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post #31 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by 72.9.159.100 View Post

I also just got a hold on this access point and wow the coverage is awesome. I love it. able to stream video anywhere around my house and yard with little buffering=WIN!!!

What bitrate video are you streaming?
post #32 of 76
Thread Starter 
hd does pretty good at 75-100 feet away (decent, minimal buffering) on my phone and sd works at around 200 ft away but has a little bit of buffering but acceptable. don't know the bitrates, as this is streaming online videos. will test some locally hosted higher bitrate videos when I get the time to set that up. However it will prolly work better.
post #33 of 76
Firewall: pfSense 2.01 running on a dual-core Atom D2500 based ITX motherboard
Switch: D-Link DGS-1216T Web Smart Switch
Access Point: Apple Time Capsule
post #34 of 76
I'm unfamiliar with DD-WRT. A quick check of their website seems to imply that it's special firmware for wireless routers. Will this provide any benefit to the hardwired ports on one of these routers? I have hardwired gigabit throughout my house and I'm looking for ways to boost the throughput between PCs for file transfers and HD streaming. I originally thought it might be an issue with my gigabit switch, but now I'm wondering if my router is the bottleneck.
post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'm unfamiliar with DD-WRT. A quick check of their website seems to imply that it's special firmware for wireless routers. Will this provide any benefit to the hardwired ports on one of these routers? I have hardwired gigabit throughout my house and I'm looking for ways to boost the throughput between PCs for file transfers and HD streaming. I originally thought it might be an issue with my gigabit switch, but now I'm wondering if my router is the bottleneck.

It is a special f/w for routers in general and has a plethora of controls for both wired and wireless connections. I will allow you to get faster pings because you can do things like set the DNS settings for the likes of google's servers for faster connections to the internet. You can also set things like QoS for wireless clients and DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) for games to run faster or to expose a certain device to full access from the internet. I did this recently with my Echo when the f/w update wasn't going through and ceton was able to load it manually from a thousand miles away. You can also set up your own ad supported hot spot if you want to forfeit some of your bandwidth and violate the TOS of your ISP.
post #36 of 76
I just use an old Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT and then an Apple Airport Extreme for wireless. That gives me the best of both worlds. DD-WRT is feature rich and powerful, and the wireless performance on the Airport Extreme is excellent. These days I'm guessing you could get a good DD-WRT compatible router that also has strong wireless performance.
post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

It is a special f/w for routers in general and has a plethora of controls for both wired and wireless connections. I will allow you to get faster pings because you can do things like set the DNS settings for the likes of google's servers for faster connections to the internet. You can also set things like QoS for wireless clients and DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) for games to run faster or to expose a certain device to full access from the internet. I did this recently with my Echo when the f/w update wasn't going through and ceton was able to load it manually from a thousand miles away. You can also set up your own ad supported hot spot if you want to forfeit some of your bandwidth and violate the TOS of your ISP.
Couple of questions for you.

1. Are you using a gigabit switch in your setup? If so, which one?

2. What kind of throughput do you get with file transfers?
post #38 of 76
Used to use a Linksys WRT54G for everything. After getting a bigger place (and some complaints about coverage), I switched to a Cisco ASA5505 for fw, routing, poe injection, & vpn endpoint and a couple of D-Link DAP-2590 for wireless.

The 5505 is a very solid piece of gear for the price, but doing anything interesting with it requires writing your own config by hand. The D-Link waps are working well so far. Since they are buried in the ceiling, I'm hoping they will last.
post #39 of 76
I have a TP-link 300 TL-WR841N wireless N 300Mbps , its kind of generic but seems to do all right. Its able to stream HD netflix over wifi no prob.
post #40 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Never saw this. It is the WZR-HP-G300NH. I don't do much wirelessly, just my phone. I know there's better wireless speeds now but everything else is wired Ethernet and this router has been up for over a year without issue except for when the power went out a few months ago and even then it came right back up.

I have that router and can't wait to get rid of it. It's been a PITA the entire time I've owned it. The original firmware it came with was junk, making the setup/configuration pages run very very slow. It also lost connects a lot, requiring router reboots. The former is okay now with the update, but the configuration pages don't load in all browsers. The lost connections is also better, but not perfect.

