Upgrading your home network for continuous access to cloud services

I’ve recently had the opportunity to study cloud computing risk and security which was really worthwhile. Many of us are transitioning to cloud services and considering hybrid cloud services that integrate with our own infrastructure at work. This places a greater emphasis on the network infrastructure so that failover and balancing is important. You might be wondering about what this means at home and for your own personal use.

We all know that personal information security is important and that means being aware of vulnerabilities in your home network. Most commercial vendors are now offering enhanced security features including parental control software packages with their modem/routers. That is a positive development.

In Australia, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is continuing to roll out cable connections that are faster than ADSL. I’ve recently switched to a Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) broadband connection after having converting to VDSL previously. I haven’t been disappointed with the speed and reliability. However I replaced the router provided by my ISP so that I could make configuration changes to this including implementing a VPN as an additional security measure.

This made me think about what would happen if I lost the NBN connection for a period of time. My youngest son is always getting mad at me when I disconnect the Internet while he is gaming. Similarly my loving partner does not appreciate waiting for Netflix to load because the Internet connection is down or slow.

NETGEAR 4G LTE modem with two Gigabit Ethernet Ports (LB2120-100AUS)
This netgear 4G LTE modem has WAN failover built in

With 4G widely available for reasonably fast mobile broadband and 5G starting to be rolled out there are options available if your Internet connection fails or is poor. While it is a little over the top for most home networks, I already had most of the equipment I needed to test this out.  What I needed was a 4G modem and mobile broadband plan as a secondary Internet service. After setting up the gateway with WAN failover, I was able to connect the 4G modem and it worked (after I figured out which of the ports to plug in to).

With this setup when the NBN is disconnected, the connection will failover to the 4G modem. You will want to think about the best SIM plan for you when doing this. Some plans are available with enough data for a few people at home and others offer less data and faster speeds which might be more useful for WAN balancing.

Having an alternative Internet service might be something to think about as you continue to become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and if uninterrupted access to cloud services is essential for your home. Otherwise being able to use data over your phone data might be enough for most people when their home Internet connection is lost.

Published by Adrian Bugg

I am an experienced leader of innovation through data and analytics for digital transformation, small business owner, and father of four children. I want to share my expertise and experience to help others in their workplace, at home and in their daily lives.

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