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I need advice on a router

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by johnspack, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. johnspack

    johnspack

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    I need advice on a router. My current WRT54GL running Tomato apparently isn't good enough for my current connection. I'm getting huge lag through the router, so I have to take the router out in order to have stable online gaming. I got this with all previous, and even cheaper routers. The problem with the current method is, I have to disconnect my 2 folding boxes. What the heck kind of router do I need to keep latency/lag down? Please help, this has been going on for years, and my isp has ripped up all lines and replaced with fibre optics, so I just shouldn't be dealing with this.....
  2. TeXBill

    TeXBill

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    I use a Dlink DIR-655, connect 4 wired computers, 3 wireless laptops and a Wii at the same time with no lag at all. 3 of those are full time folders.:)
    More than 25k PPD
  3. BUCK NASTY

    BUCK NASTY F@H Mod & 4P Enthusiust Staff Member

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    I use a Rosewill RNX-GX4 that connects 3 wired rigs and a 8-Port 10/100 switch to feed the rest of the rigs. I used to use a WRT54G, but the ol' VM's we used to run would crash it several times a day. No issues with the Rosewill router and it accepts Tomato. What about a firmware upgrade for the Linksys?
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    streetfighter 2 says thanks.
  5. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    +1

    This router is on the cheap end of prices. but it's not crippled. It doesn't support 3rd party firmware, but for a home network you really won't need the extra features. Otherwise; it's been running for 6 months continuously without so much as being warm to the touch, doesn't choke with multiple (8 between wired and wireless) connections, and has enough features to be very friendly for bandwidth control.
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I switched from my WRT54GL to a E1000 when the WRT54GL could no long keep up with my internet connection(though the WRT54GL should be good for any connection under 25Mb/s). I run USBTomato on it, because I love the Tomato firmware so much.

    Plus you can pick them up for $30.

    Haven't had any issues with lag or poor pings with it.

    The RT-N16 is probably the most bad ass router you can get, and since it also supports USBTomato, you can load that on it and have the interface you are already used to from your WRT54GL.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  7. johnspack

    johnspack

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  8. johnspack

    johnspack

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    If anyone could recommend under $100 routers on ncix, I'd appreciate it!
  9. happita

    happita

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    Yea, I was going to say the same thing. A router that has an integrated CPU and RAM, seems a bit much IMO. But I guess it would benefit the user if he/she is a bandwidth fiend and uses every ounce of the connection to it's limits.
    I've got a 15MB connection and this is my router:Linksys WRT160N Wireless Broadband Router 802.11b/...
    Never had any problems with it thus far, unlike some people.
  10. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Having a bad net day:
    [​IMG]
    Nope, bad internet day for me!!
    [​IMG]
  11. timta2

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    I wish I had that "bad net day". :laugh:
  12. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    This thread is a of much interest to me. I'm still in the market for wireless routers that can handle megatons of simultaneous connections, and epic quantities of bandwidth.

    Scenario A) There are about 6 or 7 students and they all like to torrent, as many students do, which utterly obliterates the single WRT54G router.
    Scenario B) There are far fewer connections but a huge amount of high bandwidth content being zipped around over a decently large wireless network.

    To solve scenario A I've considering setting up a gateway server using a cheap quad-core (AthlonII X4) and using a couple access points to link it together and distribute the load. The RT-N16 might be a cheaper solution.

    For scenario B I'm planning on just setting up a single commercial router and then running CAT6 to several dual-band n-wireless access points.
  13. TissueBox

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
    BUCK NASTY says thanks.
  14. jsfitz54

    jsfitz54

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    +1
    +1

    I have two of these, both sets of parents have one, my brother has one. HW vers...A3, A4, B1. All "A" versions on firmware 1.35NA. Bother's (B1) firmware? Sent him new firmware, v 203NA, last week.

    None have failed. Oldest two, mom's and mine, are 4 years old approx.

    I thought I had one on the blink so I bought another, it's in the box as a backup.
  15. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    :wtf:

    All routers have a CPU and some form of RAM. How do you expect they work, magic?

    This one just has more, and a faster proc. That generally is more of an issue when you have lots of connections (Torrents, Gnutella, other forms of P2P) than a lot of bandwidth (Steam). Having multiple computers connected all torrenting will knock most consumer routers out pretty fast.

    EDIT - a better way of saying that is: It's easier to hit the connection limit of a given router's ability than the bandwidth limit, for all but the fastest internet connections.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
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  16. happita

    happita

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    I've never seen CPU or RAM in MOST routers's spec sheets. Maybe they just don't put them down, I don't know. I thought all routers ran on protocols, firmware/software and communicated with your isp and routed traffic through its hardware in correlation to what frequency bands they operate on. Can you link a source to your statement please?
    I don't know much about networking, that's why I'm a bit curious.
  17. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    A router is an embedded computing device. Most modern routers run on a linux-based firmware. How exactly does one run firmware/software without a processor? We're not talking Sandybridge here, we're talking a specialized, usually ARM based processor. Broadcom and others have liscenced the ARM architecture and designed their own chips. These aren't full-featured general purpose x86 devices, they're tailored to what they do. We're not (usually) talking DDRx but some form of NAND used as storage and ram.

