Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Created April 29, 2011 19:40
Show Gist options
  • Save langford/948890 to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
Save langford/948890 to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
$212 upfront/ $624 Annual Internet failover plan
I've been having some connectivity problems off and on the last few
weeks due to storms taking out some combination of power/internet or
damaging some of the networking equipment here (in spite of the surge
protectors, etc in place) as well as a incident with bad wiring
getting worse due to storms/electrical shorts.
While the iPhone's tethering was a stopgap measure that helped in the
meanwhile, it was by no means a final solution, nor did it allow
efficient completion of the tasks at hand nor good communication while
things were going on as the phone would overheat if I left it running
all the time, as the connection is slow.
It seemed like sharing what steps were taken to not make this happen
again might be useful to some of use in case you want to make your own
failover plans and get the required equipment.
First off, power upgrades: New battery backups were ordered. This
allows considerably more than the 5 minutes of power the current
backup does. Additionally, it can power all the networking equipment
to follow.
Battery backup: (works
supposedly for 30 minutes, but I've usually found these time periods
optimistic). Sticking the networking equipment on this usually allow
it to run despite localized power outages.
Next off, was a backup to the internet connectivity. The american
southeast has been suffering severe weather, tornados, winds, etc for
the last month. Atlanta is "The City of Trees" (here is a picture of
the area I live in from the satellite: It is
literally built in a forest. This is beautiful most of the year.
However all our power and internet lines are above ground. This
combined with trees + wind = relatively easy to knock out utilities.
While power is rarely out for more than a few minutes, internet access
provided by landline providers goes off for hours occasionally (5-6
times a year). So as a backup for that, I procured a networking plan
with, a Wimax provider. This runs 52 USD a month with modem
lease and unlimited internet. You could ostensibly go down to $32 a
month, but there would be limits on the amount of traffic you'd have,
as well as your speeds.
This wimax router, in the event of a protracted power outage, could be
removed from the power at my place of business, and be taken with my
laptop to a third place (coffee house, co-working environment, etc),
providing unlimited data and a fast connection. Otherwise, it can be
used as a near seamless failover when the cable internet goes out. The
particular model I have has wifi, so I could also connect up iOS
devices to do my work (Which is 3rd Party remote iPhone/iPad
Lastly, to tie the 2 internet connections together (The old one and
the new one), I purchased a dual wan router. This is a product which
takes two internet connections and combines them into one (called
"Load balancing"), or you can set it up to primarily use one, and use
the other in case of failure on the primary, automatically switching
over after missing a certain number of pings to a IP or certain number
of dns calls to a service, or failures from the gateway.
The Cisco RV04 is the dual wan router in question (158 USD):
The setup of this device is not bad. By default it does "load balanced
mode" so you do need to customize it to do the failover thing (the
manual says how to on page 69),. There is still a 16 second delay in
one relatively rare case of no connectivity, but this is still a very
good downtime.
Upfront cost: $212
Annual cost: $624
So basically very worth it if you work a job which you bill hourly.
--Michael Langford
PS: Setup/Signup/Research/Writing this email took a total of 7 hours.
Michael Langford
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment