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Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:20 am
by Psycho Ced
I haven't been keeping up with my networking as much as I should have. But after checking out some prices, I've actually found an apple product that might be at a decent cost compared to is competitors; The Airport Extreme. This kind of makes me nervous, so wondering if anyone knows why this would be cheaper then a linksys with similar features. (Dual Band wireless N, Giga-lan support (3 ports instead of 4), and a usb port for external drive/printer).

I am actually tempted to buy one in the morning. I was going to buy the WRT330N (USB port not the significant) till I noticed they don't have dual bands. My Next choice would have been a WRT600N except for the cost. Any insight would be helpful.

My main concern was the giga-lan, but not having to buy a new device (to get the major improvements), once the final revision is submitted is also important.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:59 am
by IneptVagrant
I recommend ICS/NAT on a gateway computer, than whatever you want behind that. Wireless card (ad hoc)/switch or a router in LAN mode (whatever that means on the device you get, they all call it different stuff)

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:12 pm
by Psycho Ced
ATM this only home network with 2 PCs and a notebook, mainly I wanted to be able to transfer files from my download box and my notebook to my main pc to organize and archive to my External HDDS. I tend to wait till they are quite full before making these transfers so wanted the extra speed.

Ok, I went with the air port extreme, but can't seem to get past 11-12MBps normally around 6-7 MBps. (Not faster then my WRT54G speeds) Cables are cat5e. Set the connections to full duplex 1000, notebook card does not give this option though (but is a giga-lan card).
Any advice on what I might be doing wrong or possible bottlenecks? All drives are sata 1/2 (not sure about notebook).

I could return it to bestbuy if all else fails, but I rather like the feature to assign IPs by mac address.

Edit: Hmmm a Prof reccomended using file transfer programs >.>, who would have thought, turns out windows is the bottle neck, but still only ~33-38 KBps speeds. with WS_FTP Pro, still think this should be much faster.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:21 pm
by IneptVagrant
11-12MB/s is the max for 100mbit LAN.

gigabit LAN needs cat6 cables.

Whats the notebook network card, driver, and what does the connection status say its connected at.

Bench the various HDDs with HD tach, and see what your max read/write speeds are. Make sure thats faster than your connection.

Windows xfers just fine, long as your only dealing with large files.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:46 am
by Psycho Ced
Files tend to run from Mp3's to ISOs

Ran the tests using hd tune pro

Desktop 1
OS: Vista 64 Ultimate
Ethernet: Realtek RTL8169/8110 Family PCI Gigabit Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.0)
Driver: 6.202.125.2008

Drive 1
HD Tune Pro: WDC WD1500ADFD-00NLR5 Benchmark

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 50.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 83.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 71.9 MB/sec
Access Time : 8.1 ms
Burst Rate : 102.9 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 8.1%

Drive 2 (drive with Data being transfered to)
HD Tune Pro: ST3500841AS Benchmark

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 28.2 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 60.7 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 47.4 MB/sec
Access Time : 20.7 ms
Burst Rate : 158.3 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 2.7%


Desktop 2
OS: XP pro 64
Ethernet: NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller
Driver: 55.2.1.0

Drive 1
HD Tune Pro: ST3320620AS Benchmark

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 34.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 69.2 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 57.9 MB/sec
Access Time : 15.0 ms
Burst Rate : 139.0 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 2.0%


Notebook
OS: XP pro 32
Ethernet: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet #2
Driver: 7.86.0.0

Drive 1
HD Tune Pro: FUJITSU MHV2100AH Benchmark

Read transfer rate
Transfer Rate Minimum : 6.1 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 40.1 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 30.0 MB/sec
Access Time : 21.0 ms
Burst Rate : 63.9 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 8.2%

Guess it was the drives, thanks. But I can only get the 33-34 transfers with FTP PRO instead of window, not a problem though. I Can grab some Cat 6 cables on the weekend for cheap, and see if this helps between the 2 desktops.
Thank for your advise so far.

Should also clarify
Transfer between computer 1 => 2 gives speeds of ~33-40MBps
Transfer between computer 2 => notebook gives speeds of ~15-18MBps
Transfer between Notebook => Computer 1 gives speeds of ~20-22Mbps

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:13 am
by IneptVagrant
For the laptop, it does look like there is significant limitation by disk I/O. You only showed read xfer rates. The write xfer will be slower. IE you can copy from the laptop faster, than you can copy to it -- which is evident in your summery.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with disk performance, so I'll give ya the basics. HDDs operate using a constant angular velocity [CAV]. That means the disk always spins at the same speed, regardless of what part you are trying to read from. In practical terms, that means the 'inside' of the disk you will read/write to slower because the path of 1 rotation is shorter compared to the outside of the disk. And is why HDD benchmarks give a minimum and maximum, you start slow on the inside, and get faster on the outside.

--

rwin may have an affect, you could try increasing it with this. But if you're running multiple-connections using FTP-PRO then it shouldn't matter (I have to recommend filezilla btw). It would have more affect on windows xfers since they are a single connection. Perhaps it would increase your max xfer, since 2+ connections are harder on disk I/O than a single xfer. Down side is, it may affect your bandwidth on the internet. Do a test here to find out if its slowing you down on the internets.

--

Finally all this doesn't matter, if the file you are trying to copy is heavily fragmented. Having to seek 100s of time for one file will cause significant slow down. Even just doing 100s of MP3s will not be maximum speed, because you have to seek between each file. You can get around some of slowness of xfering alot of small files, by using multiple connections in an FTP client.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:19 pm
by Psisquared
IneptVagrant wrote:gigabit LAN needs cat6 cables.


Is that true? I thought 1000T works with cat5e but 1000TX needs cat6.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:29 pm
by bmh67wa
Psisquared wrote:
IneptVagrant wrote:gigabit LAN needs cat6 cables.


Is that true? I thought 1000T works with cat5e but 1000TX needs cat6.



You are corect. Beat me to the punch. :)

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:48 pm
by LANjackal
Psisquared wrote:
IneptVagrant wrote:gigabit LAN needs cat6 cables.


Is that true? I thought 1000T works with cat5e but 1000TX needs cat6.
What's the difference between the two?

Also, for future reference, SmallNetBuilder, a division of the Tom's (hardware, news, etc.) group of websites, has the most complete guide to buying a router I've ever seen, interactive charts and all. Enjoy:

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/index.ph ... Itemid=229

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:08 pm
by Psisquared
LANjackal wrote:What's the difference between the two?


I don't know the technical difference, but they are two different standards. I think 1000TX was supposed to be higher signal to noise and was meant to be a jumping point to 10Gigabit ethernet, which I think does require cat6 cables (at least in its copper standards, 10Gb can also use fiber optic cables I think).

I think most router/switches for home use that are Gigabit are 1000T, not TX. Maybe TX is used for servers for some reason; I really don't know.

Re: Router Recommendations

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:04 am
by Psycho Ced
I'll give filezilla a try as FTP Pro gives errors on my other systems.
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com is pretty good, I think a I passed through it briefly before buying the router, but after double checking it more thoroughly I might actual consider switching to the wrt350n still have a few days to decide.