    How do you "run on a protocol"? How do you get a configurable webpage out of a purely electrical device? Does your incandescant lightbulb produce a webpage? You don't get protocol from constant voltage by simple circuitry, you need some form of intgrated circuit (the circuits would be too bulky to build from discrete components). Even the LAN card in your computer has its own processor. It's even less complex. a simple Microcontroller which controls I/O in response to signalling from the bus (PCI/PCIe)


    The realm of what is a basic IC to what is a Microcontroller to what is a CPU is kind of blurred. The processor in any router is a specialized device, meant for, you guessed it: routing Ethernet traffic. In order for it to do things like NAT, SPI Firewall and webpage production it needs to have some general purpose computing capability, but many functions are culled to save transistor count, energy use,heat, and production cost.

    Here's a good basic description, from the University of Virginia Computer Science department, no less. Link, PDF


    If you really want a more indepth analysis, go google it.

    EDIT - After reading what I wrote, I realise it may come off as condescending. That's not my intention. I'm just trying to be straightforward.
    happita says thanks.
  18. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    The most spectacular way to demonstrate this is using the good old wrt54g router from Linksys. Check out the wikipedia page listing the variations in hardware between revisions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrt54g


    A little bit of history here. Linksys utilized a GPL based kernel in their initial firmware to run the wrt54g. To save more money, they had 1 initial router model, but crippled the consumer version in firmware. Once people discovered the kernel's basis, Linksys was forced to open the source code (very simplified, read up on the topic if you are actually interested). Once the source code was opened, people re-enabled the more expensive functions of the router, making a $100 router a $600 router. Linksys was, understandably, miffed by the losses in sales of the $600 routers. In order to reclaim the market, they started to release less functional consumer grade models (less rom, ram, and slower processors). So started the crippling of the wrt54g, and the subsequent push for smaller and smaller firmware.


    Back on topic. Routers don't need to be connected to the internet to work. They must therefore be able to dynamically assign IPs, route packets, and maintain communications. All of this requires a processor, rom (non-volatile memory, like an HDD on a normal computer), and ram (storage for an IP/identifier table).

    Increasing rom allows for more features on the router. A larger firmware file, assuming optimized coding, means more functionality. Increasing ram allows for larger tables, and thus routing efficiency increases and a larger device pool. Increasing processor speed allows for more data to be sent. More data means more connections, which means that chronic torrenters won't crash the network.


    On a side note:
    Hub: Everyone shares all traffic.
    Switch: Fastest solution that segregates traffic. Does not assign IP (no discrete processing), but will respond to any assigned IP schemes.
    Router: Assigns IPs, segregates traffic, and creates artificial networks (ever wonder why so many people can have an internal IP of 192.168.0.xxx). It pays for these functions by requiring much greater processing, and more complex systems (ie higher cost).
  19. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Scenario A) Really this is where the amount of RAM a router has comes into play the most. The WRT54GL has 16MB of RAM, the standard WRT54G has only 8MB, the E1000 has 32MB, and the E3000 has 64MB. I find that 16MB is enough for a single user torrenting, maybe 2 if they aren't each downloading like 100 things at once. While 32MB can handle a pretty decent load from 4-5 people torrenting, but most connections(at least in the US) will be maxed out on bandwidth before a 32MB router runs out of memory in this situation.

    Now, speaking of bandwidth, that is where the CPU on a router comes into play. The CPU on the standard WRT54G and WRT54GL is a Broadcom chip running at 200MHz. At that speed the router is good up to about 22Mb/s, any more than that and the CPU starts to choke the bandwidth. Overclock the CPU to 250MHz and the bandwidth the router can handle jumps to about 33Mb/s. Now if you move to a router like the E100 the CPU is clocked at 300MHz as well as being a more efficient CPU, so the bandwidth the router can handle jumpes even further(the fastest connection I've tested my E1000 with was a 60Mb/s Cable connection and it handled it fine).
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  20. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    ^ Good post. I was pretty sure of the CPU vs. RAM scenarios from random things I've read but I didn't want to comment as I don't have a link to back it up nor a connection anywhere near fast enough to approach the limits of the lowliest of router CPU, so I just posted about the connections->RAM problem. Your description was better anyway :)
  21. johnspack

    johnspack

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    I've already oced my router cpu ect, but I guess for the traffic I put through it, it's not enough. And I can't keep disconnecting my network every time I want to game online. So looks like a 100 spot for a router...........
  22. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    I've noticed the students pick torrents which start a huge number of connections (albeit slow ones). Consequently I'm planning for worst-case-scenario and I think the ASUS RT-N16 (as mentioned earlier) fits that bill with its monstrous 128MB RAM and modest $90 price tag.
    I'm confused. Are you saying that you can't run 100Mb/s through a 100Mb/s router?
  23. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yep, that is exactly what I'm saying.
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  24. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    Worth noting: Under some (most?) circumstances that's only true for LAN-WAN and WAN-LAN traffic. Most routers (all newer ones should) avoid running traffic through the CPU as much as possible. WAN-LAN and vice versa necessitates CPU use (NAT, Routing table lookup) in all but the big-boy routers in top end commercial hardware (and probably even in that hardware, too). LAN-LAN traffic can be handled by the inbuilt switch. How sophisticated and seperated the switch hardware from CPU is in a consumer router, is another matter. (If at all, depending on architecture... see the PDF I linked)
    Ross211 and streetfighter 2 say thanks.
  25. johnspack

    johnspack

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    There's overhead as well. You have to account for that as well. Nothing is ever clean.....
    And I need zero latency, with multiple computers connected.....
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

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