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Wifi Router - given wrong thing?

8 replies to this topic

#1 Cat©

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:06 AM

Ok Im fairly sure Im right but wanted to ask here, Im not that savvy on internet as it was not really taught when I went to Uni lol

We went today to get a new modem, our old one, we had a modem/router then another router running off that one. As we couldnt 1) get the wireless distance we needed in the house and 2) the modem wouldnt allow enough connections (7+ needed here) so we added the router to add another 6 or so connections via a sep. wireless connection.

It was still dropping out and clogging up all the time, very slow speeds all the time and generally crap connection.

A friend told us to get the netgear N900 I think, and then a powerline adaptor to take 1-2 of the laptop on it, to reduce the load on the modem (so effectively makes those two hardwired), then something about setting each connection to a limit, so that rather than 7+ laptops all accessing the modem and grabbing what it could that we would have some order and people only accessing certain pre-assigned network amounts, apparenlty this makes the speeds faster by limiting the internet grab......

So guy at JB sent us home with the required powerline adaptor but also I only just realised that he gave us the Netgear R6300 Wifi router - he said it was the best wifi range so thats ok, didnt mind paying more for the upper model, but its only a router - dont we need a modem/router? or am I missing something?

We are with telstra, ADSL 2+ but only get about 8mbps download and upload is a sad .23mbps, ping 101.

We are on a Rim, so cant get any faster speeds and no other options here, even our vivid wireless we purchased only gives 2mbps!! Very very sad.

Edited by Cat©, 15 February 2013 - 01:18 AM.

#2 FiveAus

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:17 AM

Just googled it, and you would plug it into your existing modem to give you a wifi network. It doesn't connect directly to the internet, you need a modem for that.

#3 TheWanderer

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:08 AM

First of all I highly doubt the load on your router is a problem for it.  Modern routers can handle far more load than the internet connection usually allows, so that is where your bottleneck probably lies.

If plugging in more devices to your router is needed, then just get what is called a switch... like this... they are essentially like power boards for networks.  Just plug it into port on your router and your essentially has more ports on it.  

If you want to extend the wireless network into another part of the house, then an extender or a basic access point may be a better bet.  Don't worry, you haven't done your money.. the N900 will do the job fine but you need to disable the routing functions.

Power line networks are a good option for hard-wiring your N900 in another part of the house but the trick here is you want one end of the power line connector plugged into your existing router and the other side plugged into one of the 4 Ethernet ports.... not the internet modem port. If it is plugged into the internet modem port, I can see a good technical reason for bad performance.  

If you don't care about the technical details skip to next paragraph but I ill try and explain. When your modem connects to Testra it gets an IP address that is visible on the internet.  When you plug a device into the modem, your modem gives your devices a private IP address which is only valid within your house.  To connect to the outside world your modem then translates the private address to a public one and visa vesa.  Your new router will also be doing the same thing, so for any devices connected to it are getting this translation done twice... a well known performance killer in networking circles.

So what I would do...

1. Connect a laptop to the new Netgear and open its configuration options... the manual should help you there.
2.  Look through the settings until you see an option called DHCP Server and disable it (you don't want it allocating IP addresses on your network, your existing router already does this)
3. Unplug the modem port on the Netgear from your powerline adaptor and plug into one of the 4 Ethernet ports
4. Turn your laptop off and back on again

What you will have here is 2 wireless networks, likely with different names, so just connect to which ever one has the best signal for where you are. There are ways of setting  up one network that roams between access points but not sure the Netgear supports that.

Good luck

Edit... if you do the above and something isn't right, there is a chance that you will break the whole network and no devices will connect to the network... even on the other end of the power line network.  If this happens, don't panic, just disconnect the Netgear and switch off and back on anything that isn't connecting properly and it will be good again.  It probably means your Netgear is still handing out private IP addresses and you need to try again to disable the DHCP server function.  Also don't worry about mucking up the settings on the Netgear, your manual has instructions to reset it back to factory default settings so you can start again.

Edited by TheWanderer, 15 February 2013 - 07:18 AM.

