Friday, December 20, 2013

Cradlepoint ARC/MBR1400 Wan Affinity Load Balance features

Over the last year Cradlepoint has worked on their WAN Affinity algorithms to increase the control admins have over different WAN or cellular links across their network. These settings aren’t necessary if you just want the router to intelligently balance the load across multiple connections, but if you want specific traffic to only go to specific devices you’ll want to create WAN Affinity rules. Below you’ll find examples of each type of algorithm available and how these rules could benefit your company. 

Round Robin:

The default algorithm used within the ARC MBR1400 series is Round Robin. This requires no special configuration by the end user and is designed to evenly distribute each active session to available WAN connections. This means if you have three Internet WAN sources connected the load will be divided amongst each connection to help from oversaturating one specific WAN source. This is the ideal use for most users that don’t want to custom configure various policies within the router.


The rate algorithm can be used to distribute a load based completely on upload and download rates. The best way to set this is to measure each WAN or cellular connections speed with an application like, which will give you average download and upload performance for each link. After you’ve determined what your average connections speeds are you can enter those values into the connection manager software. Any devices then specified within the Affinity rules will automatically get priority based on which data connection has the best download or upload performance. 

Please Note - The Rate algorithm is ideal for customers load balancing multiple USB or embedded cellular devices. Cellular connections have more variance in speed than traditional Cable/DSL modems.


The Spillover algorithm became available in firmware version 3.0 or above and the load is always given to the device with the most available bandwidth. This is done by estimating how much bandwidth is available by a combination of the upload and download configuration. Unlike the Rate algorithm the download & upload isn’t separated, but combined together to figure out which WAN or cellular link will be used for each task. This option would be great any company that is balancing the load against multiple Cable providers that typically offer similar throughput on both download and upload.

Data Usage:

The final algorithm is based around their Data Usage feature found under the Internet section of the admin interface. You must define approximately how much data each of your WAN or cellular links are allowed to use per month. After completing this step any device defined to use this algorithm will be get an Internet connection from an available WAN. As the data is used the router will make it’s best effort to create new client sessions as each new session occurs to help keep data consumption across all devices. This specific algorithm can be extremely useful for lower usage cellular connections where you want to make sure the load isn’t going to the faster card, but actually using both cards.

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