Finding the right model for your network may sound daunting, and most people new to Peplink may not know where to start.

Here we look at 2 major criterion, as a starting point of choosing the right model of Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX for your network.

1. The Number and Type of Internet Connections

The benefits of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) or SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding Hybrid WAN lies in its ability to use internet connections of different technologies and providers at the same time.

Needless to say, when choosing a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX SD-WAN router, one important criteria is the number and the type of internet connections you will want to use.

Three Types of WAN Interfaces

Each internet connection will need one dedicated interface to connect to the Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX.

Ethernet WAN Ports

Each of your landline, for example Cable, Broadband, DSL or Fibre etc. will be plugged into one of ethernet WAN ports on the Peplink Balance or the Pepwave MAX.

Embedded 4G LTE/3G Modems

Each 4G LTE/3G internet connection, if it is available as a SIM card, will be inserted in one of the SIM slots of one of the embedded 4G LTE/3G modem on the Peplink Balance or the Pepwave MAX.

USB 4G LTE/3G Ports

Each 4G LTE/3G internet connection, if it is housed in a carrier-provided or an off-the-shelf USB modem, will be plugged into one of the USB ports on the Peplink Balance or the Pepwave MAX.

A Few Examples

A few examples for demonstration.

Scenario with Multiple Landlines and a 4G LTE/3G as Backup.

Say you have one DSL and one Fibre. Both of these landlines come with carrier-provided or off-the-shelf modems which terminate them into ethernet cable.

You also have one EE 4G LTE/3G internet with the SIM card housed in a EE-provided or off-the-shelf USB 4G modem that you want to use as backup.

Number and Type of Internet
Internet Interface
DSL Ethernet
Fibre Ethernet
4G LTE/3G USB

As you can see, you will need a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX model with at least two ethernet WAN ports, and one USB port.

The least model meeting this requirement is a Peplink Balance 20.

Scenario with Multiple 4G LTE/3G in Different Mediums.

Say you have one EE and one Vodafone 4G LTE/3G internet connections. Both of them are available as SIM cards.

You also have one O2 4G LTE/3G internet connection with the SIM card housed in a O2-provided USB 4G modem that you want to use alongside the EE and Vodafone, or perhaps as backup.

Number and Type of Internet
Internet Interface
4G LTE/3G (EE) SIM
4G LTE/3G (Vodafone) SIM
4G LTE/3G (O2) USB

In this case, you will need a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX model with at least two embedded 4G LTE/3G modems for EE and Vodafone, and one USB port for O2.

The least model meeting this requirement is a Pepwave MAX HD2 Mini.

Scenario with Two 4G LTE/3G. One Primary. One Backup.

Say you have one EE and one Vodafone 4G LTE/3G internet connections. Both of them are available as SIM cards.

EE will be the primary 4G LTE/3G internet connection. Vodafone is to be used only if EE is out of coverage, out of bandwidth quota, or otherwise unavailable.

This means at any time you have one 4G LTE/3G internet connection which may be on the EE or Vodafone network depending on their availability.

Number and Type of Internet
Internet Interface
4G LTE/3G SIM (EE)
SIM (Vodafone)

In this case, you will need a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX model with at least one embedded 4G LTE/3G modem and 2x redundant SIM slots.

The least model meeting this requirement is a Pepwave MAX BR1.

The embedded 4G LTE/3G modem in this case will be able to switch to use the Vodafone SIM card when the EE SIM card does not provide a valid 4G LTE/3G internet connection.

2. The Amount of Throughput

The second criteria is the amount of throughput. And there are two numbers to look at.

Routing Throughput

Routing between WAN and LAN requires processing power.

To use multiple landline and 4G LTE/3G at the same time or as backup to one another, you will need to a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX SD-WAN router with a routing throughput of all of your internet connections’ upload and download bandwidth combined.

 

SpeedFusion Throughput

If your application is to take advantage of SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding for a bonded Hybrid WAN between multiple networks, each with a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX, then you will need to a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX SD-WAN router with a SpeedFusion throughput of all of your internet connections’ upload and download bandwidth combined.

SpeedFusion comes with 256-bit AES encryption enabled by default. For application that does not require encryption, 256-bit AES can be disabled to increase the SpeedFusion throughput.

If you do not use SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding however, you do not need to worry about SpeedFusion Throughput.

A Few Examples

These are the same scenarios from before. This time we are adding routing and SpeedFusion throughput a second criteria.

Scenario with Multiple Landlines and a 4G LTE/3G as Backup.

Say the DSL has a 10Mbps upload and 10Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 20Mbps. The Fibre, 100Mbps upload and 100Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 200Mbps. And the EE 4G LTE/3G, 40Mbps upload and 20Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 60Mbps.

The EE is used as only backup. This means it will not be used simultaneously as the DSL and Fibre.

