wrt54gx WPA encryption performance problems

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by sboire, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. sboire

    sboire Network Guru Member

    Hi all,

    I'm just a new ownder of a wrt54gx and altough I was initially satisfied with the throughput performance, I'm having severe performance issues when encryption is enabled.

    Within my computer room my 802.11g laptop downloaded a 217 MB file in 70 sec or so using the highly inefficient Windows file sharing.

    With my computer room door closed and with the laptop at the other end of the appartement (with few walls in between) I was able to download the same file about 110 sec. Not too bad.

    My next test consisted of the same file transfer but with encryption enabled. So I enabled WPA PSK encryption with AES and even within my computer room performance totally collapsed. when downloading the same file, It was barely passing the 20% mark after 2 min of transfer. Of course I stopped the disaster short and jumped on this forum :)

    I poked around and couldn't find anyone complaining about encryption performance... I wonder if I'm the only one having this problem.

    Did anybody tested the GX encryption performance with standard 802.11g STA (i.e. a Dell D600 laptop)?

    By the way I'm using the latest firmware (1.02.06) with a version 1 :( router.

    I could understand 5-20% performance degradation, but 500-1000% is a little "disapointing" .

    Thanks for your help

  2. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    This page of the GX review on TomsNetworking.com shows a big performance hit for WPA-PSK using TKIP but the AES speeds don't show a slow down like you're describing... (Relevant info starts immediately above the last picture.)

    Have you checked for the latest drivers for your wireless card? Do you have another wireless NIC you could test?
  3. sboire

    sboire Network Guru Member

    I did update the D600 1350 Wireless Dell card with the lastest drivers and... all is great! Now I'm getting consistant transfer in 105 sec. from all locations in my house.

    I also used my fixed network to test my download speed and it was about 30 sec. for the same file. From the assumption that I'm getting about 90 Mbps from the fixed network, that means that I must be at around 25 Mbps all around my house, with encryption enabled. Decent enough for me.

    Also I used a small key (8 characters) and a long key (36 characters) and it doesn't seems to affect encryption speed. I didn't expect it, but it is always good to verify. ( I use digits, upper cases, lower cases and special characters... should take a while to attack in brute force)

    In conclusion the wireless card firmware can have a huge impact on the performance, in particular with encryption. SO upgrade to the latest version and don't take for granted the transmission throughput!

    Thanks for the tip,
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