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Can you put too much load on a home network?

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  • Switch
  • Networking
  • Devices
Last response: in Networking
November 30, 2013 7:52:55 AM

I've had some random network issues for some time now. Devices suddenly not connected, or a pitifully slow connection rate. Sometimes having to reboot the devices. Nothing easy to repeat and diagnose.
My setup: Comcast cable modem to my Netgear (AC1450) router. From there it's wired to my HTPC, TiVo, and Smart TV and to a 16 port switch. The switch is wired to 4 PCs, 2 game consoles, a Tivo Mini, and another 4 port switch. That switch goes to a TiVo, PC, printer and a Netgear wireless router as an access point. We have 4 smart phones, 3 tablets and 3 Dropcams connecting wireless as well. Is this too much?
Earlier in the year, I had an ASUS RT-N66u, which was supposed to be a top rated router, but I had these issues too. It seemed better when I got the Netgear, but I find the problems are resurfacing again. Can you wear out a router?
The 3 Dropcams probably hog a lot of bandwidth and the TiVo mini streams from the other Tivos in the house. It's not everyday so I can't just unplug one item and know that was the problem.

Any thoughts?

More about : put load home network

November 30, 2013 8:40:06 AM

with all that hardware you better have one kickass connection. at the very least broadband.what is your isps advertised speeds? is it in fact a broadband connection? and finally,when these problems occur,how many devices are online at the time?
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November 30, 2013 8:56:33 AM

It should not affect wired to wired connections in the house. Wireless is a different story there is a limited amount of bandwidth and all the devices share it....and they don't share very well. You can easily exceed the wireless bandwidth. The only solution is to put in more AP on different channels and split as much as you can between your 2.4g and 5g bands.

Of course if you mean traffic to the internet then that you just need to buy more from the ISP
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November 30, 2013 4:29:45 PM

I don't think it is a provider problem. Whenever I check with speedtest.net, I usually get 30-50 mbps dn/ 10 mbps up and <20ms ping.
What does "put in more AP on different channels" mean? The 5G doesn't travel very far, I can only use it in the same room as the router.
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Best solution

November 30, 2013 5:37:52 PM

Each wireless connection can only run so much bandwidth. If your cameras eat it all up the only solution is to get more. If you run 20mhz channels you can put in 3 AP. If you want to run 40mhz channels ...or 80mhz 802.11ac you are going to have to use 5g since the total bandwidth on the 2.4g spectrum is only 60m only room for 1 40mhz and 1 20mhz to run not even 2 40mhz.

Things like cameras are some of the worst offenders when it comes to wireless. They send data a very constant rate and everyone else has to try to squeeze in between the packets. When you get 3 doing this it becomes much more likely the devices transmit at the same time and destroy each other data which them needs to be retransmitted. These retransmissions cause strange spikes and outages in the data.
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June 14, 2014 12:07:39 PM

Around the time I first posted this issue, I returned and got another Netgear AC1450 dual band router. Everything had been good for for 6 months, but lately we have issues again. The Dropcam at the front of the house keeps saying lost connection. My Son's wired connection stops working, the wired Tivos have problems communicating.
Seems like every 3-6 months, I wear out a wireless router? Being Costco, I just return it and get another, but is a big headache. Could all my PCs, tablets, game consoles, tivos, smart TVs, etc really wear out a router? It's all solid state, right? What could actually wear out?

Recommendations for a "Heavy duty" high usage router?
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June 14, 2014 12:34:19 PM

I really doubt you can wear them out. Most time it is something like capacitors in the power supplies that go bad but then it just would not turn on or something. Only solid state stuff you can wear out would be something like flash memory drives since they only have so many cycles they can do.
Heat does eventually shorten the life but how often do you hear of a PC die because the processor all the sudden went bad.

Commercial equipment seems to last forever. Most 10yr old cisco router still function, we have piles of stuff at times that goes to metal recyclers that function perfectly but only has value for the metal content. You would likely have to get a commercial AP and separate router since it is not common to have a true router that has wireless. Commercial AP seem to last forever also. Most our AP are HP lately but we have had cisco and avyia as we acquired companies and buildings. I have only heard they replaced 1 due to failure out of over 3500 in the offices in north america. We have more stolen at the smaller offices.

You should be able to find used commercial equipment on ebay for a fraction of what they sell for new.

Maybe I am just lucky I have every consumer grade router I have ever bought. The only ones that no longer work are due to physical damage to the antenna or my adventures in flashing software ending up with bricks.

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June 14, 2014 1:07:45 PM

Now that I think about it, I have a cable modem and a 24 port switch. I really only need a wireless access point.
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December 22, 2014 2:15:25 PM

You don't provide enough info for a definitive answer but I strongly suspect your problem is your home network design. What you have is one long daisy-chain. Cable Modem uplinked to a Netgear AC1450 router uplinked to a 16 port switch uplinked to a 4 port switch with a wireless AP. You have to keep in mind that with an uplink, whenever any device beyond the uplink communicates on a route through the uplink that communication is shared.

For example, lets look at your 16 port switch. Lets assume all ports are Gigabit Ethernet so you have 16 devices and each has a 1000Mbps connection to the switch. But if your uplink is also Gigabit Ethernet then all 16 of those ports must share the 1000Mbps of the uplink whenever they communicate through it. Therefore, if only 1 port is in use then it will have a full 1000Mbps of bandwidth to pull data from your HTPC, TiVo or Internet (all of which are routed through the uplink). If 2 ports are pulling data they will have 1000Mbps/2 = 500Mbps. If all 16 of the ports on the switch simultaneously pull data through the uplink then the maximum bandwidth each of those 16 ports can have is 1000Mbps/16 = 62.5Mbps. Quite a difference!

Wherever you can, move your major bandwidth devices (like Tivo & Tivo Mini) to the same switch so they don't communicate through an uplink. You also need to break up that daisy chain design. Remove that 4 port switch from the 16 port switch and drop that down to your Netgear AC1450 router. That will make more of a star topology with your primary router in the middle. Even better yet, replace that 16 port switch with two 8 port switches each with their own Gigabit Ethernet uplink to the primary Netgear AC1450 router.


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