Redundant internet using a Tomato capable router

TLDR; Get a tomato-capable router. Use its multi-WAN function to fuse connections from two ISPs together


Internet situation in India is bad. I am currently living in New Delhi but was based in UK for the last 5 years. I had got used to 50mbps and even 100mbps unlimited connections. After moving back I was a bit surprised to learn things hadn't moved on much at all since I left. Only a couple of ISPs (Airtel and MTNL) in Delhi were capable of providing stable connections. Fast, unlimited plans were nowhere to be found. I was frequently paying more than Rs4,000 per month for internet, due to all the additional data I was using. This was on Airtel's 8mbps plan which came with a 80GB 'FUP'1. I was paying far less for completely unlimited 50mbps/100mbps plans back in UK!

So I bit the bullet and got a connection from a local ISP called 'Excitel'. I had never heard of them and was dubious about their ability to provide a reliable connection. But their 50mbps unlimited connection at Rs 800 per month was enticing enough. Four guys turned up to do the installation. The internet came over a LAN cable flung from the nearest khamba2. I had last got internet this way more than 10 years ago3. As expected the connection was very unreliable. I was raising several support tickets each week to get the connectivity restored each time it went down. I had wisely not disconnected Airtel yet. So whenever Excitel went down I could switch wifi connections and start using Airtel for a few hours. So I now had unlimited internet for about Rs1800 per month for the two connections(after switching to Airtel's lowest 10GB plan). But the manual switching of wifi connections was getting annoying.

After a few months of putting up with this I finally put a solution in place. I have been running Tomato firmware4 on my router since many years. And recently the developers added multi-WAN functionality to the firmware. Perfect. I updated the router and made the required configuration changes and lived happily ever after.


Here are the steps to follow if you find yourself in a similar situation -

  1. Get a router that supports Tomato firmware (anything that has a broadcom chip inside). Get one of these if you are unsure. I am using a Netgear WNR3500L v25.

You should now have an always up connection which automatically falls back to using your 2nd ISP when the first one goes down.


  1. ISPs in India really need to stop abusing the term 'Fair Usage Policy'
  2. Utility pole
  3. Anyone remember Sify Broadband?
  4. Tomato is an opensource firmware that can supercharge your router.
  5. Fun fact, I purchased four of these for £1 each a few years ago :)