Which Wireless Router for heavy usage ?

bym007

Banned
I am on 20 Meg with Virgin :lesson:, and the connection is shared over the property between 5 housemates. Between us, there are 7 laptops on mixed b and g wifi, plus 1 Voip phone, 2 xbox's, 1 desktop on ethernet (so far) connected and using Internet ... :rolleyes:

Right now, I am using a Buffalo WHR-G54S 802.11g router with Tomato firmware (a linux based customised wireless router for those of you who do not understand it). I like the customisable features provided by the router, however, I feel the router is underpowered for the purpose, as the connection speed (when uncapped) still only provides about 3-4 Megs via the router, when only my computer is connected (via ethernet) and testing speeds. Upon direct connection to the Virgin modem (via ethernet), I can pick up speeds in the range 17-18 Megs. :thumbsdow
Also, it would be nice if the router could provide dual-WAN link sharing.

Virgin has recently changed (or upgraded) my modem to Ambit 256, so I am only focusing on my wireless router for now.

Any ideas for improvement guys ?:lease:
 
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timearp

Active Member
Have you got the Internet Modem plugged into the WAN port of the Router? Try changing this to one of the other ports and this may speed things up. It maybe that your Router isn't capable of through-putting the speeds that the modem is capable of via that port and changing it will make a difference.
 

beerhunter

Distinguished Member
Have you got the Internet Modem plugged into the WAN port of the Router? Try changing this to one of the other ports and this may speed things up.
Except that it will stop routing between the two networks - WAN & LAN - which is what routers do.
 

timearp

Active Member
Sure about that? I have my Linksys wrt54gs and BT Modem Voyager 220 connected this way to get round the IP Addressing on my Linksys router. Maybe it's different with cable modems?
 

beerhunter

Distinguished Member
Sure about that? I have my Linksys wrt54gs and BT Modem Voyager 220 connected this way to get round the IP Addressing on my Linksys router. Maybe it's different with cable modems?
No I'm making it up. Of course I am sure!

First of all, the BT box is NOT a modem, it is a router. You have TWO routers and so of course there will be clash. What you have done is 'downgrade' your Linksys box into a four port switch. You could have saved a great deal of money by simply buying a switch for under tenner.
 

mswarren

Active Member
Hi, it's likely that you are experiencing slow sppeds via wireless as you are mixing b and g devices. Most wireless devices will work at the speed of the slowest device attached.

As a solution, you could either upgrade the b devices to g, or buy a cheap wireless access point (not a router) and set it up on a different channel and SSID. You could then configure the b devices to use one wireless network and the g devices to use the other.
 

bym007

Banned
Hi, it's likely that you are experiencing slow sppeds via wireless as you are mixing b and g devices. Most wireless devices will work at the speed of the slowest device attached.

As a solution, you could either upgrade the b devices to g, or buy a cheap wireless access point (not a router) and set it up on a different channel and SSID. You could then configure the b devices to use one wireless network and the g devices to use the other.
No, I'm not testing download speeds over wifi. I am testing speeds only over ethernet, so there is no chance of mixing b+g devices to slow my network. Yes, it is definitely a possibility, however, I am not concernd about that right now. More important, ethernet directly from VM modem and ethernet via my router, should not make such a big drop in speed test, specially, if I am the only person connected to the router at that moment in time.

Appreciate any help ...
 

Tarzion

Well-known Member
No, I'm not testing download speeds over wifi. I am testing speeds only over ethernet, so there is no chance of mixing b+g devices to slow my network. Yes, it is definitely a possibility, however, I am not concernd about that right now. More important, ethernet directly from VM modem and ethernet via my router, should not make such a big drop in speed test, specially, if I am the only person connected to the router at that moment in time.

Appreciate any help ...

Check your MTU settings on the router and on your PC... Also make sure you network card is setup for full duplex mode...
 

PlipO

Standard Member
Research the use of Linksys WRT routers with www.dd-wrt.com project, you can upgrade the firmware of these routers as well as others to get better performance and a lot more options.
I have not used one of these upgrades routers but I have seen reports from several sources that claim the performance is much better than any home router.
The firmware is free and the routers can be bough used at a low price, you can upgrade the router yourself but first read the instructions carefully.
If you were to buy a router already upgraded with this firmware, I expect it would be a lot more expensive than any what is available in shops.
 

Phill1978

Active Member
should not make such a big drop in speed test, specially, if I am the only person connected to the router at that moment in time.

Appreciate any help ...

but are the only person attempting to associate ? if a lower speed device externally can see your wireless and is trying to associate successfully or not the data rate can in some circumstances drop to accomodate. however in contradiction the beacon sent by the wifi router will state what rates are supported, i suppose there may be mini drops in speed as the device fails to associate.

correct me if im wrong ?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Remember that the transmission medium for wireless - the radio spectrum - doesn't belong to anyone, so it's irrelevant whether "a device in the area" is associated with your AP or not. If there's a device near you sending B type transmissions (<11 MBPS) everything else that can "hear" it has to slow down whilst it's transmitting.

The best way to get ones mind around this is to stop thinking about wi-fi links as if they are "virtual" network cables through the air from point to point. Imagine sitting in a restaurant where the rule is "only one person at a time may speak." That means you cannot speak to your date on the other side of your table until the people sitting on the table next to you have finished speaking. And if they are speaking slowly and at length, it's like to be some time before you get your turn, no matter how fast you and your date can speak to each other.
 

bym007

Banned
Yeah, I have known these firmwares, and thats why I bought this router, and having used DD-WRT for quite some time, I am now using Tomato.... but the problems seem to be the technical capability of the router than the firmware, though I could be completely wrong on this one.

Also, I was looking if someone is/has used 2 internet connections together, i.e. load-balancing. I have 2 broadband connections and I would like to combine their thoroughput...

I have seen some people do it using Tomato or DD-WRT with different levels of success. I have also seen some *expensive* routers for SO-HO environment with 2 WAN ports etc ...

--

Regarding other devices trying to associate with the router, I am testing speeds with wifi switched off ... so I don't think others could have any effects on the test .. or am I wrong ?

I am also thinking about looking at some of more expensive ones (i.e. Cisco Aironet) in second hand on ebay etc, but not sure about costs and setup associated etc ...
 
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