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terrible tomato performance on flaky wrt54gl, but dd-wrt does nicely

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by zooko, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. zooko

    zooko LI Guru Member


    My linksys WRT54GL has exhibited bad behavior a few times over the years -- I would generally notice this as frequently dropped connections or slowdowns, and I would generally apply the palliative of the latest linksys official firmware. The most recent time this happened the net became unusable due to dropped connections, and upgrading to the latest linksys firmware -- v4.30.12 -- didn't help matters.

    Next, I installed tomato v1.15 (which was the newest version at that time -- a few days ago). To my dismay, performance was still unusably bad. Ping from my Macbook Pro to the WRT54GL showed significant packet loss (13% in one test) and huge rtt -- more than 2000 milliseconds!

    Next, I installed DD-WRT v23 SP 2. This made my WRT54GL work fine! Ping from my Macbook Pro to the WRT54GL showed a nice steady < 1ms with no packet loss. I used http://speedtest.allmydata.com to measure throughput, and it was about 1200 KB/s down and about 800 KB/s up.

    Next, I noticed that tomato had just released v1.16, so I installed that, and once again performance was unacceptable. This time I measured ping and http://speedtest.allmydata.com -- 200 to 500 KB/s down and 200 KB/s up. The ping and speedtest results of DD-WRT v23 SP2, followed by tomato v1.16, followed buy DD-WRT v23 SP2 again are below.

    If any tomato devs are reading this (I don't know if they read this forum), and want me to do more diagnostics or give them remote access to my router, please e-mail zooko@zooko.com .



    ------- begin appended ping and speedtest results
    dd-wrt v23 SP 2:
    126 packets transmitted, 126 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 0.674/0.788/0.898/0.044 ms


    down: 1237 kb/s, 1232 kb/s
    up: 818 kb/s, 817 kb/s

    tomato 1.16:
    52 packets transmitted, 45 packets received, 13% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 4.734/532.522/2013.770/465.615 ms


    down: 217 kb/s, 465 kb/s
    up: 225 kb/s, 213 kb/s

    back to dd-wrt v23 SP 2:

    51 packets transmitted, 51 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 0.843/0.956/1.628/0.145 m


    down: 1236 kb/s, 1261 kb/s
    up: 816 kb/s, 828 kb/s
  2. pharma

    pharma Network Guru Member

    I'm sure you did it, but when flashing from DD-WRT you need to do a full nvram reset. I have no problems with transfer speeds. Using your speedtest links:

    Download Speed: 8543 kbps (1067.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 456 kbps (57 KB/sec transfer rate

    Why not try using just the default Tomato config after you do a full nvram reset? Your issues could be related to how you configure your settings.

    If transfer speeds were a problem with the firmware you'd see many more threads on the subject, but that hasn't been the case.

  3. butterman

    butterman LI Guru Member

    I've never seem this as well.

    My results are as follows:

    Download Speed: 4910 kbps (613.8 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 322 kbps (40.3 KB/sec transfer rate)

    Which is as it should be with my ISP.

    Running on a WRT54GL with Tomato 1.15 for the past 3 weeks I believe.
  4. zooko

    zooko LI Guru Member

    I did do a full hard reset -- if that's what is done by holding down the reset button for 30 seconds after removing and reinserting the power supply plug.

    I did that after every change of the firmware. (Only because I couldn't login until I did.)


  5. zooko

    zooko LI Guru Member

    Note that this router used to work okay with the official linksys firmware for a long time -- years -- with occasional badness that was temporarily cured by upgrading the official linksys firmware.

    So there is something wrong with this WRT54GL v1.1. Fortunately DD-WRT v23 SP 2 somehow manages to make it perform beautifully anyway, even with the official firmware and tomato don't.
  6. dc361

    dc361 LI Guru Member


    Have you looked at the TCP settings on your MacBook? Is the performance bad on all the devices connected or just the MB?

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