Tomato settings needed for stability

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Old Dog, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Old Dog

    Old Dog Addicted to LI Member

    This great teenager is coming to my house to install a Linksys CM100 modem and a WRT54GL with Tomato V1.25. I trust him but he returns to college in a few weeks and I'll be left holding the keyboard. I ask that if anyone could kindly provide a list or table of recommended settings that we could use as a starting point. My desire is to have rock-solid stability. The home network will have 3 desktop PCs (mixture of XP and Vista) connected by CAT 5 wire, 3 wireless HP notebooks with Intel Centrino, and a wireless Lenova notebook. One of the wireless HP notebooks is used to connect to a large company's VPN. One of the desktops is used to download TV shows and movies using BitTorrent. I'm sure there have to be many people out there that could use a good list to use as a starting point, especially those of us who are new to the game of using this wonderful 3rd party firmware to bring some sanity to our lives. Thank you for any help you can provide.:wave:
  2. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    if you use bittorrent use RAF mod
    for wireless use
    Afterburner Enabled
    Frame Burst Enabled
    Transmit Power 75
    the rest on wireless leave to default
    dont forget to enable upnp , nat-pmp and Show In My Network Places leave the rest on upnp to default
    this should give you the start you are looking for :)
  3. CandyBoy

    CandyBoy LI Guru Member

    thor2002ro , can you explain that these two things do? Afterburner and Frame Burst.
  4. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    increase wireless speed both do this and Transmit Power should give you some extra range and speed
  5. CandyBoy

    CandyBoy LI Guru Member

    thor2002ro , i heard somewhere ,if you have more than 3 wireless clients ,it its recommended to turn off frame burst. Is it true?
  6. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    i got 3 wireless laptops no problems...
  7. CandyBoy

    CandyBoy LI Guru Member

    And i want to ask you another question. What the Beacon Interval and WMM do ? :)
  8. FattysGoneWild

    FattysGoneWild LI Guru Member

  9. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    WMM = priorities multimedia packets

    Beacon Interval is more complicated...have a nice reading :)
    Default is 100, i.e., ten beacons per second. With Host AP mode, the
    most noticeable effect of beacon interval is latency in sending unicast
    packets to power saving stations and broadcast/multicast packets in
    general. I would set beacon interval depending on the environment where
    the AP is operating.

    If you have many stations using power saving, you might want to keep the
    beacon interval quite small since larger interval adds latency to
    AP->STA packets. Even without any stations using PS, Host AP mode seems
    to often wait for next DTIM beacon frame before sending pending
    broadcast/multicast frames. This might be an issue in some cases. On the
    other hand, every beacon frame take a small portion of the maximum
    bandwidth and using a larger beacon interval would save some bandwidth
    for data frames. So, this will be a compromise between enlarged latency
    and saved bandwidth. I would suggest experimenting with different values
    since there is not really any one-value-fits-all solution for this.
  10. FattysGoneWild

    FattysGoneWild LI Guru Member

    OP. I am currently running the exact same setup you will be running soon hardware wise. Steady and stable as a rock. Especially running Tomato. I am pretty much using the stock settings. Other then securing it and making a few minor adjustments to my needs. Like the following. You might like them as well for yourself.

    Static DHCP for game consoles
    Wireless Filter
    WPA2+AES for wireless security
    Transmit Power set to 28mW I actually got better performance lowering it from the stock 42mW YMMV
    UPnP for gaming consoles
    Filter-IDENT rule
    Allow Wireless Access unchecked
    Router password
    Cloned PC WAN port

    I am using Victek's mod firmware. I cannot say enough about it and I believe most if not all people on this board would agree with me. It is absolutely fantastic stable feature rich firmware.
  11. neoufo51

    neoufo51 Network Guru Member

    Same router as you and I agree, 28mW is the way to go.
  12. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    i dont know where you got 28mW i think you dont even know what this does....
    i just tested it for the hell of it...and speed droped to 400kb/s from 2.8mb/s please stop advising ppl stupid stuff.... droping the power CANT help you unless theres seriosly something wrong with your router....
  13. CandyBoy

    CandyBoy LI Guru Member

    thor2002ro , in your opinion , what is the safe limit of transmit power? People say 150mW ,others say its not.
  14. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    150 if i remember corectly edangers human health.... best to keep it under 100...
  15. DummyPLUG

    DummyPLUG Network Guru Member

    First, disable all the stuff you don't need, include system log, and better to stay with offical 1.25 or 1.23, depends on which one you like.

