Home Network Internet Failover

Overview

My home AT&T fiber goes down on rare occasion. Overall the reliability is pretty high but I wanted to have a failover just in case. This is my home Internet connection – it runs some services, but nothing crucial. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this. I have a password for Xfinity WiFi and my neighbors have an Xfinity hotspot so I decided I wanted to use this.

Parts and Services

I already had Ubiquiti gear for my home network including a Security Gateway. I also had my Xfinity password. The only new piece of hardware I got was a GL.iNET travel router.

Travel Router

Travel Router Setup

The GL.iNET travel router is somewhat cheap, so if you use one, adjust expectations accordingly, but it’s extremely configurable. It uses a whiltlabeled version of OpenWRT, with some nice defaults. One easy-to-setup option taking a WiFi connection and providing it via the device’s LAN port, called “Repeater”.

I chose the “Scan” option under “Repeater” and selected “xfinitywifi” as my upstream connection. I then connected my laptop to the LAN port, hit Xfinity’s captive portal, and logged in.

Menu Screen

Once this was done, I connected the LAN port from the travel router to the WAN2/VoIP port on my Security Gateway.

Ubiquiti Setup

Once this was connected, I went to my controller, opened the configuration for my Security Gateway, went to the Ports menu and enabled the WAN2 port.

USG Menu Screen

Then, I went to the Site settings for my home and created a new network called WAN2. I set the “Load Balancing” type to “Failover only” as I want to use my fiber line if it’s available.

USG Menu Screen

I saved my setting and that’s it! Ubiquiti makes it easy.

Notifications

Ubiquti has a pretty good notification system. In the Site settings, I enabled email alerts. (You can configure your email credential settings in your Settings > Controller menu.)

Email Alert Screen

As my Internet seamless failed over I was no longer made immediately aware if my Internet went down. Now I get an email alert when my AT&T fiber goes down.

Image Credit: https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/photos/fe524643-f6ba-48bc-b489-06041d4589b5

Author

Eldridge Alexander

Manager of Duo Labs at Duo Security. Formerly employed at Cloudflare and at Google. Technologist, magician, designer, musician, videographer, blogger, and avid sweet tea drinker.