If I have two connections to the Internet (one via eth0 and the other via wlan0), will both be utilized by default?

...or do I have to make some adjustments in order to have applications take advantage of both connections?


The short answer is no. A PC has only one given default gateway and that's used for all traffic. You might still see some packets in/out of the secondary interface, but it'll be layer 2 stuff, not IP based.

Do a netstat -r to see what direction your traffic is taking.

The longer answer is "no, but you can bond your interfaces together, creating a "virutal interface" which is capable of using both cards". Basically, follow one of the links mentioned in your comments. You'll need the ifenslave package and a guide on how to configure, such as the ones I mention in this answer.

  • I imagine it's also possible to (manually) set up multiple equal-cost paths to a destination on Linux, and have it load-balance that way, but I've not seen it done. – belacqua Mar 28 '11 at 23:12
  • No, not really. It depends. Equal cost paths are only relevant if you're (as you say) manually entering destinations. The default route is always a single route, chosen by metric from the available interfaces. Bonding is the only way to achieve load balancing, or bandwidth enhancement. – Scaine Mar 28 '11 at 23:16
  • OK, I don't understand your reply. Perhaps my comment wasn't clear. (It's not very relevant to the question in any case, since it is not default behavior.) But I'm guessing that if Cisco or Juniper have kernels that can load balance or round-robin via EIGRP, CEF, OSPF, etc., then probably you can get similar behavior under Linux somehow. – belacqua Mar 28 '11 at 23:21

Actually you can combine 2 or more disparate internet links using Vtun and multi-link PPP see http://johnlewis.ie/bonding-teaming-internet-connections/

Any questions?

  • This might be a way to do it, but the answer should contain at least the essential steps. A link may die. – Nephente Oct 1 '15 at 7:05
  • It doesn't work very well with vtun anyway, as TCP within TCP tunnels get into "ack wars". You're better off doing it with OpenL2TP, but even then you'll be stuck if one link is faster than the other, as the kernel PPP code simply balances packets across links by default i.e. you'll only get a multiple of the slowest link's speed. – jpl888 Nov 5 '15 at 10:24

Yes you can. See UbuntuBonding.

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