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Thread: Performance wireless network

  1. #1
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    Performance wireless network

    Hello everybody,

    Here is my network setup:

    Downstairs: DSL 20/2 (Mb/s) line on a Fritz!Box 7360.
    The Fritz!Box has a Western Digital 1TB disk on its USB port and acts as a file server and media player.
    Upstairs: my desktop PC running Kubuntu 12.04.1, with a Realtek 8111/8168B Gigabit Ethernet controller on the motherboard . It is connected by Ethernet cable to an old WRT54GL(1.1) that functions as a wireless bridge using dd-wrt.
    The 1TB disk is mounted over samba on the PC as such:

    Code:
    //fritz.box/WD-10EADSExternal-01 /mnt/samba  cifs  guest,_netdev  0 0
    The DSL line is stable and fast, in downloads I get peaks that are over 20Mbit/sec, so over the advertised speed, uploads might get to 4Mbit/sec, double the advertised speed.
    I understand the speed-limiting step in this set-up is the link between the Fritz!Box and the WRT54GL, which usually connects at 54Mb/s. I also know that it is not realistic to expect that speed on transfers. When I make backups to the disk downstairs I get a speed of about 20-25 Mbit/sec, with little fluctuation.
    This is quite slow when I back up large files like films, or lots of files like photos.

    Questions:
    - Is this an acceptable real-world speed?
    - Or is there room for tweaks to increase this speed?
    - If so, how?

    Other options:
    I could make a wired connection to the Fritz!box, but that would involve drilling in walls and/or ceiling.
    I could replace the WRT54GL with a newer and faster router that will do 802.11n, like the Linksys WRT160NL.

    I experimented with a D-Link DWA-125 (USB wireless thingie) to connect wireless to the Fritz. It negotiates a 150Mbit/sec connection.
    Copying a 700MB file to the disk, speed maxed out at 35Mbit/sec, but with a lot more fluctuation than when using the WRT54GL, sometimes dipping to 1.2Mbit/sec or less.
    After the transfer, ifconfig told me this:

    Code:
     RX packets:325665 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:566770 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
              RX bytes:35618274 (35.6 MB)  TX bytes:799416464 (799.4 MB)
    No errors, but not a great speed, with a lot of fluctuation.
    So a 54Mbit/sec connection gives 20Mbit/sec transfer, but a 150Mbit/sec only 35Mbit/sec. So instead of three times faster, it is only about 75% faster.
    Based on this I am hesitant to invest in a faster wireless bridge.

    Question:
    - Would I be right in thinking a faster wireless bridge will not matter much for network transfers?

    (The Internet speed is not the issue, my network transfer speed about matches what the DSL line can deliver)
    Last edited by Statia; September 15th, 2012 at 01:31 PM. Reason: grammar

  2. #2
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Time for the I'm-in-the-wrong-timezone BUMP.

  3. #3
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Try this timezone BUMP?

  4. #4
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    I just got a free upgrade to double speed: 40/4.
    That means that now the speed-limiting part of the network is the router to bridge part. So, before I start drilling holes for cat-6, any tips on improving the wireless performance?

  6. #6
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Quote Originally Posted by Statia View Post
    Hello everybody,

    Here is my network setup:

    Downstairs: DSL 20/2 (Mb/s) line on a Fritz!Box 7360.
    The Fritz!Box has a Western Digital 1TB disk on its USB port and acts as a file server and media player.
    Upstairs: my desktop PC running Kubuntu 12.04.1, with a Realtek 8111/8168B Gigabit Ethernet controller on the motherboard . It is connected by Ethernet cable to an old WRT54GL(1.1) that functions as a wireless bridge using dd-wrt.
    Hello Statia, I don't have a solution for you, but if I may, I'd like to ask you a question. I'm searching for experience installing dd-wrt firmware. I've found no mention in dd-wrt forums on upgrading the router while using Ubuntu (12.04-64 desktop for me) OS. They only talk about using Windows OS, & Internet Explorer as the web interface. Your's is the first thread I found containing a "dd-wrt" hit. Thanks again, and I might be able to help later,
    regards,
    boot_info_script by meierfra & Gert Hulselmans
    unetbootin to burn liveCD/USB
    Repair Windows7 Boot
    Partitioning

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Hi hakunka-Matata,

    Flashing the firmware is pretty much OS-agnostic.
    Just connect to the router's interface using a browser, reset to factory defaults, then upload the new firmware by using the router's interface to browse to the location you saved and let it upload and run.
    A good explanation of the process can be found here:

    http://www.mandladventures.com/2007/...-wrt-firmware/

    Good luck, feel free to PM if you need any more help or advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Performance wireless network

    Thanks Statia, That's all I needed, I was being extra careful as I saw a lot of warnings about using Internet Explorer only to install dd-wrt. What you say makes complete sense though, so I'll just do it. Thanks again. I like your location, it's snowy and cold here now, not to my liking.

    The flash worked just fine, thanks for giving the information I needed before I did something like 'brick' the router. WW-DRT is a fine piece of work. I used the Chromium Browser.
    Last edited by Hakunka-Matata; November 13th, 2012 at 09:54 PM.
    boot_info_script by meierfra & Gert Hulselmans
    unetbootin to burn liveCD/USB
    Repair Windows7 Boot
    Partitioning

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