    For wireless, you can stick with 42mw or anything below 80mw, but remind you, a larger one doesn't means it will be better, you can try do a file copy from one pc to another through wireless to see which power level will give you the best. This is because the larger the power, the more noise, after some point it actually will make the signal muct worse. In my case, my WL-500GPv2 perform the best at 10mw, the notebook I am using is a Thinkpad SL500, which use a athero chips.

    WMM, Frame burst, After burner all stay disable:
    1. WMM need also application support, but virtually no software exist support WMM. Some VoIP phone does.
    2. Frame burst gain is not much, but may affect your wireless's stability. Frame burst adjust the data/control frame sequence/timing to gain speed, if there are 2 or more client, the out of order frame sequence may make thing worse.
    3. Disable all afterburner, MIMO, etc. these all are vendor specific method to gain speed. Some of then using 2 channel, some of then use something like frame burst, but you always need to have a match pair of router/client (I means Vendor, such all broadcom, all athero), this is likely not the case if you have more then 1 wifi stuff. Beside, the speed gain is not really large in real work usage. That's why I suggest to disable all of then to ensure compatibility.

    GL got 32MB ram, you can set the "Maximum Connections" up to 10240, you should still have lots of ram left.

    for QoS, if you really need it, enable it, otherwise it will just waste of cpu power and ram. Remember that QoS work best for outgoing traffic(upload), for incomeing traffic(download) QoS is not quite effective.

    I have heavy BT with my WL-500GPv2 with 1.25 firmware , using the above setup, up time still about 1~2 months. The only downtime is few days ago the DHCP server refuse to assign IP to one of my Linux client, reset it solve the problem. before I am using 1.23 with this WL-500GPv2, and another buffalo WZR-RS-G54(64MB ram, 8MB flash) and no problem at all for more then 5 months. Actually the WZR die when I try DD-WRT on it (known issue) then I am force to switch to the WL-500GPv2

    The last thing is ensure stability is keep it cool. If you rise the wifi power will make the router heat up more, you can do a fan mod, or anything you can to keep it cool. Google it for more details how to keep a router cool.

    Arr... the last one, try all wifi channel to see which one give the best SNR, and make sure all 2.4G stuff don't jam that channel, things like bluetooth, 2.4G cordless phone, microwave oven and your neighbour wifi. Some Microwave oven can jam the 2.4G frequency and bring down the whole network, I have seen a Sanyo Microwave oven sell in costco will jam all 2.4G channel when using.

    The reason I suggest to not use a firmware mod is because you may not need all the extra function of that mod, then using such mod may make thing worse (bug when mod it).

    For advance tweak, you need to ask some linux guy, or check those openwrt, dd-wrt forum, many setting need to login into the router via telnet before you can adjust it. For example, enable/disable the wifi amp.
  16. DummyPLUG

    DummyPLUG Network Guru Member

    if you use 28mW and see such a huge drop in speed and it is in a close range, that means:
    1. something wrong with your router/client
    2. bad antenna.
    3. bad placement of your router, wrong antenna direction.

    for a 3dbi omni antenna which come with nearly all router, 28mW is more then enough. For some router with radio amp, anything more then 5mW will actually fire the amp.

    Lastly, a high gain antenna will always better then high power, cause high power also means high noise level. Wifi is 2-way, high power router will just ensure the client in range, but the router may be can't hear the client, as most client adapter are limit to about 10mW only. In such case, a high gain antenna will solve the problem.
  17. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    GL got 32MB ram, you can set the "Maximum Connections" up to 10240, ahhahahhahahhahahha OMGGG where all you "GENIUS" noobs come from all i can say is O. M. G.
  18. SgtPepperKSU

    SgtPepperKSU Network Guru Member

    You may want to tune it back a bit. A large portion of your posts seem abrasive, insulting, alienating, and counter-productive.

    I don't doubt that you mean well, but these types of posts do nobody any good. This forum is just comprised of people trying to help each other out with Tomato-related problems/questions. I know I've made mistakes in some of my posts, as have you.