#4 Cat©

Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for all that, still trying to absorb it! lol

We actually wanted to get rid of all we have and just have the one netgear R6300 - whcih is what he sold us (he sent us home with that rather than the N900).

However if we get rid of what we have then we will have no modem, just a router taht he sold us, so I think we need to take it back and get a modem router and then just use that with some powerline adaptors as needed.

We left our network as it was and just trialed the powerline adaptors last night, they made no difference to speed at all, and everything pretty much worked as it did before, no change so taht was a bit deflating! lol

#5 TheWanderer

Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

Performance and wireless issues on a network can be tricky to fix.  A couple of thoughts.

If you can't get wireless coverage across your whole house then just swapping out the modem is no guaranteed fix.  Newer wireless modems may give you stronger signal but also it might not.  The location of the wireless access point is probably more important than if it is new or not.  Can you put it more central in the house?  It may be the case that no matter what you do you will need 2 to get full coverage anyway.

Performance of the Internet link is another and separate problem.  Again a straight swap out of the modem may not help.  The problem could be with Telstra or something on your network flooding the link.  To troubleshoot this, I would turnoff every computer except 1.  Is performance still sluggish? if so then try a diffent computer (turning the other one off).  Is performance still bad? I would be then looking at a line problem.  Get on to Telstra to help you diagnose this.

If you find that with only 1 or 2 computers on that speed is good then the problem is likely to be another computer drowning the link.... These days computers often do updates and lots of downloads without asking. Just having lots of devices switched on and connected to the network shouldn't be reason enough for bad performance.

It is also possible that the old modem has a fault which would be solved by replacing it.  Since that is pretty easy to try, it's not a terrible idea but don't be surprised if the problem still exists afterward.  

Also once you have your new modem, you still have your old one that you can use as a secondary wireless access point at the far end of your house (connected with power line networking) if you need it.  Though if you do that... Don't forget to disable DHCP on the old one.

There is no one your house doing peer to peer downloads like torrents is there???  This will kill your link pretty effectively!

Edit... Just noticed you have teenage boys in the house... I'd be looking into what they are up to before ripping the network apart.

Edited by TheWanderer, 16 February 2013 - 08:59 AM.

#6 Cheryl_v

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Just to add to what TheWanderer said in the last paragraph, I've noticed in our house that two people on YouTube on different devices at the same time will cause major lag spikes in League of Legends or WoW on other computers and noticeable degradation of web browsing as well.  Using voice chat through Skype or a public Minecraft server also causes some smaller lag issues, as does playing Xbox Live.  As I understand it this is because some programmes are written to grab all the bandwidth they need without worrying too much about sharing with others.  It is possible to basically throttle each device so it doesn't matter what they are using they can only use a set amount of bandwidth and this is something I'm looking into at the moment.

#7 Natbub0610

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

I recontracted with Optus and they wouldn't give me a new modem.

Went and bought my own, still had problems. I rang back and said I'd pay $130 for Optus issue Netgear DGN 2000 and surprise surprise, they came back and said they would give it to me for free because I had recontracted. No more problems since.

What I'm suggesting, check your provider for their issue of modem/router, that way when you have a fault, they will offer techincal support. If you buy another product, they play dumb and then it's hard to determine where the fault is.

#8 TheWanderer

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

What you are looking for looking for is functionality called Quality of Service or QoS.  Not sure that throttling individual devices is going to work well when you only have 8Mb/s to play with.  It may be better to allocate higher priority to certain activities like web browsing or give certain devices priority (like your laptop original.gif )

#9 Cat©

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

Thanks so much all.

We are swapping hte router today for a modem router so then we can trial it.

We may get two more powerline adaptors and just run ours as hardwired on the powerline adaptors, then at least its a more stable network as its wired. Then the kids can kill and fight each other for thier games. (they play mindcraft and roadbloks, castle crushers etc which I think some of are on line). I guess when you have 5 children all logging on to those things at once its a bit draining, esspecially at 8mbps! lol

So wired for us might be the way to go. Ill also looking into this limiting thing, so taht they are limited and not fighting over the available connection - as someone said, ordered lines rather than unordered chaos gets you there quicker and safer!

thanks Ill let you know how we go!

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