I'll never buy another Buffalo product again. They should have known before putting it on the market from the speed of their configuration pages that their firmware had serious issues.
post #41 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'm unfamiliar with DD-WRT. A quick check of their website seems to imply that it's special firmware for wireless routers. Will this provide any benefit to the hardwired ports on one of these routers? I have hardwired gigabit throughout my house and I'm looking for ways to boost the throughput between PCs for file transfers and HD streaming. I originally thought it might be an issue with my gigabit switch, but now I'm wondering if my router is the bottleneck.

What transfer rates are you getting?
post #42 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Used to use a Linksys WRT54G for everything. After getting a bigger place (and some complaints about coverage), I switched to a Cisco ASA5505 for fw, routing, poe injection, & vpn endpoint and a couple of D-Link DAP-2590 for wireless.
The 5505 is a very solid piece of gear for the price, but doing anything interesting with it requires writing your own config by hand. The D-Link waps are working well so far. Since they are buried in the ceiling, I'm hoping they will last.

Well, I don't know about having to right your own config by hand. The ASDM GUI being used by the ASA/PIX running version 7.x and later code is very good. Practically eliminates the need to go into the CLI.

I wouldn't expect most home users to be getting a Cisco ASA or the like for their home network. But it is nice to have this level of equipment for the reliability and features/functionality.

Since people are putting up their router/firewalls up here's mine:

Main House:

Firewalls/routers:
Cisco ASA 5505 with security plus license
Sonicwall TZ215 W
Juniper SRX210
Dell PowerConnect W 620 (not using the firewall specific capabilities yet but am using it for its remote AP functionality to layer 2 tunnel my home networks to a remote site)
Cisco 1861 (used primarily for its built in call manager)

Wireless:
Dell PowerConnect W 620 with 1 AP 105, 1 AP 125, 1 RAP 2, and 1 AP 105 as a RF spectrum monitor

Vacation home:

Firewalls/routers:
Cisco ASA 5505 with base K9 license

Wireless:
Netgear WG102 soon to be replaced by a Aruba Networks IAP 105 (awaiting FedEx delivery)
post #43 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonHung View Post

What transfer rates are you getting?
I probably average about 18-20Mbps when transferring files between my PC and my unRAID server. I'm currently using a D-Link gigabit gaming router and a Dell PowerConnect 2724 managed gigabit switch in unmanaged mode. Every device on my network is connected directly to the main switch. Overall, I'm generally pleased with the performance as I can stream Blu-Rays ripped to mkv with no problems. The main issue I'm having is with media center extenders. I tend to get the dreaded Network Issue error from time to time, but when I run the network troubleshooter or analyzer or whatever it's called the network always tests fine for sufficient bandwidth.

I recently swapped out the Dell switch for a Linksys/Cisco SR2024 and performance degraded considerably. Transfer rates maxed out at about 5-6 Mbps, which is totally unacceptable. I have since reinstalled the Dell switch. I have no idea how to troubleshoot and evaluate network parameters so I'm basically just swapping out hardware to see if something improves. I hadn't considered the possibility that the router would cause issues between PCs, but I'm open to any suggestions.
post #44 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I probably average about 18-20Mbps when transferring files between my PC and my unRAID server. I'm currently using a D-Link gigabit gaming router and a Dell PowerConnect 2724 managed gigabit switch in unmanaged mode. Every device on my network is connected directly to the main switch. Overall, I'm generally pleased with the performance as I can stream Blu-Rays ripped to mkv with no problems. The main issue I'm having is with media center extenders. I tend to get the dreaded Network Issue error from time to time, but when I run the network troubleshooter or analyzer or whatever it's called the network always tests fine for sufficient bandwidth.
I recently swapped out the Dell switch for a Linksys/Cisco SR2024 and performance degraded considerably. Transfer rates maxed out at about 5-6 Mbps, which is totally unacceptable. I have since reinstalled the Dell switch. I have no idea how to troubleshoot and evaluate network parameters so I'm basically just swapping out hardware to see if something improves. I hadn't considered the possibility that the router would cause issues between PCs, but I'm open to any suggestions.

This is way too slow. I also don't know how you're streaming blu-rays smoothly considering they go over 40 mbps. Is there a big difference between copy something to your unraid server and copying something from your unraid server?
post #45 of 76
With the switches included in SOHO and many SMB routers, they are really far from high performing switches. The key is the ASICs used along with any buffering and the firmware running the switch. When you explore business class switches there's always discussion of whether the switch is line rate.

