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Thread: What is link aggregation?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2009
    What is link aggregation?
    I just recently upgraded to Gigablast through Cox cable and I think it's time to also update my router as well. I currently use a D-Link DIR-880L as my main router and I connect it to an Airport Extreme on the other side of my house via an ethernet cable and set it to bridge mode. I have one ethernet cable from the back of the D-LINK connected to a Linksys switch which is located in the master bedroom where all of the cabling goes to and from there, I connect all of the ethernet cables to other various devices throughout the house.

    I've been looking at upgrading the router to either the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 or the Netgear R9000 Nighthawk X10. I also noticed that ASUS shows a new router coming soon called the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. Not sure when it's coming and for how much but I assume it's going to be very expensive.

    In any case, I noticed that both routers have a feature called link aggregation and I'm not really sure what this is. I did a little research and I did find that you can connect Netgear Nighthawk X10 to the Nighthawk S8000 switch using link aggregation. I'm guessing this will somehow make it faster but can someone explain in layman's term what link aggregation is exactly and would it be to my benefit to invest in this set up in terms of maximizing speeds connected through ethernet?

  2. #2

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Link aggregation at it's most basic level is the process whereby you take a number of connections and bundle them together (with OS support, of course) into a single pipe. This should essentially allow you to use the bandwidth of 2 or more connections for all of your traffic.

    While this is all cool, these speed increases are just within the confines of your home network. The moment you are ready to hit the Internet, you have a single pipe (connection) going in and out and as such you're going to be running only at that speed.

    Where link aggregation makes a lot of sense (and where it's primarily used) is within data centers where you have two physically co-located servers (web and database, for example) that need to share data very quickly. With link aggregation you get a ton of bandwidth between the machines, but external speed is whatever it normally would be.

    So long story short, this is largely irrelevant in most home networking situations.
    Last edited by Raz0rEdge; 06-15-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #3

    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    So long story short, this is largely irrelevant in most home networking situations.

    And thank you for the nice simple explanation Ashwin.

    - Patrick

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