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GIGABIT Router or GIGABIT Switch & Recommendation Please

Last response: in Networking
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May 1, 2007 6:07:27 PM

I know virtually nothing about routers and switches.

I am not necessarily looking to go wireless.

I just got a 2nd computer. I am planning on buying some NAS (Buffalo or Infrant) storage which needs GIGABIT capacity and connects via an ethernet cable. I borrowed an old LINKSYS Router (BEFSR41) from my girlfriend to connect the 2 computers to my internet (Cable) and my download speed was cut in half (even when only one computer was turned on). Is it possible the ethernet cable she gave me cut my download speed in half (I can try a test later).

What is the best thing for me to buy a gigabit Router or gigabit switch ?
I was looking at the Netgear WNR854T GigaBIT Router and it has VERY mixed reviews.

Can anyone make a recommendation of a specific model and should I go with a gigbit switch or router or should I buy a newer router and a gigabit switch.
May 1, 2007 9:47:12 PM

Your NAS application doesn't require a layer 3 device, get a switch. I'm a cisco person, I would probably say get a Cisco 3750 but that's overkill for any home use.


Quote:
I know virtually nothing about routers and switches.

I am not necessarily looking to go wireless.

I just got a 2nd computer. I am planning on buying some NAS (Buffalo or Infrant) storage which needs GIGABIT capacity and connects via an ethernet cable. I borrowed an old LINKSYS Router (BEFSR41) from my girlfriend to connect the 2 computers to my internet (Cable) and my download speed was cut in half (even when only one computer was turned on). Is it possible the ethernet cable she gave me cut my download speed in half (I can try a test later).

What is the best thing for me to buy a gigabit Router or gigabit switch ?
I was looking at the Netgear WNR854T GigaBIT Router and it has VERY mixed reviews.

Can anyone make a recommendation of a specific model and should I go with a gigbit switch or router or should I buy a newer router and a gigabit switch.
May 1, 2007 11:46:34 PM

Do you think my reduction in internet speed is due to the router being a few years old and I should ger a more recent router? What is a 3 layer device ?
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May 1, 2007 11:51:33 PM

It sounds like your router is dated and has a performance issue, so you could use a new router, or perhaps a new firmware or to check things like MTU setting on the router. Odds are that the router's just too slow for modern cable speeds (at least at the higher end -- you didn't mention how fast your connection is/is going to be), but there's some chance that it's still OK with some tweaking.

A cheap solution would be a Buffalo WHR-G54S. These can also be flashed with third-party firmware (e.g. DD-WRT) as an option for feature and perhaps some performance upgrades down the road. It's not the latest and greatest hardware, and not gigabit, but should be able to do basic "high-speed" Internet routing decently -- I think at least around 30 Mb/s.

You should secure and/or disable the wireless if you're not using it.

You should look for a switch that supports jumbo frames. Most of the consumer NAS boxes struggle with performance, and get a boost when jumbo frames are enabled. Check Small Net Builder's NAS charts for more on this.

The cheapest path is probably an inexpensive router + separate gigabit switch. The above Buffalo router + a Netgear GS605 or GS608 would be among the cheapest options that would probably be fine.

There's much afoot with the new draft-n gigabit routers, and it's interesting, but the field isn't stable and it's hard to find out information about jumbo frame support. To be honest, I'd personally tend to one of these for the sake of interest, etc., but there's some risk of instability (bleeding edge) / obsolescence (via new 802.11n specs), so the above combo would be safer (and also cheaper if you shop well).
May 2, 2007 12:43:52 AM

Thanks. I get download speed of 9000KBS down and about 700 or 800 up withithout the old router (direct connection from cable modem to PC) for internet. The connection speed for the NAS Storage device is supposed to be 10/100/1000 (which I why i was told I needed a gigabit switch or router.

If I wanted to spend around $300 or a little more for would you have the same recommendations (For switch and/or router) ?

Thanks for your input !!!!
May 8, 2007 3:08:06 PM

To minimize performance impact on your network, you should always have a seperate network segment for NAS/SAN etc.

I would install a secondary NIC card in your system, have that connected to the switch > NAS. That would keep the internet segment away from the NAS segment.
May 8, 2007 4:22:53 PM

Small Net Builder had a mini-review of that NAS, and surprisingly, its performance goes down a bit when jumbo frames are used (in this test case at least).

Consumer NAS boxes have their place, but high performance is not their forte. I'd save that money on the networking hardware, and put it towards a DIY NAS box. This would cost more time and research, etc., and maybe some more money depending on choices, but if you're spending more money in hopes of better performance, then IMO that money's better spent that way.

NAS performance is complex, and there is no easy simple solution, but money (wisely) spent on the NAS box/OS/etc., will do much more than any amount of money spent on the switch / router.

A decent consumer router should not be a significant bottleneck at Internet speeds, and I think the Buffalo should be fine, with at most third-party firmware. This changes somewhat with massive torrent usage. All consumer routers have some limitations / issues there, and the best solution I hear is a DIY router made using an old/cheap computer. I'd personally try the Buffalo with third-party firmware first before going to that.
May 8, 2007 5:38:14 PM

I bought a gigabit router by D-Link DIR 655 which works great ! Based upon the recent comments I am not sure what to do about the NAS.

I dont know much about them and dont have that much time to invest in understanding what I would need to do..................

Anyone have any experiences with either the Buffalo Technology or INFRANT NAS storage devices ?

I'll go check out the article mentioned in the above post.
!