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Time for a Router Upgrade?

Last response: in Networking
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January 5, 2007 9:06:21 PM

Over the years i've been using a Netgear RP614v2. A standard 4-port 100/10 router that has not given given me trouble until recently when it keeps locking up (does not allow any traffic to go through) and im forced to manualy reset it.

Since then my home network has grown from 2 comps to 3comps and a network storage drive, hence all the ports are occupied, plus my isp has raised the connection to 6Mbits

I dont know what factors contrbute to the now regualr lock-ups, I updated the firmware, tried tinkering w/ the MTU, is it just time to get a new router?

All advise much appreciated

More about : time router upgrade

January 6, 2007 11:10:33 PM

Know about growth, mine has grown from 2 to 9 devices in 5 yrs.

If you are having connections problems, try the 1492 MTU. This seams to be a magic number for most systems. You can also go to dslreports and run there test, requires java suport.

If your router is good I would recommend adding a switch. But now you need to make a decision if you want to move up to gigabit and/or wireless. I do not know of any 8 port gigabit wired or wireless routers. All I've seen is 4 ports. So if you go that way you will need a switch to expand it.

I like wired routers vs wireless routers, more versital. Stay away from any 11n hardware and MIMO. These are a total pain and currently do not meet the hype. Will be 9-12mo before the spec will be ratified. Beside all of the conflict with other neighbors.

Personally I like SMB class hardware. Hardware for bussiness is more robust, and can take heavy use with out any problems. I like Netgrear FVS338 VPN router. This is a 8 port VPN router with a serial port for dialup backup, which in most cases is never used. This router is rock solid.

If you go the gigabit wireless router just add a switch to expand it. I would buy hardware that supports 9k Jumbo packets if you have the need to move large files. I like the Dlink DGL-4300 wireless router and DGS-108 or DGS-2208 switch.

or take a peak at the router chart. Just remember that any 11n hardware is non standard and will not likely meet the spec. Other wise MFG would advertise they will. If history holds true this is sure bet. MIMO hardware requires matching hardware to utilize, and does not play well with others.

I hope I have not confused you.

If you need a printer to share, go with Network lasers. The only way to go and cheap to operate. Requires another port.
January 8, 2007 5:10:57 AM

Thanks for the reply.
Im not too crazy about wireless but it would be a good way to futureproof my network and seems the Dlink gaming router has nice feautres and it will proably be the way to go.

About the packet size, does that play a role if say im steaming HD video over my network because the vid frequently crashes saying it cannot locate the file [on my network drive]. Im assuming the router cannot keep up w/ the video stream (esecially on a loaded network)? Also when I try to copy large files over the network (say burning a 3gig+ disk image from my network drive) the copies are not allways 1:1 (i have many coasters as a result). Would the 9k packet support help me move data reliably through the network or is that something else?

Btw, thanks for the heads-up on the MIMO thing, never knew what it was really about.
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January 8, 2007 1:34:34 PM

The router is the heart of a network, it's the traffic cop. So if it can not handle the load everything suffers. Heat causes them to lockup. The larger packets just allow the data to move faster, in bigger chunks. They can be very good when it comes to moving large files, 10-25% gain, depending on the size file you are moving. But its a double edge sword. All devices need to support it otherwise you will get a lot of dropped packets, which is probably what your experiencing now. Large packets is only for gigabit speed, does not apply to the 10/100base network. If you are getting streaming problems make sure you have flow control turned on and try change the protocol to tcp and not udp.

In my mixed network I found that as I increased the packet size my speeds increased. I have a managed switched so I'm able to look at packet error data. Which told me when the packets got to large for my hardware. Since I move a lot of smaller files I have elected to at this time to stick with only the std 1k with flow control. If flow control is turned off, it can cause all kind of problems. It's located under the advanced properties of the port. I installed a new card and it defaulted to off. I ran some speed test with it off I was taking a 40%hit in speed. Once I turned it on, everything was back to normal.

A fast router will speed thing up on all activity. As far as burning dvd and having problems. I have had my share of coaster too. In my case it was the cheap DVD's I was buying. I found out the GC that fry's carry are not to great. Once I moved to a different brand, they cut way down. I can now for the most part burn at 8x now.

Alot of residential NAS out there have firmware problems, so it could be the source of some of your problems. I have 2 Snap NAS, 1 2200 which has been a good unit but not very fast. Then my last acquisition was a 4500 model. It screams, dual gigabit ports, speed test shows it can deliver a max of 270Mb/s to 12 users and substain 250Mb/s to 50 users. The only problem with it is that it was made for a server room, a little noise for most home users. But it does have speed on it's side.
January 10, 2007 4:27:34 AM

Yea im just gonna go ahead and get a new router and see how that works out, im not going to worry about the packet size for now. Plus my router seems to lack the advanced options you mentioned (and firmware support has long been disscontinued).

Thanks for the replies.
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