Load balancing vs Link Aggregation – dual LAN

If unwanted a dual nic that supports proper LAG and not load balancing which would you recommend for a desktop to a NAS.?

Load balancing is the cheapest way to increase the transfer speeds from a NAS. If you own a Synology NAS – it will turn any switch into a semi-smart switch and enable load balancing. This means that all data will be transferred using two LAN cables. Half of the transferable files will be sent over the LAN1 and another half over LAN2.


Link aggregation is quite different. It combines LAN1 and LAN2 into a one double bandwidth connection. Link aggregation is more popular among video editors where single files a quite big. This requires quite a lot of bandwidth where load balancing will not help.

LAG or link aggregation will require a smart switch and dual LAN network card.


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One thought on “Load balancing vs Link Aggregation – dual LAN

  1. Helpful video, so I have an unmanaged switch DGS 1016A, that supports link aggregation but after the setup process I get “Failed To Establish IEEE 802.3 ad connection” right under Network Status where it shows the bond connection in DSM, Everything still works; I can access the NAS and its content, but I get that message does that mean link aggregation is not configured? What do you recommend? Can I use the load balancer option instead?

    The switch only supports all the following except IEEE 802.3ad that Synology supports.
    • IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T Ethernet
    • IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet
    • IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
    • ANSI/IEEE 802.3 NWay auto-negotiation
    • IEEE 802.3x Flow Control
    • IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)