How to Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Bonding Router

Cristian MiculiBlog, Featured

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Fast, Stable and Secure Internet Is Essential to Increase Remote Productivity

Now that working remotely is becoming the norm, the need for better Internet connectivity is higher than ever. That’s because you’re not always in the office, where your company pays for fast Internet. When you’re working from home or while traveling, you have to get your own fast, stable and secure connection. And since you don’t have the support of your company’s IT department, you have to deal with this yourself.

After reading this article, you’ll be able to always have the best connectivity by using your own bonding router with VPN encryption and sharing the secured connection to your devices via Wi-Fi or even wired Ethernet.

Almost anyone of us has at least two Internet connections available when working remotely; these include: 

  1. Your home Internet or the Wi-Fi provided by your hotel, cafe, train, etc.
  2. Your cellular connection from your smartphone.
  3. A public Wi-Fi hotspot near your home.
  4. Another USB cellular dongle you 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 with VPN capabilities to buy from Amazon. We have a better solution for you in this next normal context, one which is smarter, more flexible, cost-aware and portable as well. We’re going to teach you how to build a wireless bonding router using a Raspberry Pi and Speedify channel bonding VPN software.

Why Use a Raspberry Pi Instead of a Dedicated Device as a Broadband 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 a broadband 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 connectivity tool and VPN that uses channel bonding / link aggregation technology to allow you to use all of your Internet connections at once. 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.

Increase Productivity Anywhere Using Your Own Bonding Router Powered by Raspberry Pi and Speedify

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In this next normal, productivity is the driver when it comes to remote work, remote learning, live streaming, online gaming and other remote activities. That’s why you need all the help you can get, like using all  available Internet connections. And we don’t mean switching between them, for backup, but using them simultaneously, to maintain the current session. 

Channel bonding technology increases the throughput capacity beyond what a single connection can sustain. When combining connections, another important benefit is getting a reliable connection. If one of the connections should go bad or disconnect, the overall bonded Internet will stay online thanks to the other connections that are still working.

Requirements for the Raspberry Pi Based Bonding Router

  • 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. Prices start at $2.99 / month for the 3 year subscription plan.

5 Steps to Get Better Internet Connectivity Anywhere

Getting back to our Raspberry Pi based VPN bonding router, here are the steps to build your own:

  1. Install and configure Speedify on your Raspberry Pi OS – just follow the instructions in our knowledge base.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Bonding Router to Increase Productivity

Here are some tips to get the best out of your bonding router:

  • The Raspberry Pi device 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 VPN 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 VPN servers in the cloud, there may be times when there’s room for improvement. If you see slow bonding speeds, check out this guide on fixing that.

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Connectivity is the key to productive remote work

If you want to be more productive, start considering how you will achieve blazing fast internet connections with superb network quality, and find the right devices, equipment and tools that will help you collaborate, video conference and take work anywhere.

Our Next Normal series will help you do that, by providing you with the tips, tricks and technologies that will help you optimize your remote work experience to become a WFH Superstar.

Together, we can make the Next Normal better than the old.

Meet Speedify

The only VPN with Channel Bonding

A streamers best friend

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17841700 streams saved

Whether you live stream for a living or simply join the occasional Zoom Conference, Speedify can provide a more stable and reliable streaming experience. By default Speedify utilizes our revolutionary Streaming Mode which automatically prioritizes audio and video streams and dynamically adjusts to network conditions so you can stop asking "Can you Hear Me?" and start streaming at the speed of all your connections combined!

Less buffering, more browsing

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Multiple connections, maximum performance

Speedify can bond any combination of Internet connections and will intelligently distribute your online traffic between them for optimal performance. Plus, if you get disconnected from one of your connections in the middle of an important video call or file transfer, Speedify will seamlessly failover to your other working Internet connection(s) without skipping a beat.

Combine connections

Browse, stream, watch, and play at the speed of all your Internet connections combined. And you also get reliable connectivity wherever you are!

Enhanced streaming

Speedify automatically detects, protects, and prioritizes real-time streaming traffic such as video calls and VoIP calls, live streaming, and gaming.

Extreme encryption

Speedify uses the latest encryption standards to secure your data. Stay safe when browsing on public Wi-Fi or any other network.

Protect all your devices

Secure up to 5 devices with a single account. Speedify works on all major platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Access the global internet

Connect to ultra-fast VPN servers in more than 50 locations around the globe to mask your IP address and protect your browsing activities.

Ultimate privacy

We don’t record, monitor, store, log, or share anything you do.

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Get started now!

We’ll optimize your first 2 GB of data usage every month for free – no account needed!

Follow Speedify now for the latest news, tips, tricks, as well as our best deals and prizes!

Feel free to reach out with any questions. Or, go ahead and yell at us if that makes you happy. We’re from Philly, we can take it.