Please Help Me Find a Router

I have been fighting a battle to get this company out of the computer stone-age and into at least the 19th century. We took a big step in the right direction when we started doing backups earlier this week. Now, our internet connection is the next challenge.

We currently connect via ISDN and our incoming router is a bottleneck running at 10 mb. We may have the chance to add a second ISDN line, and this is where my problem comes up. Is there a router that will allow me to combine the bandwidth of 2 seperate ISDN lines?

I would like the following:
->Inputs for 2 ISDN lines
->10/100 ethernet compatible - not token ring (are these still used?)
->Firewall protection would be nice but not necessary.

Any ideas?

What you describe is called multiplexing, and can definately be done, but I have never tried it and so don’t have any hardware to reccomend.

It would probably be easier to look into getting a corporate DSL or cable connection instead. Both have much higher bandwidth than ISDN, and there are a lot of very easy to configure NAT/firewall routers available, such as from Linksys.

friedo, DSL is not available at our location. Cable is available, but there are other issues. We can get a 2nd ISDN line via trade but cable would be a high monthly expense that we would like to avoid. Of course, if it comes to it, we will get the cable.

I'm not sure what you mean by the 10Mb being a "bottleneck".  You do realize that an ISDN is only 128Kb, right?  Sure your LAN may be running at 100Mb, but when you're surfing the Internet over an ISDN, you're only doing it at 128Kb... so the 10Mb LAN connection on your ISDN router is hardly a bottleneck at all.  Case in point, even cablemodems, which around here can download at 2Mb, only had a 10Mb on the LAN side (although nowadays I think most are 10/100).  Hardly a bottleneck.. 

As far as combining 2 ISDN lines, there are indeed routers that will do this. The Ascend/Lucent MAX line has a few that can, and almost certainly so does Cisco.

Another recommendation for cable (or DSL if it becomes available). It should be cheaper than ISDN. I’m not clear how you get ISDN for trade; do you mean that you share the line with another company? If so, you’re getting even less bandwidth than the 128k you’d normally get . If the other company is considering upgrading to have two ISDN lines, perhaps you can do some research and convince them that the best idea is to scrap ISDN and go cable.

The math:

ISDN: 128k
2 ISDNs: 256k
Cable: potentially 1m (perhaps less, depends on provider)

As jmwatts pointed out, the 10mb router does much better than any of these, so there’s probably not a big need to go to 100mb.

Also, you said having a firewall isn’t a priority, but I strongly suggest you set up your network to be NAT-ed, i.e. one IP address on the outside (or two if you have 2 ISDN lines), translating to private addresses on the inside. You likely already have this. It’s plenty of firewalling. If you give all your clients public addresses with no firewall, you’re really looking for problems.

Hmm… odd, generally cable is less expensive than ISDN, sometimes a lot less expensive. Business cable accounts are usually around 100. a month in most places and are almost an order of magnitude faster than ISDN. You can get nice Linksys cable routers + 4 port 10/100 switches with built in firewalls for around 50.00 or so. Throw a basic 16 gang or larger switch off one port of the LInnksys router/switch switch and the entire office can surf. Add 50 ( 100 total) and you can get one with the latest high speed wireless “G” spec features as well.