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Mod for WRT54GL plus QoS for simple home env.

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by madscientist, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. madscientist

    madscientist Serious Server Member

    Hi all; I have an old Linksys WRT54GL that still works fine for my house. We are highly-connected (various computers, laptops, smartphones, TiVo, Wii, wireless printer, etc.) but there are only 4 of us. I was using standard Tomato, but recently my access to work (I just use a VPN running ssh sessions, mostly) has been really choppy. I need the per-IP bandwidth monitoring feature to figure out who's scamming my bandwidth (turns out to be my daughter with P2P). I installed tomato-WRT54G_WRT54GL-1.28.0025Teaman-PPTPD-Std.bin but I'm wondering if I shouldn't go for something newer. The Teaman build is giving me errors trying to store cstats on a CIFS partition for one thing (rstats to that same CIFS works fine so it's not a CIFS problem).

    Is there any advantage/disadvantage to using the K26 MIPSR1 vs. the K24 MIPSR1?

    I looked at Shibby but I couldn't locate the oft-referenced "builds.png" to understand the differences between the builds (for example I saw a link http://tomato.groov.pl/K26/builds.png but that doesn't exist; ditto for other links I found). Also the Help->Images Naming page has not been translated (http://tomato.groov.pl/?page_id=91). For the latest build (104) there's a K24/build5x-104-EN, but the files in it appear to be only PL files, no EN files? I'm not sure exactly what the different K26/build5x-104-EN MIPSR1 builds contain. I don't need anything fancy: no IPv6, no VPN, no USB.

    I looked at Toastman but the MIPSR1 builds, both K24 and K26, seem to be older the folder is marked "experimental".

    What do those "in the know" recommend as a good mod for an older, basic router like mine?

    Second I spent a number of hours today reading about QoS. It was very interesting, but my needs are so much simpler than Toastman's. As above, the problem on my network is my daughter's UPLOAD of P2P is grabbing all my upload bandwidth and making my VPN usage very bursty, which is a real pain for editing/CLI usage. Everyone else seems satisfied with no traffic shaping; downloads don't seem to be an issue. I tried to introduce some generic, more comprehensive QoS this week but my son's online gaming got choppy so I turned it off again. Rather than spending a week or two on trial and error and tweaking, I'd like to back up and implement something simple and targeted (at least at first) just to address the upload problem.

    It seems that this might not be simple because P2P doesn't use a known set of ports. At the same time I can't easily enumerate all the "other", non-P2P ports we use (I have no idea what ports my son's games use for example) so leaving P2P as the default classification as Toastman suggests is a problem.

    Maybe I can apply the QoS only to packets from my daughter's laptop IP address? I can set the default classification to "use anything", then apply shaping rules all with a SADDR of that laptop so they don't affect anyone else. Thoughts?
  2. Porter

    Porter LI Guru Member

    Other firmwares have the per IP bandwidth monitoring feature, too. Although I don't know whether they have solved the CIFS issue you are reporting. From what you are describing I would recommend giving Toastman's firmware a try, especially if you want a functional QoS system (I'm almost certain Teaman has the same QoS-system).

    I'm using a WRT54GL, too, and I can tell you that the K26s are not running as well and/or have not been updated for longer time than the K24s have. But then again looking at Toastman's last build for the K24 it's from march this year. This doesn't bother me, because I don't need anything else and there are a variety of builds available, which is really great. Don't let the experimental scare you. I'm running 1.28.7633 (std) (don't know the exact version) and I'm currently having an uptime of 264 days.

    Since you seem rather tech savvy and have some control over the users of your network I would recommend to make your daughter's P2P-software use a specific port and put a port filter (tcp/udp) on QoS/Classification. Games usually use specific ports, too, so if your son needs better latency this is the way to go.

    You can use an IP filter in the same way to classify your daughter's traffic if you don't like the port-filter solution. This will probably lead to more latency on her side, because all her traffic is being treated equally, but the rest of your family can use the internet well.

    One thing about performance on these older routers:
    QoS will give you higher loading times on websites just by being enabled. Most of the delay added is accounted for by the L7-filters (search for "L7" on the Classification page to find them). Disable the two skype filters, they don't work very well anyway. Most of the time I have found the flash filter to be somewhat unuseful as well. Just disable as many L7 filters as you think reasonable.

    Most of these older WRT54GL can be overclocked to 250MHz without issue, although I have to admit my uptime has been reached with the standard 200MHz.
  3. kyphos

    kyphos Serious Server Member

    Thanks for your helpful comments re the WRT54GL. Like the OP, I also have a WRT54GL, flashed with Toastman's STD build. I had never thought of overclocking it, but when I read your post, I got curious. On my Overview/Status screen, it shows the CPU is at 200 MHz, but when I looked at the overclock setting on Advanced/Miscellaneous, it shows 188.94. I've never changed this since I flashed the WRT with Toastman's firmware. Does this mean the CPU is actually loafing along at 188 MHz? Should I change the setting to 200.100 to get it to run at the nominal 200 MHz?

  4. Porter

    Porter LI Guru Member

    I just saw this myself today, since I decided to reflash with the latest Toastman firmware. I don't know what causes the wrong values, but once you change it to 250,125 and reboot it is displayed correctly. I've never noticed the status page to show the wrong MHz value. Must be an error on the Miscellaneous page.
  5. kyphos

    kyphos Serious Server Member

    Confirmed - I changed to 250,125 and rebooted. The new speed was displayed on the Status page. Then I went back to 200,100, since I have no compelling need for speed. (would rather have stability), and the Status page correctly indicated the change. I surmise that the 188,94 value shown when the Miscellaneous page is opened is simply the first in the menu list of what it can be set it to.

    Thanks for clarifying this for me.

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