WTR54G slow WAN?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by Izze, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Izze

    Izze Network Guru Member

    Hi All,
    I installed my new WTR54G v3.1 yesterday without any issue.
    However i do have a 100Mbit/s connection to my internet provider and i only get around 30Mbps using the one of the four LAN connections to my PC.
    I.e. if i bypass the WTR54G i get my 100Mbit back (or around 95Mbit).
    Due to the datasheet the WTR54G should be able to support 100Mbit/s through its LAN, right?

    Firmware Version : v4.01.1, May. 27, 2005

  2. NateHoy

    NateHoy Network Guru Member

    Everything I've read says that the processing speed of the WRT54G seems to max out at about 30mbit or so. I'd say you're just reaching the limits of a $50 consumer device.

    Maybe a different firmware would give you a little better speed, but the hardware runs a ~200 Mhz processor. Given a few instructions to route each packet, well, it just ain't gonna get much faster.

    I could very well be wrong, but I don't think the WRT54G is gonna cut it for you. You need some much more serious gear, or if you want to keep it cheap, an old PC loaded up with M0n0wall or Smoothwall, and attached to a decent Ethernet switch, to route THAT kinda traffic.

    PS: For the record. I'm jealous. Wish I had that problem. (grin)
  3. Izze

    Izze Network Guru Member

    thanks for a fast and elaborate answer!
    Ok, make sense that it might be a bit rough for a 200MHz up to process 100Mbps.
    I have only borrowed the WRT54G so i might go for something else, let se.....

    Btw, i'm living in Sweden and my internet provider (Bredbandsbolaget) updated the network to 100Mbps (from 10MBps) a couple of weeks ago (no change of charge, around $40/month). I noticed it since i lost my Internet and IP-phone due to the fact that hooked up my network via a Cat 5 cablage that cannot handle 100Mbit. However i then updated the cablage to a Cat6 and everything is fine again :)

  4. Izze

    Izze Network Guru Member

    Hi Again,

    I am still a bit counfused....
    In the DS it says

    "Ports/Buttons Internet: One 10/100 RJ-45 Port
    LAN: Four 10/100 RJ-45 Switched Ports"

    which implies 100Mbps?

    Also in the Users guide it says

    "Does the Internet connection of the Router support 100Mbps Ethernet?

    The Router’s current hardware design supports up to 100Mbps Ethernet on its Internet port; however, the Internet
    connection speed will vary depending on the speed of your broadband connection. The Router also supports
    100Mbps over the auto-sensing Fast Ethernet 10/100 switch on the LAN side of the Router."
  5. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Hard drives are never as big as the box advertises.

    Similarly cheap routers may have giga-bit ports grafted onto them, but that doesn't mean they can switch the packets from WAN to LAN that fast.

    Companies employ people in a department called "Marketing". A group whose function is convincing you to buy stuff. Accuracy and truth are not so important.

    Caveat emptor.
  6. LadyNikita

    LadyNikita Network Guru Member

    I have the WRT54GS router with Firmware Version: v2.07.1 As you can see this is what came with it a couple of years ago and I have never upgraded it.

    Do you recommend I upgrade to a newer version of firmware? If so, which one?
  7. NateHoy

    NateHoy Network Guru Member

    LadyNikita -

    That depends. Are you having any trouble? Is there a reason you want to upgrade? Do you want better performance? Any new features?

    It it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    But if you want to see if you can get better performance, want to take advantage of any new features that might be offered, or just feel like blowing out the dust bunnies and running the latest, then.. well.. go for it!

    You can upgrade to the latest stock firmware on the Linksys home page. Or you can read the firmware comparison (see the sticky thread on firmware comparisons) and look into aftermarket if you see a feature or three that catch your fancy.
  8. Izze

    Izze Network Guru Member

    Hi Vincentfox,
    Ok, thanks!

    But i do understand the usual marketing-bullshitting :) but here they actually write in their FAQ (not in the Ad,etc) that the router support 100Mbps Ethernet on its Internet port and the Router also supports
    100Mbps over the auto-sensing Fast Ethernet 10/100 switch on the LAN side of the Router.
    Not very nice in my opinion... :(
  9. NateHoy

    NateHoy Network Guru Member

    But, they are being correct in that.

    They DO support a 100mbps connection from the modem to the router. They also support 100mbps on all the LAN ports.

    Where it falls down, unfortunately, is when the router has to actually process all those bits, and the processor was only really designed to handle ~30mbps.

    Is it completely honest? No, but of course having the ability to process ~30mbps in a $50 router is actually pretty amazing in and of itself. These are consumer devices, built for consumer-grade Internet connections. Don't be too hard on them.

    Now, for those of you who need more than 30mbps and don't want to buy a professional-grade router, I'd suggest taking an older PC and two Ethernet cards, and loading up M0n0wall or Smoothwall, and buying a switch to put on the LAN side. That will give you all of the functionality of the WRT54G, and more, and should be expandable to any speed you want.

    If you really want your WRT54G to process data faster, you can disable the SPI firewall, maybe disable DHCP and go with fixed IP addresses, turn off wireless, and reduce as many things as you can to free up processor power for handling packets. I seriously doubt you'll ever hit 100mbps, but you might increase it from 30.

    With a 3mbps download / 256kbps upload cap on my ISP, which costs a good bit more than yours (over $50 a month), I'll never be able to do a trial run, of course. Frankly, I'd FAR rather have YOUR problem. ;)
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