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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    router too slow?

    I have an 8 port Linksys router BEFSR81 version 3. I have DSL and recently upgraded the service to 3-6Mbps but it I notice now that it's much slower. I ran some speed tests and saw that if I directly connect my PC to the DSL modem, I get 5.6Mbps but when I connect through the router, it drops to about 2.5Mbps. It drops another 50% when I connect to my employer with VPN. Why is the router so slow? I contacted Linksys and they suggested upgrading the firmware which may or may not solve the problem. I tried 3 times to load the firmware image (after downloading it to my PC) but half way through, I get a 'page not found' error.

    The specs list LAN speed at 10/100 Mbps (as most consumer models seem to be) so is that why it can't handle the higher speed? The tech also suggested lowering the MTU but I haven't done that yet. The MTU is set at its default value (disabled, 1500).

    Should I replace the router? I need at least 8 ports and most are only 4 ports and I don't need wireless either.

    Thnx,
    Deb

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    Re: router too slow?

    It is unlikely it is the router. It is more likely the PC configuration. Check out Navas Cable Modem/DSL Tuning Guide. Also, see the registry tweaks and broadband tools under the Brodband section at SpeedGuide.net :: Your Guide to Broadband. You probably need to do some experimentation to get it right for your setup.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    Thanks for the links, I'll check it out more later this week.

    Deb

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    Re: router too slow?

    This could conceivably be caused by a faulty router, if it is causing lots of packets to need retries. It would be worth trying another one if you can borrow one to test.

    StuartR

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    Yes, I'd like to try another one but I only have this one router. I found one on eBay which already has the updated firmware loaded (the version which I can't load on mine w/o an error) so I was considering buying that one.

    I ran a speed test this a.m. and it showed 45Kbps.

    I'll go through the list another poster referred me to. I can't get to it until Tues.

    Deb

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    I was able to review the link you mentioned and modified the registry (and later changed MTU to value between 1400-1492). At best, I still only get 1/2 the speed which I get with a direct connect to the DSL modem. When I run the speedtest over and over, I get very different values, is that normal? I'm sure it's because of whatever else is on the line at the time of the test, latency, etc. I used a different speedtest program and get very different numbers as well (these are from http://sjc.speedtest.dslextreme.com/

    45K (before I made any changes, (MTU = 1300)
    1529K (made suggested registry change, no reboot of PC)
    2317K
    1233K
    1793K
    1322K
    ++ rebooted PC here ++
    44K
    ++ changed MTU to 1400 ++
    2165K
    2295K
    1973K
    ++ changed MTU to 1492 ++
    2638K
    1430K
    1707K

    So these numbers are all over the place. I then ran one test using a server selected from a list on http://www.speedguide.net and the numbers were much slower (550K and 949K). I tried again for the 5th time to load the upgrade router firmware but it failed at the same place (1/2 way through).

    My options:
    1. Buy another router and try it out (since I can't upgrade the firmware on mine)
    2. Downgrade my DSL service - why pay for something I can't use
    3. Live with it

    Other suggestions?

    Deb

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    Re: router too slow?

    Have you checked the Linksys forums for information on firmware update issues? What about Linksys support? Is there a friend close by where you could test the router? Do you know anyone who does any hardware work who might test it for you for little or no money? Running a speed test from the same site should produce very similar results especially when you repeat the tests over a period of time. Different sites can produce different results. You also need to make sure that the site is representing the results in bits per second which is what your IPS uses to rate DSL speed. The significant differences you are observing points to some hardware issue. It could be the router or it could be your telephone line. You should have the telephone company test your line.

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    I was never able to even get on the Linksys site (not past the home page). This router is just being stubborn.

    Good news! I did find my old 4-port Linksys router (the predecessor to this one) and I plugged it in and all works great. I really do need 8 ports which is why I stopped using this one, but for now I can live with it. It proves that it was the router after all and I am getting my 5Mbps download even with my VPN connection to my employer.

    What can go wrong with a router? Why do these things die like this? I have a 25 yr old TV that works great but a 1 year old router is already near death. There aren't any moving parts to fail so maybe the firmware has a timer in it to do a slow death which forces customers to buy another one (but then they'd be more likely to buy from the competition).

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    Re: router too slow?

    Well, at least you are working albeit in a 'cramped' mode. A router is like any other piece of computer electronics it could be a solder connection, a cable, a heat problem, a firmware bug, etc., etc., etc. BTW, if you have the BEFSR81 it has 1 year limited warranty from Linksys. Also, see <A target="_blank" HREF="http://castle.pricewatch.com/s/search.asp?s=8+port+router&group1=2&sci=7&c=Networ king">Pricewatch
    Joe

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    Re: router too slow?

    I am definitely not an expert and you will need advice on this, but I might suggest that the problem could be that this a router and not a switch. If you double the number of channels with a router you cut the bandwidth in half.

    I have a LinkSys Etherfast 5-Port Switch, which is the smallest of the series and really only provides four output ports and has no hardware firewall, but when I installed it it did appear to be faster than the (D-Link) router it replaced. 'Dedicated Full Duplex Bandwidth' appears to be the magic term.

    You might check the advertising on this (advertising is the one thing you can normally get online), but with luck someone in the forum will be able to explain it.

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    Re: router too slow?

    Don't forget that you can plug the input of your slower router into one of the outputs from the faster, and end up with the sum of the outputs minus one.

  12. #12
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    I recently had a similar problem, and contact Linksys. Downloaded the firmware upgrade installed it and the slowdown disappeared. I would call Linksys back and get a new download.
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

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    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    Hi Deb,
    Just to check - you are performing the firmware upgrade via the browser interface fo the router? In which case it will probably reboot during the process and you will lose connectivity, which may explain your 404 error. Have you checked the Firmware version after allowing the router to reset during the upgrade? (apologies if I'm stating the obvious to you here! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>)
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    Yes, I was doing the upgrade from w/in the router's admin menu (I don't know of any other way to do this). There is a progress bar that appears and it always shows the error half way through. I agree about the reboot but it's not in the instructions that it would do that and even so, the firmware version never did change (I was thinking like you are about this - maybe it did update but the interface doesn't show it). I guess it was coincidence that it started failing when I upgraded my DSL connection. It still seems bad that a 1 yr old router dies (or is crippled) but a 25 yr old TV we have is still going strong. Is electronic manufacturing getting worse and worse? <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    I ended up purchasing another router and this new one works fine and can handle the 5+Mbps connection. Problem solved (at least for a year until this one smokes).

    Deb

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    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: router too slow?

    One year is very poor indeed! I think I would have been tempted to ring someone up and shout at them for that...
    At least you're up and running now though.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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