Nexaira BC2 Failover Trumps Cradlepoint Failover Mode

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Friday, 17 September 2010

Nexaira BC2 Failover Trumps Cradlepoint Failover Mode

When it comes to a business class solution for mobile broadband, the popular choice for several years now has been either the Cradlepoint MBR1000 or MBR1200 router. However, there is a new player in town, the Nexaira Business Class 2 (BC2) enterprise router. In addition to sharing a majority of the features that Cradlepoint routers offer, the BC2 has a number of features that set it apart as superior for business users. An overview of these features is included in our full review of the BC2, but in this article we're going to go into more detail about one of the biggest advantages of the BC2 over Cradlepoint models: the BC2's vastly superior failover functionality. The BC2 has the ability to failover from a hardwired DSL/Cable connection to 3G or 4G as a backup in a matter of seconds, has a number of configurable options, and is easy to set up.

In the business world, reliability is a crucial component which keeps the wheels turning and allows your business to stay productive. Downtime can cost a company time and money, so many businesses utilize a two internet connections to ensure that if one fails, there's a backup in place. Failover mode, which is available on the BC2 as well as several Cradlepoint routers, allows the router to automatically switch from a primary internet connection to a backup connection in the event that the primary connection goes down (for example, a cable modem and a 3G aircard). So what makes the BC2's failover mode different from other mobile broadband routers that offer this feature? The BC2's unique "anti-flap" feature maintains an active connection with the backup internet source, so that it is always active and ready to go in case the primary connection goes down. This means that the BC2 can detect that your primary connection is down and switch to the backup connection within 10 seconds. On Cradlepoint routers, failover works a bit differently - first the router must detect that the primary connection is down, and then it initiates the backup connection, which can take a couple of minutes. For large corporations or stock traders, the difference between 10 seconds of downtime and several minutes could mean a significant loss of money.

After the BC2 switches to the backup connection, it continues to monitor the primary connection and will switch back to it once it is available again. You can even specify how long the primary connection must remain stable before the BC2 switches back to it!

Setting up fail-over on the Nexaira BC2 is as simple as the steps below:

The BC2's web admin

Navigate your browser to and log in using the password provided with your router. As you can see from the screenshot above, the web admin's interface is very simple and easy to navigate - all of the setting choices are on one page. After you've select the Internet Fail-over section, you'll see a number of options for enabling and customizing the failover mode (see below).

Failover customization settings

Several customizable options are available for the BC2's failover mode:
  • Primary interface: Allows you to set the preferred connection method (WAN via DSL/Cable or 3G/4G).
  • Backup interface: Allows you to set the preferred backup (WAN via DSL/Cable or 3G/4G).
  • Keep backup connection alive: This allows you to keep the wireless modem connected or to have it dial a connection when your primary connection goes down.
  • Failover time: 10 seconds minimum, 60 seconds maximum (10 seconds is the default)
  • Switchback time: Time the primary connection must be active before the router will switch back to it - 10 seconds minimum, 600 seconds maximum (300 seconds default)
  • Test IP/Name: Configure the IP used to test connection status
  • Ping rate: Number of seconds between each ping (lower number equates to faster fail-over detection)

The Nexaira BC2 offers a wider degree of control for managing failover functionalityy that Cradlepoint routers simply don't offer. When using a Cradlepoint router for failover, the only option you have is changing the priority of the interface (see image below):

Cradlepoint failover settings

While we are still big Cradlepoint fans for home/travel needs, when it comes to a recommendation for business customers the BC2 is a no-brainer in nearly every case. NexAira's Failover with Anti-Flap feature is just one of the many things we love about the BC2 - read our full BC2 review to learn more!

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