Multi-WAN routers have not been commonly used in the home environment, but with the work-from-home trend and the growing number of people making a living working online, the need for these routers is increasing.
There are typically used in two ways, either as a load balancing router or failover.
With load balancing, both WAN ports can be used simultaneously to share traffic across two separate connections. This is often used in demanding environments where multiple users may bog down a single WAN connection.
With full fibre Internet becoming more common, the need for load balancing for home users or small businesses might diminish. But there can still be some benefits, for example, you could assign one high bandwidth application/computer to a specific WAN while another uses the second. An example of this might be some sort of server. If it downloads or uploads a large amount of data, it could slow down a single WAN connection.
The more likely need for a dual WAN router in a home or small business environment is for failover. This allows the routers to switch to the second WAN if it detects the first WAN has lost connectivity.
For home users, an alternative to a dual WAN router would be a router with WAN and 5G or 4G/LTE connectivity. It is basically the same thing, but rather than a WAN port, the failover is mobile connectivity. Some routers have dual WAN and mobile data support.
Best Dual Wan Routers with Load Balancing & Failover
TP-Link TL-ER605 SafeStream Gigabit Multi-WAN VPN Router or TL-ER7206
|TP-Link TL-R605 SafeStream Gigabit Multi-WAN VPN Router||£51.22||Buy on Amazon|
|TP-Link Multi-WAN High-Performance Wired VPN Router |...||£216.70||Buy on Amazon|
These two routers appear to have the same functionality and feature Omada centralised management, much like the cloud networking from Ubiquiti and Zyxel Nebula.
The main difference is that the TL-ER7206 has a couple of extra ports and it. It then has more RAM and more VPN tunnels (100 IPSec VPN Tunnels vs 20), and has an internal power supply rather than an external brick.
Users report that the very affordable TP-Link TL-R605 has slow throughput when using IPsec VPN, and the official spec states 41.5 Mbps vs 291.6 Mbps of the ER7206.
DrayTek Vigor 2927 or DrayTek Vigor 2927ax
|DrayTek Vigor V2927-K Wired Dual-WAN Load Balancing Router,...||£223.89||Buy on Amazon|
|DrayTek Vigor 2927ax Dual-WAN WiFi 6 Broadband Router||£313.44||Buy on Amazon|
Load balancing routers are arguably the speciality of Draytek. They have a page dedicated to these routers and list 17 different models.
Different models specialise in different things, for example, they have a VDSL router with ethernet load balancing. Some models have integrated 4G/LTE as well.
The DrayTek Vigor 2927 is a gigabit dual-wan load balancing router which can do 950Mbps per-WAN of hardware accelerated throughput while retaining its full feature set.
There is then an AX variant that provides WiFi 6, and this can be paired up with other WiFi 6 Drayek access points to form a mesh system.
Synology RT2600ac Wireless Mesh Router
|Synology RT2600ac Wireless Mesh Router||£180.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Synology RT2600ac is a couple of years old now and only WiFi 5, but it is attractively priced and well reviewed. This officially has load balancing and failover support, but you will have to sacrifice one of the 4 LAN ports if you want to use a second WAN.
One of the selling points of this router is that it has decent NAS features, including a Download Station, that includes BitTorrent and Usenet.
ASUS RT-AX89X / ASUS GT-AX11000 / Many More
|ASUS RT-AX89X 12-Stream AX6000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax...||£327.99||Buy on Amazon|
|ASUS GT-AX11000, Black, (90IG04H0-MO3G00)||£403.95||Buy on Amazon|
A large number of ASUS routers feature dual WAN, I think it is natively integrated into the underlying firmware they use, and like many other routers, you have to use a LAN port for the second WAN.
The big advantage here is that you have an amazing selection of routers to choose from. You don’t have to choose something just because it is dual WAN.
The above two I have selected are premium options. I like the look of the ASUS RT-AX89X because it has one of the best port selections on the market with 1x 10GbE, 8x 1GbE, a 10Gbps SFP+ then the dedicated WAN port. It is also a WiFi 6 router, and thanks to AIMesh, it can be turned into a mesh system, though it is only dual-band, so the WiFi performance won't be class-leading with the mesh satellites.
The ASUS GT-AX11000 is the flagship tri-band WiFi 6 model or you could get the new WiFi 6E GT-AXE11000.
ASUS has load balancing and failover support, however, it seems to be widely reported that the load balancing doesn’t work very well (and here), but failover does.
Zyxel USG Flex 100
|Zyxel ZyWALL Network Security/UTM Firewall Appliance Bundled...||£628.00||Buy on Amazon|
I have previously reviewed the Zyxel USG Flex 100. It is a superb firewall router with dual WAN connectivity. However, the security licence is quite expensive for home users or even small businesses and the throughput is a bit low if you have gigabit fibre and want all the features active.
Ubiquiti UDM-Pro UniFi Dream Machine Pro
|Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Pro 1U Rack Mount Appliance||£397.45||Buy on Amazon|
On paper, the Ubiquiti UDM-Pro UniFi Dream Machine Pro should be up there with the best of the dual WAN routers. It is a feature-rich router that runs every UniFi OS application, like Network and Protect. It features a built-in security gateway, 10G SFP+ WAN support, an 8-port Gigabit switch, and network video recorder that supports compatible 3.5″ hard disk drives (HDDs).
Unfortunately, it lacks a load balancing function and currently can only work with the WAN1 as primary and WAN2 as a backup. Ubiquiti has promised load balancing will be launched at some point, it may even be available now, which is why I have included it on the list.
It is worth noting that I have not included any of the popular EdgeRouter options because they seem to be sold out everywhere, and Ubiquiti have discontinued them. It appears they are being rebranded as UISP, however, the only router in this range is also sold out.
Last update on 2023-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API