link Balancing. In Link Balancing mode your internal PC's will appear to have an IP address from either one of your ISP's, and that address will change at random. This is not a problem for most Internet uses, such as email and web browsing. But we recently had a client who had a problem with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). It seems that AIM won't accept messages from you if your IP address is changing between messages. There are other cases such as VoIP and HTTPS connections that have similar problems.

Generally speaking, VoIP calls will immediately drop when the RV082 switches between ISPs. However, after the ISP switch you can redial or the caller can call back and the call will be received.

The default User ID and password for the RV082 is admin / admin

Our recommendation is to run your RV042 or RV082 in Smart Link Backup mode. While you won't be using both connections simultaneously, you'll have fewer problems and your PCs will still have improved Internet up-time. After all, being able to keep your people and systems running and earning money is the main goal.


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