Network Hardware Suggestions Please

I am looking to overhaul my home network and I need help. I currently have two different ISP providers. One is higher bandwidth but less reliable and the second is low bandwidth but solid. I want a router that will let me configure two WAN connections and control what devices always use the reliable WAN2 and what devices can use the less reliable WAN1, with the ability to fail over to WAN2 if needed.

I’ve looked at several Ubiquiti products but I can’t seem to find anything that confirms my ability to handle this specific scenario. Does anyone have any suggestions?

What sort of budget do you have? Are we talking up to 1000$ or virtual none? Also what Bandwith are we talking about?

@stquinton welcome!

OpenWRT has a package called mwan3 that lets you do stuff like that through the gui. It’s really solid.

NanoPi R2S or NanoPi R4S are probably capable enough. (I’m assuming we’re not discussing enterprise options here - you don’t need a pair of routers doing this with automated failover assuming routers fail - which Openwrt can do as well).

You can get a third or fourth ethernet interface on them by using a usb3 network adapter.

… or if you don’t have much bandwidth, and have an old Openwrt compatible router lying around made in the last 5 years, maybe you could upcycle it for mwan3 routing. Or if you have an old low power pc and don’t mind the heat space and power footprint, you could run Openwrt x86_64 on this old pc.

Give us more detail - what kind of connections are they?

Thank you for the welcome and the quick responses.

More information on my setup:
I work from home and my entire day is spent in an RDP session over a VPN tunnel. What I’ve found is that any interruption to my internet connection results in the VPN tunnel dropping and my RDP session locking until everything reconnects. Add to that several hours a day of MS Teams calls and every little internet interruption makes me want to throw things.

My WAN1 is Starlink. It’s great for everything in my house except my work traffic. My WAN2 is a fixed point wireless solution. WAN1 is getting me upwards of 120Mbps. WAN2 is capped at 25Mbps.

The budget is whatever it needs to be though I suppose I’d rather not spend several thousand dollars on an enterprise grade switch if I can avoid it. Before I thought of this specific routing problem, my original plan was to buy a UDM-Pro, a 16 or 24 port PoE switch and some access points and cameras but I don’t want to dive all in on a Ubiquiti solution if the UDM-Pro can’t handle this specific scenario. I know the UDM-Pro has a failover option but what I’ve seen there is that there is still a brief interruption while the UDM is figuring out WAN1 is down and switching to WAN2. That’s fine for everything else in my house but it’s not acceptable for my work traffic.

I would prefer to buy a solution rather than build something myself if possible. Networking is not my strong suit and the idea of building a router is a bit overwhelming to me.

Ah, you were hoping for a solution with no interruptions and no packets lost?

That’s getting even more complicated. I don’t know of any product / subscription that can fix it (ie. create multipath VPN tunnels).

The NanoPi R2S I linked to above, has “FriendlyWRT” as an OpenWRT image that you can just put on a card and click around the webui to setup mwan3 and other stuff. But you’d still appear to be two different people coming from two ISPs to anyone on the internet unless you fan-in the two connections somehow.

Teltonika networks sells what’s basically mwan3 as a product (more money, slower hardware, a bit more lipstick on the UI), but it’s still got the problem that it won’t fan-in the two ISP links to a single IP that you could VPN over without interruptions.

What you’re asking for is doable, just not sure there’s anyone offering it as a “solution” you can buy and not have to roll-up your sleeves.

e.g. I’d grab a VPS close to where your VPN endpoint is, and make a mwan3 policy to flip a wireguard tunnel route between my two ISP that would contain my supposedly permanently connected VPN connection … to the dumb work VPN software, it’d appear as just a hickup/packet loss, no different than e.g. some wifi interference.

There could be a product that does that or something similar, but i don’t know of one. Ubiquiti doesn’t sell it.

I don’t necessarily expect to ever be without internet, the reliability on my WAN2 is fine for my purposes. What I’m most concerned with is being able to have a single SSID broadcast through the house for everything, but have the router be smart enough to know that my work devices must always route to WAN2 while anything else can be routed to WAN1 with failover to WAN2.

I just realized as I was typing this that an alternate solution would be to leave my work devices connected to the WAN2 ISPs WiFi router and just have a secondary router like a UDM downstream from there handling the rest of my personal network. The only concern I have there is that obviously there would be a lot of excess routing taking place. Wouldn’t that cause problems?

Nope. Nice and simple. Give your UDM a fixed/static IP, and set that as a default forwarding DMZ on your ISP router and you’d be all set.

A solution that might work for you could be
I am now using it to bypass a double nat situation and bond 2 connections together it does require a vps to fully function but you can get 100 free bucks on linode with levelonetechs or digital ocean depending on what promo codes you can find