Which firmware gives best wireless throughput for WRT54G v1-4?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by russr, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. russr

    russr Network Guru Member

    I was wondering if there is a consensus on which is the best firmware for wireless throughput. I know there are many different firmwares out there with several additional features & enhancements, but I've yet to see which of them provides the best performance in terms of wireless g throughput.

    I have a WRT54G V1.0 and a WRT54GL. What kind of throughput should I see when the signal strength is strong?
  2. Guyfromhe

    Guyfromhe Network Guru Member

    30 - 40 mbit if your lucky.
    I don't think the firmware really has much impact on the speed.
  3. russr

    russr Network Guru Member

    yeah i'm getting 5mbps tops with wep encryption of 128-bit...that's bad isn't it?
    What do u think I'm doing wrong?
  4. jschnip

    jschnip Guest

    802.11g real world throughput is always going to be less than 22 meg due to its half duplex nature and transmission overhead - 30 to 40 meg is probably possible using some speedbooster technology, which is not standards compliant, but proprietary to a specific vendor.

    By running encryption (even just basic WEP/128), you are increasing the amount of overhead each transmission has to carry, thus reducing the amount of data in each transmission. So, using encryption is slowing you down. Other things that could be slowing you down, could be interference in your channel band or other strange RF conditions causing your overall signal to appear strong, but your signal to noise ratio to be low. Are you using UDP or TCP to do your speedtest? TCP may also be throttling your throughput, because of its builtin mechanisms.

    Lots of variables in play - Most of the open source/aftermarket firmware available, use the same wireless hardware drivers. In essence, that means they are all going to perform the same, when installed on the same device. We have had good luck with all of them, on many different hardware versions.
  5. russr

    russr Network Guru Member

    jschnip, thanks for the response. What I hear you saying is that the firmware doesn't make a difference in wireless throughput as they all use the same drivers. Would the 128-bit WEP encryption really bring me all the way down to 5MBPS from 22MBPS? That seems like a huge overhead. I'll experiment with difference channels as well, just to rule out the RF interference side of things. Is there a way I can easily test the wireless throughput?

    Also, I'm using a WRT54G V1.0...does that make difference?

  6. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    No, tests and reviews have shown that the effect of network encryption on data throughput is minimal.
  7. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd LI Guru Member

    Also there are several things to keep in mind.

    1. Since you have stated your using a WRT54G v 1.0 which only has a cpu running at 125 mhz as compared to the newer units, v2 and newer are using a 200 mhz cpu.

    2. the newer units have a faster switch then the version 1.

    So I would think that throughput will be a bit slower with an older WRT54G regardless of which firmware you are using.
  8. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    The WRT54G 1.0 is capable of around 25Mbps data throughputs using a wireless connection. It may have a slower CPU but it doesn't mean throughput is necessarily slower.
  9. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Got any 802.11b clients around? See http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2005/06/06/linksys_wrt54g_wireless/page10.html
    Is your router in "G only" mode?

    WPA-PSK/AES best-, and WPA-PSK/TKIP worst- througput with encryption http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2004/04/01/linksys_wrt54gs_wireless_wrt54gs/page9.html

    I have found, on a WRT54GSv5.1, that dd-wrt micro's (v23 SP2) performance is slower than stock firmware by about 20-30% (touching 20Mbps with dd-wrt, while I got 28 Mbps with stock, as tested with file transfer) with WPA-PSK/AES - see the dd-wrt forums. (As mentioned before BrainSlayer, I'm just saying, not moaning ;-)
  10. russr

    russr Network Guru Member

    Ok guys, I put the router in G-Only mode and set encryption to WPA with AES enabled. I then copied a file from the wired desktop to the laptop. In the desktop's task manager it transferred at 22% of 100mbps which is around 22mbps. I'm guessing this is par for the course?

    Is WPA2 better than WPA? Which of the encryptions is best. I know that WEP is quite old now isn't it?
  11. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    22Mbps is about par for G with no enhancements. You should also test laptop -> desktop. I usually get better speeds going this way.

    You could also try turning on Afterburner, if you have a Speedbooster adapter, and definitely frame burst (if not on already), if you feel more Top Gunnish (need for speed...).
  12. cwhitla

    cwhitla Guest

    My 2 Cents

    If you're using this on a home network, I don't see the point of using encryption, just restrict the MAC's that can access your router.
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