    There is absolutely no reason "noobs" (not to imply you were correct in that assessment here) should be dissuaded from posting or attempting to share their insight.

    How about:
  19. FattysGoneWild

    FattysGoneWild LI Guru Member


    That is why I said this part in my post. I think you missed that part in bold. I also found this interesting as well.

  20. jan.n

    jan.n LI Guru Member

    Depends on the antennas used, google for subjects like "EIRP" and "gain"...
  21. WRobertE

    WRobertE Addicted to LI Member

    Well said... this forum is for assistance, not intimidation.
  22. Beftus

    Beftus Network Guru Member

    Safe limit for who? People of the router? After all you don't want to get your brains cooked. It's microwave frequencies we're dealing with.

    Safe for the router depends on the heat factor. Crank it up too high and you'll end up with a paperweight. Start with a lowish 20 mW and take it from there. Don't go to high without cooling the inside. Without forced cooling 42 mW should pose no problem, if you wanna go higher than 70-80 mW start thinking about heatsinks and/or fans.

    A better way to boost power is to replace the stock 2 dB antennas with the 7 dB HGA7T's or a directional antenna. Cranking transmit power is cheaper but has a downside, you'll also increase the noise in the signal. Noise is bad for good reception.

    When messing with the transmit power keep an eye on radiated power too. Check your local max. radiated power (EIRP).
    Radiated power = transmit power + antenna gain.
    Where I live max. radiated power is 100 mW (=20dBm). With my WRT54GL combined with 7 dB antennas I get: 20 dBm = transmit power + 7 dB. Max. transmit power for me is 13 dB's which equals 20 mW.

    Good luck!
  23. neoufo51

    neoufo51 Network Guru Member

    Wrong. Dropping the power reduces signal noise on the WRT54GL. All my clients had a 20% signal quality increase when I put the power at 28mW and kept everything else at default.
  24. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Hey guys. Please don't turn the forum into a battlefield.

    A lot has been said about abrasive comments on the forum. Now, I don't want to get involved in this, but I do understand the frustration. An awful lot of what is being said here IS complete nonsense and this thread seems to have more than usual.

    So, what should others who have more experience as software developers, hardware engineers, radio link technicians, networking experts, etc. do when they see this happen? Should they remain silent, or should they attempt to correct what they see? How should it be done?

    The point I want to make here, is that what people are posting, they have done so usually in good faith. BUT, that doesn't automatically mean that what worked for them is either a) correct b) true c) going to work for anyone else.

    Quite obviously, to an engineer like myself, much of the advice here has been made by people who don't have any means of reliably testing their assertions. Some people are merely repeating nonsense they read elsewhere. Some people are scaremongering or repeating uninformed nonsense from magazines. And some of the claims are just plain silly. To these, I would like them to think carefully before posting, is what you are posting checked, then double checked? Does it have any scientific basis, or is it a rushed assumption? Has it been covered already 25 times in the last week?

    I would implore anyone looking for information to please use the search facility on the forum (the advanced search works best) and research your subject. Usually you'll find it has been covered many, many times and you will usually, after some practice, be able to pick out the serious advice from the nonsense. But please keep the forum civil!
  25. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Just for enlightenment:biggrin:

    OK, this sounds promising - now., let's see...

    Well, this wasn't proven, was it?

    On what "personal" experience was this based? Did any of the 4 routers explode into fragments?

    On what channels were the 4 routers? Overlapping, co-channel, or individual? What version of wireless driver? How many clients and other routers in the vicinity, using what wireless adapters, how were they set, and what handshaking ?

    In the majority of cases, running 250mW (GUI setting) does not in fact do any harm at all. For "will experience" read "may experience".

    Again, did his routers melt, explode, smoulder, emit black smoke or gamma radiation? For "will shorten" read "may shorten" - which is what I wrote in the wiki.

    Hmmm .. measured by what test equipment? What was this "research" ? How significant was the increase in noise compared with the improvement in signal-to-noise ratio? At what point did increasing power result in no increase in signal-to-noise ratio?

