E2500 5Ghz WDS w/Tomato limited to 30mbit throughput, with 130 link rate?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by VirtualLarry, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I have both FIOS 25/25 (really 30/25), and DSL 3/768. I used to have three WNR2000v2 units with DD-WRT in WDS mode, connected to the FIOS.

    With those, I would get my 30Mbit down no problem, using 20Mhz 2.4Ghz N, but my upload was like 18Mbit for some reason.

    Now I'm using three E2500 dual-band routers, flashed with Tomato (Shibby 1.28 build 104, I think), running WDS on 5Ghz band with 40Mhz channel width.

    I was having problems with the 2.4Ghz routers, dropping speed randomly. When it worked, it worked fine, but it would sometimes drop to 5-6Mbit or less.

    With the 5Ghz WDS, I get a solid signal, but speedtests only show around 23Mbit/sec, both down and up. Once I got 24Mbit down. But not 30.

    Checking the rates on the router's config page, it shows connections at 130Mbit.

    So I'm not sure what to think. I would prefer a consistent 23/23, rather than an inconsistent 30/18 dropping down to 5/5. But it just seems strange. There's very little (none?) usage of the 5Ghz spectrum here. Most of the wireless pollution on 2.4Ghz is all of the FIOS routers that got installed with FIOS service, defaulting to wireless on (WEP no less).
     
    #1 VirtualLarry, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    try 20Mhz channel width, even if it states a slower connection speed you might notice its way, way faster.
     
  3. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    Can you post a shot of your <Advanced><Wireless> page?

    Also, do you have the channel set to <Auto> or have you set it?

    I get between 13MBps to 20MBps between an AP and an Ethernet bridge (running Shibby 101 IIRC)
     
  4. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I should note that I also have 2.4Ghz enabled on one of the E2500 routers as AP mode, mixed, 20Mhz.

    I just did a speedtest from my laptop, and I'm getting just under 3/3, consistently. The E2500 is in the same room as the laptop.

    I used to get 20Mbit at least, when using the WNR2000v2 routers, connected with my laptop.

    Edit: Advanced wireless settings are all default.

    Edit: I just connected my laptop wirelessly to my FIOS router, and got 30/25. So it's not the laptop.

    Do the E2500 routers just suck? Does Tomato suck?

    Edit: Tried setting the 5Ghz WDS links to 20Mhz. Channel 40. No real change, although it might have been half a megabit slower.

    At this point, I'm more concerned that the 2.4Ghz link is less than 3Mbit, when the router and laptop are in the same room together.
     
    #4 VirtualLarry, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  5. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    Can't comment on the E2500 router but from my experience (lots of it), Tomato does not suck. I have had a hiccup or two that has always been fixed in a newer version but it has been far better than any of the other firmwares that I have used. I have not used WDS so can't comment on that though (and that may be the issue, not sure).

    Are your running the units as Access Points + WDS or simply WDS? (not that I know if it makes a difference yet).
     
    #5 Engineer, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  6. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I started a homegroup, and I am copying a DVD ISO over the 5Ghz WDS link. It is indeed limited to around 30Mbit/sec. I'm getting 3.33MB/sec transfer rate for the copy.

    Edit: Does Tomato come with any default bandwidth limitations or QoS settings that I have to change to get full speed out of my router?
     
    #6 VirtualLarry, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  7. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    I think that QOS is turned off. Regardless, unless I'm mistaken, they only work on WAN only, not the LAN side of the firmware.
     
  8. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    By the way, doesn't WDS cut the bandwidth in half right off the bat (because of retransmission)?
     
  9. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Not necessarily. That's only if you have three wireless nodes. One NIC, one repeater, and one router. Data that has to traverse all three nodes has to be sent twice.

    In my setup, I have one primary WDS node, and two secondaries, in a star configuration.

    If I needed to access one secondary from the other secondary, then they would have to go through the primary, so yes, in that case, bandwidth would be halved.

    But most of my traffic just has one hop.

    And even more puzzling is the low 2.4Ghz bandwidth, only 2Mbit at times, even though that isn't even running through the WDS nodes (or shouldn't be).

    Edit: I should mention, I just tried to increase the transmit power from 42mW to 80mW on the 2.4Ghz side, and it seemingly did nothing. I didn't unplug and replug the router though, just hit "Save".
     
  10. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    I find that a power level of 0 (hardware default) works better on all of my routers.

    Is there a reason that you need these set in WDS mode instead of something like an Ethernet bridge? Are you connecting (wirelessly) to these with other devices like a laptop, etc? Trying to understand your setup a little to see if it could be better served with a different router config.
     
  11. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    No, no wireless clients on 5Ghz, but I do have a networked printer on the LAN. I prefer WDS mode because everything is one big L2 domain.

    Anyways, I fixed my 2.4Ghz problem, by connecting a D-Link DIR-655 to one of the LAN ports on a WDS router, as an AP.
     
  12. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I reconfigured my setup. Instead of three WDS routers (one primary, two secondary). I set up the primary as a 5Ghz AP, 40Mhz channel width. I then set up the two secondaries as wireless ethernet bridges.