Your PowerConnect 2724 switch is a decent switch. I have a 2708 which ran faithfully for me for years until I replaced it with a Netgear GS108T. Not knowing your setup, it's hard to determine where the bottle neck is with respect to it possibly being the connected devices. I ran a simple file transfer test on my setup to see what throughput I am getting. The test I ran is from my gaming desktop which is an EVGA (forget the model number) with a WD Velociraptor 300 GB 10k RPM drive and 4 GB of RAM using one of the onboard GigE ports. This desktop is connected to a Netgear GS108Tv1 which has two 1 GigE connections in a LAG (LACP) to another Netgear GS748TP which is LAGed (LACP) to a Cisco 2960G with two 1 GigE connections which is also LAGed (LACP) with two 1 GigE connections to a Juniper EX4200 switch. At this point things deviate drastically as the EX4200 has a single 10GigE uplink connection to a Dell PowerConnect 8024F switch. The fileserver I transfered the data from is a Dell PowerEdge T410 with a PERC 6 RAID controller to an MD1000 with I think 6 or 7 600GB 15K SAS drives in a RAID 5 setup connected to the 8024F switch with dual 10GigE links.

The reason why I stated my setup in this detail is to put the results I got in some sort of context. So the transfer rate I got through my simple file transfer test was around 120 MBps or 960 Mbps. Very close to full theoretical maximum of 1 GigE. One take away from this test is that the Netgear switches performed pretty well as if there would be a weak spot in my network, this is where it would be. Also, my network isn't as optimal as it could be as there are way too many switch hops between workstation and server. But there are reasons why it is the way it is and I'm not running critical low latency apps. Even with this less than optimal setup, I was able to pull the results I did.

If nothing else can be tracked down as an area which can be changed to increase performance, you can try running jumbo frames provided all your devices through your network (devices and switches) support this. The standard Ethernet frame is 1500 bytes. You can try setting the frame size (or MTU) to something like 9000/9216 (which is the typical size when you set jumbo frames). I haven't set up jumbo frames in my network and only have done so in limited applications for work. Doing jumbo frames can lead to other headaches on a network.

Hopefully, my verbose post was somewhat helpful to you.
post #46 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

This is way too slow. I also don't know how you're streaming blu-rays smoothly considering they go over 40 mbps. Is there a big difference between copy something to your unraid server and copying something from your unraid server?
To be honest, I really don't know. I just started checking transfer rates recently using the dialog box that pops up in Windows when I select the Details option. I have seen rates as high as 38Mbps, but not all that often. I have no idea what kind of rates I'm getting when streaming Blu-Rays and I'm not sure how to check. I used to have all sorts of issues with stuttering and freezing until I converted my Blu-Ray iso's to mkv's and played them back with XBMC. I don;t recall checking rates when transferring something from my server because I don;t do it all that often. I'll try a large file transfer this evening and see what kind of rates I get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonHung View Post

Hopefully, my verbose post was somewhat helpful to you.
I read it but I can't say that I fully understood it, but the feedback is greatly appreciated. My networking knowledge is extremely limited so some of the jargon is lost on me (i.e., I am clueless as to what LAG or LACP means). My previous setup included a number of switches scattered throughout the house similar to your setup, which is the main reason I decided to go with one central switch.

I'm using a D-Link gigabit gaming router connected to the WAN input from my FIOS ONT. One LAN output connects to the ActionTek router supplied by Verizon that's used mostly for distributing guide data to the one set top box in the upstairs bedroom and also for connecting my wife's laptop to the internet via wireless. Another LAN output connects to the Dell switch. From there, the switch connects to two desktop PCs, two HTPCs, an unRAID server, a HP all-in-one Officejet printer, a HDHomeRun Dual, a HDHR Prime tuner, and a Ceton Echo. All of these devices are left on 24/7. I also have an X-Box 360, mini-ITX HTPC, a Hackintosh PC, and two additional desktop PCs that are active sporadically so they're only connected to the network when in use. I believe all of the PCs have Realtek gigabit internal LAN chips. The unRAID server uses an Intel PCI NIC. I have actually considered installing Intel NICs in all of my PCs as they are supposed to be superior to the Realtec LAN chips.

All wiring is CAT6 plenum cable terminated to punchblock RJ-45 jacks at each end. I'm using a 24-port patch panel that connects all distribution cables to the switch via 1.5-ft CAT6 jumpers. I've got another 16-port patch panel on the 2nd floor that connects the cables from the main switch in the basement to the CAT6 cables on the 2nd floor that provide connections to each upstairs bedroom. The two sets of cables are jumpered via the patch panel using CAT6 patch cables.