    Has he ever tested the "noise floor" function in Tomato, and noticed that it may drop when something is changed but it will usually not revert to the previous setting when that change is revered? Does it even mean anything?
  26. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    That is a signal-to-noise ratio increase of 20dB, occurring as a result of DROPPING power from the default? This would normally cause only a DROP in signal-to-noise ratio of a few dB. It isn't normal or even possible, unless something is severely busted.
  27. jan.n

    jan.n LI Guru Member

    I don't have enough spare time right now, but can't someone plase measure the SNR against transmit power? Perhaps include BER, too?
  28. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I don't have time to do the full monty, but this might help a little. It shows the increase in signal strength at a client using when the transmit power on a WRT54GL was varied from 5mW up to max and then back down to 10mW again. The signal-to-noise ratio also followed closely that which you would expect - bearing in mind that these readings are approximate, as they use figures which are calculated by the Intel wireless card's own firmware. The last power step, from 160 to 251, also showed a simultaneous improvement in signal-to-noise ratio as one would expect. At no point did an increase in power ever result in either a weaker signal or a reduction in signal-to-noise ratio, on any firmware version or wireless driver.

    The steps were: 5/10/20/40/80/160/251/10

  29. DummyPLUG

    DummyPLUG Network Guru Member

    did you do any file transfer when testing? the result may be different.

    In my memory the WZR I got have the same wireless chips with the GL, and that wireless chips (should be BCM43xx) work best when set the power around 42 to 60, with a 6dbi omni antenna. Since I don't have a GL, I can't say if my experience with WZR is the same with the GL.

    I still strongly suggest to do a real world file transfer to see which one will work best, and must easier.

    p.s. I can't figure out where is the SNR in your graphic, I just saw signal strength.
  30. DummyPLUG

    DummyPLUG Network Guru Member

    oops, I always think that the GL have 32MB ram, if it just got 16MB ram, then the "max connection" should be much much lower.

    Since I don't have a GL, or any 16MB ram router, I can't say which will work best. Thanks to point out my mistake.

    p.s. I will suggest the topic opener to use another router with 32MB ram or more, live will be much easier.
  31. DummyPLUG

    DummyPLUG Network Guru Member

    Just check the spec of GL, found it is 5352 with 16mb ram only. Oops, I always think that the GL is something like an old GS with 4712 and 32MB ram. Sorry for misleading about the wireless power and max connection, as those are base on my experience with a BCM43xx and with 32MB ram.

    Now I got another question, why use a 5352 with 16mb only router? some asus router using 4704/5354 with 32Mb ram, which tomato support them.
  32. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Hi DummyPlug (love the name).

    There's no signal to noise ratio labelled "as such" on the graph. However, as you can see, there is a clearly empty space below the strength plot and the base of the graph at -99 - which is therefore the "noise floor". Therefore, the s/n ratio would be at worst at 19dB at the start, at 5mW, rising to 33dB at the 251 mW level. Not a bad signal at any level, in this case the router is 25m away from the client.

    I have always found a higher signal to noise ratio to give the best performance, or, in this case, throughput. I have never seen any exception to this rule over the last 45 years, nor would I expect to. Therefore, when someone reports that his router's wireless somehow defies the normal laws of physics, I am more than a little suspicious about the conditions of the test, or if indeed there ever was a proper controlled test.

    [See ]

    The 5354 used in many recent routers because of it's USB support, commonly with 32MB RAM, is a budget "all-in-one" chipset to reduce manufacturers component count and hence increase profitability. I actually use the ASUS WL500gPv2, which has 32MB RAM, in several places, and find them to be more stable - but they are terribly sluggish compared with the WRT54GL, even when the USB isn't used at all. But this subject has been done to death over the last few months, best to read the other threads, we're actually rather hijacking this one...
  33. Old Dog

    Old Dog Addicted to LI Member

    Up and running fairly well

    Thank you all very much for the help you have provided me, especially Toastman. I am buying you dinner on my next trip to Thailand.

    My system is up and running but I still have a lot to learn about router administration, especially QoS.

    One thing I noticed that I haven't seen written anywhere is that Adobe is dropping their support for SVG viewer. See .
  34. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Yes, but not to worry, seems like everyone else is incorporating it in the browser. I think IE is the only one not to? SVG seems to have passed into the public domain, or whatever.
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