If you are experimenting with different wireless network devices, you may wonder what is a link aggregation router. The best routers have plenty of features, but can they handle link aggregation? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Link aggregation is a process that creates a logical link between multiple Internet sources used within heavily trafficked networks, requiring business-focused routers and other hardware.
  • This practice increases the overall reliability and availability of a given wireless network and, as such, any connected devices.
  • It also increases the overall bandwidth and decreases the load on each individual hardware component and all physical links.

Link aggregation is known by many names, including Ethernet bonding, link bonding, link bundling, network interface controller (NIC) bonding, port channeling, and more. At its core, link aggregation allows you to combine two or more Ethernet links into a single wireless connection. Performing link aggregation could increase the size and reliability of your network, so you won’t have to learn how to set up a WiFi range extender.

Insider Tip

Consumer routers may not be able to engage in port aggregation. Check your instruction manual for more pertinent information.

To get involved with this feature, you’ll need some equipment, such as multiple switches, a server, various business-based routers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, multi-port access points, and, of course, a reliable Internet source. So this is primarily reserved for commercial enterprises. Here are some of the benefits of engaging in port aggregation practices.

Increased Reliability and Availability

Port aggregation creates redundancy in a wireless network, meaning that if one Ethernet-based Internet connection goes down, another one will pick up the slack. This results in improved reliability and always-on availability, making this procedure extremely popular in busy professional environments. This increased availability will make sure you never have to learn how to limit download speeds or reduce bandwidth usage via other means.

Increased Bandwidth

All of the various connections link together, resulting in a massively increased bandwidth for downloads, uploads, and general web surfing. After all, three robust Internet connections are better than one. It also helps save money, as physical network upgrades are expensive, with money spent on cable runs and various pieces of equipment. Port aggregation increases bandwidth without requiring to spend an arm and a leg on new gear.

Load Balancing

Using port aggregation can help balance the load of your wireless network among various points, so no connection bears the brunt of usage. This will help your hardware last longer and run more efficiently, which in turn keeps businesses from the downtime associated with network failures. There is a reason, after all, why link aggregation is such a popular practice in heavily trafficked commercial environments.

F.A.Q.S

What is link aggregation control protocol (LACP)?

This control protocol is an IEEE standard defined in IEEE 802.3ad, allowing for load balancing between LACP packets via gigabit Ethernet connections.


How do I set up link aggregation in my network?

This will depend on what gigabit Ethernet service you use, what connected devices you employ, and the type of Ethernet interface. In other words, it varies from network device to network device.


What are aggregated Ethernet interfaces?

This is a process by which an individual link is bundled with another single link, creating a combination protocol.



STAT: Some network devices support Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP), which helps to prevent errors in the link aggregation setup process. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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