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Router or Switch first after Cable Modem?

Tags:
  • Networking
  • Cable
  • Routers
  • Switch
  • Bandwidth
  • Powerline
  • Modem
  • VoIP
Last response: in Networking
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May 11, 2014 5:38:40 AM

Switched from DSL to a cable provider since ATT won't drop my land line with DSL, porting phone numbers...

I need at least 5 ports on my network which consists or these devices at the cable modem location: 2 PC file servers, 2 VOIP adapter, 1 Powerline adapter. In order to keep speeds up I'd prefer a gigabit router or switch for file transfers. Off of the Powerline adapters are 2 Tivos, 2 DVD players, 1 Smart TV, 1 Wii. Each Powerline has a built-in 4 port switch, so it's one AC plug.

The problem with most routers is that they are only 4 ports, and with the second VOIP line I am one port too short. I have to use the Powerline adapters because this is an old home with no cabling and 2 wire AC where I didn't run new grounded circuits. Also forgot to mention that there needs to be wireless for Android phones, a Tablet, a Laptop PC. Either from the router or with a standalone access point plugged in somewhere in the mix.

My current old 4 port router is providing a steady 64 MB to the PC ports, while the wireless on the cellphone clocks in at 22 MB using speed test, a single VOIP phone seems to work OK. My DSL had started to degrade with interruptions in service (only I'm not convinced it might not have been to nudge me to Uverse product - frequent valued customer upgrade emails, calls, letters, door-ro-door monthly visits - NO, NO, NO, NO THANKS).

Had to turn off QOS and forward ports for VOIP, otherwise only got 1.2 MB transfer on PC ports.

Also adding a second VOIP might have a problem seeing as I had to forwards ports for the one VOIP already and it does not offer a second port. Idea is we each have our own line and both it and the cellphone can go with us if we leave out of town for a trip and we can screen receive local calls without giving out the cell number to everyone or dealing with spotty cell coverage.

Inbound link is 60-100 MB on cable, but seems closer to 60's most of the time..

What order for the devices or other reordering would you suggest to best throughput?

Also someone in another post mentioned the cable modem won't be able to provide DHCP, if so then is my cable modem address STATIC? My DSL address was being bounced around and not always the same IP on reboot.

More about : router switch cable modem

May 11, 2014 5:41:47 AM

It must be the router.

modem -> router -> switch -> devices.

The modem serves up one IP address...to the router. The router serves up multiple internal IP addresses to your devices. 192.168.1.xxx.
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Best solution

May 11, 2014 5:55:36 AM

DHCP on the inside would depend on the hardware it self.

I am almost sure Cable providers in my location to not include a built in router(unless you pay for it as a separate feature with wireless). So they just give out whatever IP the ISP assigns(be it dynamic or static) to it. The router then creates an internal network and assigns all devices an ip via DHCP.

Either way your general issue if it is just effecting VOIP would generally indicate a congestion issue from lack of QoS(all packets having the same priority can cause issues with many devices on the same network) or a general problem on the path to your VOIP provider(this may or may not be within your ISP's network. just to post here my data packets pass multiple ISP's any of them can cause my packets to get lost). Now clearly your QoS feature is not working right so I am not sure if you have a firmware update for your router or not. It would be something to look into.

While the Homeplug adapters should be better than wireless, you still have multiple devices using the same data link(and the data link is generally not nearly as fast as gigabit lan) and some interference may happen from time to time.

As far as your hardware setup goes, I can only suggest keeping the voip adapters on the router(right after the modem) if you can just so it has one less device to deal with. For all practical purposes it should not even be an issue. My current setup is one d-link router with wireless and 4 gigabit ports(and gigabit wan, not that I need it) and an 8 port gigabit switch. My ISP performance is rather poor at 20megabit down and 1 up, but my computer to computer connections are great with gigabit.

I avoid wireless whenever I can. Simply put about half of the rated speed gets used for collision avoidance(no other way to ensure packets made it) on wireless.