When DSL and Fibre are available, the total amount of throughput is:

DSL: 20Mbps + Fibre: 200Mbps = 220Mbps

When they are not available, the total amount of throughput becomes:

EE: 60Mbps

This is a branch office location and is to be connected to the HQ and other branch offices by a SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding Hybrid WAN, with 256-bit AES encryption, on the DSL and Fibre. EE will be used as backup.

This means you will meed a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX with routing and SpeedFusion throughput of at least 220Mbps, or 60Mbps when DSL and Fibre are down.

Number and Type of Internet Throughput
Internet Interface Routing Throughput SpeedFusion Throughput (256-bit AES)
DSL Ethernet 220Mbps (or 60Mbps) 220Mbps (or 60Mbps)
Fibre Ethernet
4G LTE/3G USB

The Peplink Balance 20 has 2x ethernet WAN ports and 1x USB port. It however has a routing throughput of 150Mbps and a SpeedFusion throughput (256-bit AES) of 30Mbps.

Adding the throughput criteria, the least model meeting the requirements becomes a Peplink Balance 710.

It has 7x Ethernet WAN ports, 1x USB port, a routing throughput of 2.5Gbps and a SpeedFusion throughput (256-bit AES) of 400Mbps.

Scenario with Multiple 4G LTE/3G in Different Mediums.

Say both the EE and Vodafone 4G LTE/3G has a 20Mbps upload and 40Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 60Mbps each. And the O2 4G LTE/3G, 10Mbps upload and 20Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 30Mbps.

O2 is used as only backup. This means it will not be used simultaneously as the EE and Vodafone.

When EE and Vodafone are available, the total amount of throughput is:

EE: 60Mbps + Vodafone: 60Mbps = 120Mbps

When they are not available, the total amount of throughput becomes:

02: 30Mbps

This is a mobile location and is streaming surveillance video to the command centre over a SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding Hybrid WAN, with 256-bit AES encryption, on both EE and Vodafone. O2 will be used as backup.

This means you will meed a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX with routing and SpeedFusion throughput of at least 120Mbps, or 30Mbps when EE and Vodafone are down.

Number and Type of Internet Throughput
Internet Interface Routing Throughput SpeedFusion Throughput (256-bit AES)
4G LTE/3G (EE) SIM 120Mbps (or 30Mbps) 120Mbps (or 30Mbps)
4G LTE/3G (Vodafone) SIM
4G LTE/3G (O2) USB

The Pepwave MAX HD2 has 2x embedded 4G LTE/3G modems and 1x USB port. It has a routing throughput of 300Mbps. It however has a SpeedFusion throughput (256-bit AES) of 60Mbps.

Adding the throughput criteria, the least model meeting the requirements becomes a Pepwave MAX HD4.

It has 4x embedded 4G LTE/3G modems, 1x USB port, a routing throughput of 400Mbps and a SpeedFusion throughput (256-bit AES) of 120Mbps.

Scenario with Two 4G LTE/3G. One Primary. One Backup.

Say both the EE and Vodafone 4G LTE/3G has a 20Mbps upload and 40Mbps download bandwidth. A total of 60Mbps each.

Vodafone is used as only backup. This means it will not be used simultaneously as the EE.

When EE is available, the total amount of throughput is:

EE: 60Mbps

When it is not available, the total amount of throughput remains:

Vodafone: 60Mbps

This is a mobile location and is to provide wireless internet access to users at this location. SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding Hybrid WAN is not required for this application.

This means you will meed a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX with routing throughput of at least 60Mbps.

Number and Type of Internet Throughput
Internet Interface Routing Throughput SpeedFusion Throughput (256-bit AES)
4G LTE/3G SIM (EE) 60Mbps NA
SIM (Vodafone)

The Pepwave MAX BR1 has one embedded 4G LTE/3G modems and 2x redundant SIM slots. It has a routing throughput of 100Mbps.

Adding the throughput criteria, the least model meeting the requirements remains a Pepwave MAX BR1.

An End Note

There are many other features and technical specs to look at. While all of Peplink Balance and Pepwave MAX models support a bundle of core features to achieve SD-WAN, other features, for example SpeedFusion WAN Smoothing and MediaFast Content Caching, however, may be supported only on selected models.

Some other specs and features, for example, having a certain number of LAN ports and Wi-Fi access point, may also be attained by using a Peplink SD Switch or Pepwave wireless access point, or any off-the-shelf equipment, alongside a Peplink Balance or Pepwave MAX router.

Understanding the number and kind of internet connections, as well as the amount of routing and SpeedFusion throughput needed will provide a starting point, towards narrowing down to the right model.

For detailed technical specs, please refer to the datasheet on each products’ respective page.

For more help on choosing the right model, feel free to send an inquiry below.


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