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LAN & WAN Reviews

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the Balance 20 loaded with Peplink's firmware version 5.4.9 and using our standard test method is summarized below. 14,983 simultaneous connections should be more than enough for 25 users!

Test Description Peplink Balance 20
WAN-LAN (Mbps) 103
LAN-WAN (Mbps) 94
Total Simultaneous Throughput (Mbps) 102
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 14,983
Firmware Version 5.4.9 build 1732
Table 6: Routing Performance summary

The IxChariot plot for the routing test shows pretty consistent throughput in the unidirectional tests, shown below.

Unidirectional Throughput

Unidirectional Throughput

Simultaneous up/downlink throughput came in at 102 Mbps. There is some variation in both uplink (45.445) and downlink (56.371) throughput as shown in the IxChariot plot below.

Simultaneous Throughput

Simultaneous Throughput

Closing Thoughts

As you can see below, the Balance 20 is more expensive than most of the other dual WAN routers I've tested and has lower IPsec tunnel capacity. The NETGEAR SRX5308 remains more expensive than the Peplink Balance 20, but the NETGEAR is a quad WAN router.

Product WAN Ports WWAN Ports IPsec Tunnels VLANs Price
Peplink Balance 20 2 1 2 0 $268.99
TP-LINK TL-ER6020 2 0 50 3 (port based) $127.67
Cisco RV042 2 0 50 0 $169.99
Draytek 2920 2 0 32 0 $189.00
NETGEAR SRX5308 4 0 125 254 $344.00
Table 7: Competitive comparison

Three things going for the Peplink Balance 20 are product support, WWAN support and fast failover/automatic load balancing. Not many network vendors make it as easy as Peplink to get help over the phone. (This could be part of why the Balance 20 is as expensive as it is versus its competitors.)

The Balance 20's USB WWAN port sets it apart from the competition and provides a degree of redundancy you can't get with a wired Internet connection.

Finally, Peplink seems to have really optimized its implementation of multi-WAN connections; the Balance 20 is seamless in distributing traffic over multiple Internet connections.

I noted in my review of the Peplink Balance 30 in 2008 that it was a bit pricey for a multi-WAN router without VPN capability. Adding VPN capability to the Balance has certainly sweetened its value proposition. Yet the Peplink Balance 20 still seems a pricey based on features and performance, particularly considering that it doesn't support client IPsec.

The bottom line is that the Peplink Balance 20 should provide reliable, redundant routing and VPN for your home or small business if you are willing to pay a premium price.

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