So for me a 54megabit wireless G connection will be fine, not for you, your ISP is faster and Wireless N is what you want(assuming all devices support it. dual band is better if supported as well).
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May 11, 2014 6:37:23 AM

how a change the wifi passworld
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May 11, 2014 11:05:26 AM

I may go with a gigabit router but would still have to deal with only 4 ports at modem location (doesn't anyone make a gigabit wireless router with more ports since it needs to provide DHCP). My current is just 10/100 and although the PC's have 10/100/1000 adapters I'm limited off the old router, not sure if hanging the gigabit 5 port switch off the current router will buy anything unless I upgrade to gigabit ports, but it will force me to move the PC's and gain that needed second VOIP port.

While Powerline (HomePlug) isn't ideal it does beat WiFi speed due to channel interference and collisions like "NukeMaster" points out. Each plug effectively 1/2's the bandwidth since it's shared between switched plugs so I try limit the number in use.

Although I use UPS equipment at the cable modem, my point of failure is the AC line itself, so that's why the Server PC's are at the Modem, Router, VOIP location and these are on a big UPS. If power does go down hopefully it's just the Powerline network. The laptop, cellphones and tablet can work over the wireless till it's restored and servers can still stream. Also trying to limit devices that I must plug into the UPS to consolidate power and limit the draw, extend run time.

Still investigating the QoS issues on the old router, looks like end of life and no new firmware is offered. But it's been a trouper so far with good distance and speeds.
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May 11, 2014 2:23:42 PM

I have seen 8 port routers from some makers, but they tend to cost more. It would remove one extra device.

I know dlink allows prioritizing certain traffic in its QOS engine, but some users have dlink problems. I have found the newer stuff to be quite good. I used an old SMC barricade for years with access points for wireless and a linksys switch. I picked up some SMC wireless routers and they crashed all the time if too many connections got used at once(first the firewall would go nuts thinking it was under attack and then the unit would crash and restart.). So even within the same company some products are better than others. I still used then as access points for a while until the power supplies failed. At this point it seemed that the routers killed the power supplies so I just never bothered getting new ones.

admine, You need to start your own thread. Your manual will tell you how to reset a password.
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May 11, 2014 2:50:59 PM

Nukemaster, sounds exactly like the problem I was having on DSL with my Netgear intergrated modem/ADSL2+ router, all sorts of messages in the log files slowing of traffic. Actually fixed it by going back to OLDER firmware and barring any update checks or requests.

Right now I have an ARRIS cable modem, (don't laugh) Airlink 101 150N router, Netgear 5 port gigabit switch, Powerline (HomePlug) 4 port switch adapters. The Airlink N150 as cheap as it was pushed a lot of traffic and didn't freak like the Netgear under demand, had enough routing, port assignment, DMZ and other options that could be configured for such a low cost unit. Unfortunately it's EOL obsolete but still functions. My QOS issues may still be in my understanding of its proper implementation.

OFF/MANUAL/AUTO are the options. I'm reading up on the aspects of manual settings now to see if that is where I should head. All my other routers never gave me as much flexibility to change/screw-up settings.

Also have a PoE switch sitting around but it's only 10/100 that I bought to explore security video feeds at another location but found it too flakey with DSL service to forward/stream video offsite.

Thanks for the ideas "Nukemaster".
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May 11, 2014 7:28:46 PM

I have an arris modem too(don't laugh at me either), but it is one of those modem/voip models with a built in battery.

I like the phone part(supports 2 lines) because it works great and never cuts out(and works in a power out), but I HATE its built in QoS engine because it re-organizes what my router does(some times it is not an issue, but others it just messes things up). Before this unit I could have other users doing whatever they want on the net and now even downloading a game on steam will grind the internet to a slow crawl. Still need to see about getting a normal model unit to see if that would solve it.

If I switch off my QoS even a video on youtube can cause packet drops. It has not been an issue since the internet is not used nearly as much as it used to be, but still sucks knowing that it can get very bad very fast.

In my case, I know it is an ISP/modem issue
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