Bonded Internet - Essential for Streaming Without Issues
With the live streaming "revolution" that begun in the past years, the need for better Internet connectivity is higher than ever. When you’re live streaming from home, from a studio or while moving around, you need your own fast, stable and secure Internet connection. You simply cannot rely on a single Internet connection when you're live streaming.
That's why it's important to put all your available connections at work for you while broadcasting live. In this article you'll learn how to build your own Internet bonding router for streaming.
Why You Need to Use an Internet Bonding Router for Streaming
As mentioned above, in order to avoid any connectivity hassles related to live streaming - choppy, low quality video, buffering and disconnects - you need to use all available Internet connections at once.
Almost anyone of us has at least two Internet connections available when streaming live; these include:
- Your home or studio Internet or the Wi-Fi provided by your hotel, cafe, train, etc.
- Your cellular connection from your smartphone.
- A public Wi-Fi hotspot.
- A USB cellular dongle you may have from your network carrier.
You usually use the first one as your main connection. And if that fails, you might remember to connect by creating a hotspot from your phone or tethering it to your computer. But why not use all that are available?
We won’t tell you which bonding router to buy from Amazon. Nor will we review a dedicated bonding hardware device from LiveU or Peplink. We have a better solution for you, one which is smarter, more flexible, cost-aware and portable as well. We’re going to teach you how to build an Internet bonding router for streaming using a Raspberry Pi and Speedify channel bonding software.
Reasons to Use a Raspberry Pi Instead of a Dedicated Device as an Internet Bonding Router
The Raspberry Pi has become almost synonymous with the single-board computer when it comes to consumer applications. It allows users to implement a whole range of projects, from art to cybersecurity and robotics. It’s been on the market since 2012, with the most recent release being the Raspberry Pi 4.
During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, Raspberry Pi sales increased and saw a shift towards specific uses to combat the virus: making face shields using 3D printers, ventilators for intensive care units, etc. As previously mentioned, demand for a better (faster, more stable and secure) Internet is soaring, and using your Raspberry Pi as an Internet bonding router certainly beats spending all that money on expensive dedicated routers. Plus you can use the Raspberry Pi for other projects as well.
The “magic” ingredient that turns the Raspberry Pi into a bonding router is Speedify - a software service that uses channel bonding / link aggregation technology to allow you to use all of your Internet connections simultaneously (not switching!). It makes this bonding router more convenient, to help you increase productivity anywhere:
- it’s more flexible, accepting any type of Internet connection;
- it will not become obsolete in a couple of years, since you will be able to upgrade the software that does the bonding part;
- it’s truly portable - you can use it anywhere. Just power the Raspberry Pi with a battery pack while traveling and move around using multiple cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Requirements for the Raspberry Pi Powered Internet Bonding Router for Streaming
- 1 x Raspberry Pi 4 - the more RAM you can get, the better. For this application, we recommend the 4 GB version.
- 1 x Raspberry Pi 4 case - for protection and convenience.
- 1 x Raspberry Pi 4 power supply - when you have access to an outlet. Make sure it matches your type of outlet. When on the move, you can always use a USB type C cable with a battery pack capable of delivering at least 3A of output current (or 15W or output power).
- 1 x micro-SD card to run the Raspberry Pi OS.
- USB / Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to configure the Pi initially.
Alternatively, you can purchase all the above (and more) as the Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit. You also need:
- Additional Internet connections. The Raspberry Pi has an internal Wi-Fi you can use to create the Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices to connect to. If you want to share another Wi-Fi network through that hotspot, you need an additional USB Wi-Fi adapter. Plus cellular adapters, if available. You can also tether your smartphone via USB to the Raspberry Pi.
- 1 x Speedify for Linux subscription.
Guide to Build the Internet Bonding Router for Streaming Using the Raspberry Pi
Getting back to our Raspberry Pi based Internet bonding router for streaming, here are the steps to build your own:
- Install and configure Speedify on your Raspberry Pi OS – just follow the instructions in our knowledge base.
- Add the connections you want to bond to the Raspberry Pi. They will be automatically recognized by Speedify - just follow the instructions available in our knowledge base.
- To configure your Raspberry Pi as a wireless bonding router, please follow the instructions in our knowledge base. Or watch the video below from the Speedify YouTube channel. If you prefer to setup a wired Ethernet bonding router, you can configure Speedify on the Raspberry Pi as such. See the steps you need to take here.
- Connect your devices to your newly created broadband bonding router via Wi-Fi / Ethernet. There will be no more disconnects, slow or laggy Internet connections.
- You can always change the way Speedify prioritizes your connections, to avoid any data overages: see the Connection Priority section here.
How to Use the Raspberry Pi Bonded Internet Router for Streaming
Here are some tips to get the best out of your Internet bonding router when broadcasting live:
- The Raspberry Pi router should be placed as close to the Internet source as possible, especially if we’re talking about a Wi-Fi hotspot.
- If using cellular connections, make sure the adapters (USB dongle, your smartphone) are close to windows, so the signal does not get attenuated
- If possible, use the built-in Ethernet adapter on the Pi as your home Internet source and share the bonded signal via Wi-Fi.
The Raspberry Pi / Speedify powered Internet bonding router will deliver by default the best combined speed and lowest latency available. However, due to the nature of each Internet connection and the technology that uses cloud servers, there may be times when there’s room for improvement. If you see slow bonding speeds, check out this guide on fixing that.