PS. I just ran a search for Intel gigabit NICs and came across something interesting. The reviews posted by some of the folks on Amazon indicated that the PCI NIC has extremely limited throughput. I installed it because I was having some issues getting unRAID v4.7 to recognize my Realtek LAN on the Asus motherboard I'm using. I think I'll take another shot at it this evening and see if I can get it working with unRAID v5.0-rc8a. If not, I also have a PCI-e Intel NIC that I can try, although I'm reluctant to give up my last PCI-e slot as I was planning to use it for a SATA controller.
Edited by captain_video - 11/13/12 at 12:54pm
post #47 of 76
Yes. Definitely try to use the PCI-e NIC. Your research on the limitations of PCI is correct. It all boils down the available bandwidth on the PCI bus. If I recall correctly, if the GigE NIC is the only device on the PCI bus, then there is enough bandwidth to support it. If you start adding other devices on there, the amount of bandwidth available for the GigE NIC becomes insufficient. This is part of the reason why when I built my first server to be used a file server, I got one with PCI-X interfaces. Now everything I currently run is on PCI-e.
post #48 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

I have that router and can't wait to get rid of it. It's been a PITA the entire time I've owned it. The original firmware it came with was junk, making the setup/configuration pages run very very slow. It also lost connects a lot, requiring router reboots. The former is okay now with the update, but the configuration pages don't load in all browsers. The lost connections is also better, but not perfect.
I'll never buy another Buffalo product again. They should have known before putting it on the market from the speed of their configuration pages that their firmware had serious issues.

There was a version 1 and a version 1.1 or 2 or something like that. The f/w between each was incompatible with the other. Are you using the DD-WRT f/w or the crappy consumer f/w that is initially installed? I had to flash it over with a f/w downloaded from Buffalo's site but I made sure I picked the right one. This router has been rock solid for me and the configuration pages load instantaneously as if they were a program running on my PC.
Edited by Sammy2 - 11/13/12 at 1:47pm
post #49 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I probably average about 18-20Mbps when transferring files between my PC and my unRAID server. I'm currently using a D-Link gigabit gaming router and a Dell PowerConnect 2724 managed gigabit switch in unmanaged mode. Every device on my network is connected directly to the main switch. Overall, I'm generally pleased with the performance as I can stream Blu-Rays ripped to mkv with no problems. The main issue I'm having is with media center extenders. I tend to get the dreaded Network Issue error from time to time, but when I run the network troubleshooter or analyzer or whatever it's called the network always tests fine for sufficient bandwidth.
I recently swapped out the Dell switch for a Linksys/Cisco SR2024 and performance degraded considerably. Transfer rates maxed out at about 5-6 Mbps, which is totally unacceptable. I have since reinstalled the Dell switch. I have no idea how to troubleshoot and evaluate network parameters so I'm basically just swapping out hardware to see if something improves. I hadn't considered the possibility that the router would cause issues between PCs, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

This is way too slow. I also don't know how you're streaming blu-rays smoothly considering they go over 40 mbps. Is there a big difference between copy something to your unraid server and copying something from your unraid server?

Maybe these numbers need to be multiplied by 8...
post #50 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Couple of questions for you.
1. Are you using a gigabit switch in your setup? If so, which one?
2. What kind of throughput do you get with file transfers?

Trendnet S80G 8-port Unmanaged Gigabit Switchegg. I am using two of them between my PC and my HTPC.

I have not meashured thouroughput since I set it up and don't remember what they were but I haven't noticed any problems with it at all.
post #51 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Maybe these numbers need to be multiplied by 8...

Bingo, I'd guess that the dialog box is averaging around 18-20 MB/s not Mbps. Blu Rays require 4.5 MB/s or 36 Mbps, and my linksys e4200 wireless coupled with a wet610n can get a full blu ray rip from one room to another wirelessly with HD audio and no stutter
post #52 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Bingo, I'd guess that the dialog box is averaging around 18-20 MB/s not Mbps. Blu Rays require 4.5 MB/s or 36 Mbps, and my linksys e4200 wireless coupled with a wet610n can get a full blu ray rip from one room to another wirelessly with HD audio and no stutter

Yeah that might explain why his blu-rays work fine, although it's still slower than it should be. A gigabit connection can go up to 125 MB/s. It might be a little slower due to the speed of the hard drive, but not that much slower.
post #53 of 76
I should have checked my punctuation before I posted. You guys are correct that my figures should be multiplied by 8. I should have said MB/sec and not Mbps. Sorry for the confusion. I realized my error as soon as I looked at the throughput displayed in the transfer dialog box last night.

