Sep 20, 2020

Making WFH work


Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and the entire family had to rely on the home Internet connection for getting everything done, I was dreading the day when that connectivity would go out. That day came a couple of months back, when my wife and I had work calls lined up and both the boys were about to start their online classes. Thankfully, that exclamation point near the Wifi icon disappeared in five minutes, but scared me enough to make me sign up for a second, back-up connection.

Some basic research led me to the venerable EdgeRouter X, which could take in both ISP connections and provide a single load-balanced connection to the wireless AP. Setup was simple enough, the folks at Ubiquiti have done an amazing job with the wizard that can get you started in less than 5 minutes. Basic networking knowledge is helpful too, to get more done out of this workhorse of a machine. 

What pushed me to the EdgeRouter was its Gigabit connectivity, whereas the cheaper TP-Link ones cap out at 100 Mbps. With one 150 Mbps and another 100 Mbps connection, I didn't want the router to be the bottleneck. Speedtests at and both provide around 230-240 Mbps, meaning that load-balancing is working, and is actually aggregating for multi-part connections. Also setup Tasker and Connectbot on my Android to SSH into the router and toggle load-balancing and failover at the touch of a button. 

Unless something drastic takes out both the connections simultaneously, it's a reassuring feeling to know that there's some redundancy to the lifeline that's making things manageable in these crazy times.