Poor external network performance with WRVS4400N

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by manniongeo, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. manniongeo

    manniongeo LI Guru Member


    I am encountering a performance issue when connecting to the internet via my WRVS4400N that does not exist when connecting directly to the cable modem. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to improve performance while still using the WRVS4400N as a gateway and firewall.

    I notice the issue most acutely when using my Xbox 360 to play online games over Xbox Live. I didn't realize how bad the problem was until I played a few rounds at my brother's house last week; he has a slower connection, but the gameplay and voice quality was substantially better than the experience at my house.

    After returning home, I read a bunch of articles on how to set up port forwarding to avoid NAT-related overhead. I configured a static IP on my game console and forwarded all of the ports/protocols recommended by Microsoft, but overall game performance is still mediocre and voice communication is essentially unavailable (I can hear noises, but they're really garbled).

    As a next step, I tried assigning my Xbox's IP address at the DMZ host, figuring that this would pretty much take the WRVS4400N out of the loop. Unfortunately, there was no noticeable performance gain by using the DMZ.

    Next, I disabled the IPS function on the router. I read a post somewhere that indicated that this may improve performance to the external network by something like 30%. Again, however, I experience frequent hesitations during gaming and no voice availability.

    As a last resort, I plugged the Xbox directly into the cable modem and configured it with one of the spare static IP addresses that I'm renting from my ISP. To my surprise - and great pleasure - network performance was phenomenal. While using this direct connection, I never experienced any hesitation during gameplay, I never lost my connection, all players' voices were available, and voice quality was excellent. It was like playing a completely different game.

    In light of these findings, I could just leave the Xbox directly connected to the cable modem and keep the rest of my computers behind the WRVS4400N. At the moment, however, the physical cabling in my home/office will not allow me to do this (I'm working on a wiring solution for the crawl space, but it's going to take some time). Ideally, I would like to keep the Xbox on my LAN and just play games through the WRVS4400N. I cannot, however, figure out how to squeeze an acceptable level of performance out of this configuration.

    Therefore, my question is:

    Q: How can I configure my WRVS4400N to improve performance when accessing the external network - in particular, when using Xbox Live?

    I can post more details, if necessary. I suspect, though, that there is a generic answer that will explain why a high-bandwidth application like Xbox Live suffers from the presence of a WRVS4400N, when the same application performs better on a slower network with a different router (some sort of consumer-oriented D-Link device).

    Thank you, in advance, for your advice.

  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    As stated in the other thread i would right now blame the 4400. I have not played with that one first hand but hear that the firmware is not the greatest. I just checked linksys website and cant even find the specs for that one. But most folks on the net are having the same sort of issues as you in regards to the performance.
  3. manniongeo

    manniongeo LI Guru Member

    The Internet Fairy waved her wand...


    I agree that the WRVS4400N is a problematic device. I've been struggling with it since the day I bought it, but only with respect to reliability, not (until now) performance.

    I don't know enough about networking hardware to know whether the physical components are any good or not. I do know, however, that both the firmware with which it shipped and subsequent official releases by Linksys have been the pits. I won't bore readers with the details here, but suffice it to say that is impossible to maintain basic connectivity, administrative access to the web configuration utility, and active VPN tunnels using any firmware that Linksys has released.

    Fortunately, with much help from the good folks here at linksysinfo.org, I was able to obtain and install a newer, beta version of the firmware (1.08). Since installing that update, the router has been great. It truly behaves like a different machine. With respect to performance, however, I've only ever used Xbox Live on the 1.08 firmware, so I don't have a basis for comparison.

    That, of course, implies that the performance problems I've been experiencing have been on the updated 1.08 firmware, as well. So something - either hardware or firmware - is still less than optimal for gaming.

    All of the above aside, over the past 2 weeks gaming performance has been substantially better. There are no delays when playing, and voice chat quality is acceptable to good.

    Performance is still better when bypassing the router. The current setup is good enough, though, that I'm going to keep using the router in order to avoid wriggling on my belly in the sub-zero temperatures through our 200+ year old crawl space to run a new TP cable directly from the cable modem to the Xbox.

    FWIW, in my current configuration, the Xbox 360 is the DMZ host, and I've re-enabled IPS.

    I don't know why this same setup was slow in the past and fast(er) now. Given the duration over which I've tested each setup, both previously and currently, I don't think that it was just a matter of my neighbors using the Internet at the same time, or some sort of maintenance on the ISP end. I had bad performance for months with the old configuration, and for weeks with this current configuration. After giving up on fiddling with this, magically, somehow, my Xbox Live performance rectified itself.

    With this in mind, I suppose my original problem is fixed. As a result, I don't have an actionable question at this point, but I'd sure be interested in hearing opinions as to why things might have improved all on their own - just for academic gratification. Thanks.

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