The Intel PCI NIC is the only device on the PCI bus of my unRAID server. I have two Supermicro 8-port AOC-SASLP-MV8 PCI-e SATA controllers and a 2-port PCI-e SATA controller plugged into the other slots. I'm using an AMD Liano CPU with integrated graphics so I don't need a graphics card. I'll still give the PCI-e NIC a shot and see if that helps.

I just spotted this over at Tech.Woot today: http://tech.woot.com/

They've got the Buffalo Tech Dual-Band Wireless-N Router, model WZR-HP-AG300H, for $50 plus $5 shipping. Reviews are hit or miss about the wireless side, but it appears to have pretty solid gigabit LAN performance. I rarely use wireless so I might have to consider giving it a try. At $55, it's not that much of a gamble.
Edited by captain_video - 11/14/12 at 11:56am
post #54 of 76
Update: I removed the Intel PCI NIC from my unRAID server and tried using the onboard Realtek LAN just to see if it would work under unRAID 5.0. It not only works under the current version, but when I transferred a large file from the server to my PC I was getting around 65-68 MB/sec throughput. It's not as fast as I'd like to see, but it's a huge improvement over what I was getting previously. It's now pretty clear what was causing the bottleneck on the server.

Next, I tried transferring a file from my HTPC to my main PC and the rate was only around 23-25MB/sec. The HTPC has an ASRock motherboard with a Realtek RTL8111DL LAN chip. Unfortunately, all of the PCI-e slots are occupied so there's no way to install my Intel PCI-e NIC to see if it will improve throughput. I'm guessing that this is the other bottleneck that's giving me network errors with my Ceton Echo and X-Box 360.

I plan to test out the remaining PCs to see what kind of transfer rates I get with them. I'll see if there's an improvement with the Intel NIC if the stock LAN proves to be too slow.
post #55 of 76
Holy Cow! I installed the Intel PCI-e NIC in my server and transferred a test file to my PC over the network. I initially got transfer rates up to 106MB/s and it eventually settled down to about 96MB/s for the remainder of the transfer. What used to take about 25-30 minutes to transfer took only about 5 minutes with the new NIC. I just bought two more Intel PCI-e gigabit NICs on ebay and plan on putting them in my main PC and my HTPC. I expect the one in my HTPC will fix the network issues I was having with my extenders. I just can't believe I didn't try this out sooner. I was more concerned about preserving the PCI-e slots that I didn't think about the throughput issues I was having. Chalk this one up as a lesson learned.
post #56 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Holy Cow! I installed the Intel PCI-e NIC in my server and transferred a test file to my PC over the network. I initially got transfer rates up to 106MB/s and it eventually settled down to about 96MB/s for the remainder of the transfer. What used to take about 25-30 minutes to transfer took only about 5 minutes with the new NIC. I just bought two more Intel PCI-e gigabit NICs on ebay and plan on putting them in my main PC and my HTPC. I expect the one in my HTPC will fix the network issues I was having with my extenders. I just can't believe I didn't try this out sooner. I was more concerned about preserving the PCI-e slots that I didn't think about the throughput issues I was having. Chalk this one up as a lesson learned.

Lots of people in networking forums like smallnetbuilder have said the same thing, but I've also never tried it.

I keep feeling that 70-80 MB/s is good enough, but sometimes it intermittently drops to 50. I also have asrock boards with Realtek LANs. Thanks for sharing your experiences
post #57 of 76
Good to hear !
post #58 of 76
I currently have Linksys WRT54G.
Have ASUS RT-N66U gigabit on order.
Looking forward to dual band capabilities. biggrin.gif
post #59 of 76
What are you guys using to measure throughput?
post #60 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

What are you guys using to measure throughput?
When I perform a file transfer in Windows I get a dialog box that shows the progress. If you click the arrow for more details, you get the transfer rate displayed along with the remaining size of the file and the estimated time to complete. I'm not using any sort of network analyzer utility if that's what you mean.
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