    Now I'm getting almost 40Mbit/sec downloads, which is a noticable improvement. I was actually hoping for more still though. If I get a link rate of 130 (not sure why it's not 300), then I should get throughput numbers of 65Mbit. Although, this is in another room, and it's 5Ghz, so perhaps this is the best I'm going to get. I don't know. I hope that there is room for improvement in future firmwares.

    [​IMG]

    Still haven't figured out why the 2.4Ghz is only at 2Mbit. Other routers I have around here running on 2.4Ghz (maybe even same channel), manage 23Mbit.
     
  13. Engineer

    Engineer Elite Member

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    Larry, you might change WMM mode or Interference Mitigation modes (both under <Advanced><Wireless> menus) and see if your results get better or worse. I have seen numbers change for those 2 settings but YMMV.

    By the way, have you tried turning off one of the bridges and testing the other to see if the bandwidth is being split between the 2 bridges (I suspect that it is). If it is, not sure how to fix that unless you can do dual band on the main AP and then single band each Ethernet Bridge.

    I just tested dumping a file from once PC to another (the one attached to my bridge) and I was able to get 14.7MB(ytes)/sec transfer rate (approximately: 130Mbps or more factoring in overhead). The connected rate (looking from the bridge side) states 150Mbps.

    However, the AP side shows 300Mbps on transfer rate. Not sure what to make of that.

    Going from Belkin Dual Band (set to 5GHz only) router with gigabit ports to Linksys E2000 router running 5GHz with gigabit port. Both running Shibby 1.01.
     
    #13 Engineer, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  14. neemo6

    neemo6 Junior Member

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    So did this ever get resolved? I have the same router but hesitating to flash due to this issue.
     
  15. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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  16. edwaleni

    edwaleni Junior Member

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    I just bought a couple of the Linksys refurbs and was surfing on this particular model.

    Just my two cents on the poor throughput on the A band with this device regardless of firmware.

    As noted in the dd-wrt site, this model's A band radio sits on the USB bus, not the PCIe bus. Looking at this further, I found that Broadcom uses SDIO and a soft MAC to support that radio. Clearly any CPU like Broadcom's is probably going to get IO bound trying to support any kind of serious traffic through that radio. Your link speeds may report a high rate, but actual throughput will be constrained by the availability of IO on that little SoC.

    In fact there are some Broadcom related sites that say that due to IO reasons, they originally couldn't support bridging or AP mode on the 5Ghz radio because it just couldn't handle the traffic load. Me thinks that the constraints you are running into on the A radio is just the limits of the SoC/USB interface.

    Apparently that SDIO driver from Broadcom is available, but dd-wrt guys didn't integrate it (why would they with such a lousy hardware profile?) but Tomato did integrate it so people could leverage similar Broadcom reference designs.

    Why Broadcom essentially shortchanged the A radio like that is up to the guys who engineered it back in 2008/2009. They have improved SoC's now, but back then they were trying to help makers reach a price point without having the expense of a second SoC to handle A band radio traffic. So they stuck the little used A band on the USB bus and as long as your router didn't have a USB port on the back, they thought it would work. They kept the G band on the PCI bus because that is where 98% of WLAN traffic in the target market resides.

    I would say if you still want to check your A band throughput with a test, see if you can get logs on the CPU while your test runs. Again, just my 2 cents.
     
  17. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Interesting assessment and technical factoids, thanks.
     
  18. TSchaeffer

    TSchaeffer Junior Member

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    I have an E2500 and noticed a fall in download speeds over the 2.4 Ghz band after flashing the firmware. Make sure the "Afterburner" setting is set to Auto for for the 2.4 Ghz band on Advanced>Wireless page. My speed on 5 Ghz band doesn't seem to be affected by this setting (mine is still disabled on 5 Ghz). Brought my speeds right back up where they belong on 2.4! Hope that helps.

    Tony
     
  19. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    sorry, i commented before reading all the thread.. carry on.
     
    #19 SecurityTheatre, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  20. edwaleni

    edwaleni Junior Member

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    I currently have 2 Netgear G class AP's set in bridge mode today and with a distance of 180 yards and 2 brick walls and a city street between, I get about 7Mbps maximum file transfer speed. I use the bone stock omni antenna on the back. (yes, I know I can improve throughput with a directional replacement)

    So I wanted to see I could improve on that using N technology. I flashed 2 Cisco/Linksys E2500's with Tomato (Shibby) and set then up for a wireless bridge configuration on the 2.4 N Band.

    If anything I wanted to see if the radios on the Linksys were better, the MIMO antennas, though internal, would be better than the rubber omni of the Netgear.

    The biggest difference at first glance was that the packet loss was much higher. Ran some benchmarks and yes, the N's could only pull barely 3Mbps. Hmmm. I raised the one E2500 I could reach and lifted it up and did an antenna rotation to see how it was polarized. The Linksys internal antennas favor anything "above" them, so I held up the unit, aimed what would normally be considered the top and had it facing its bridge partner standing up. Throughput increased to around 8Mbps but still alot of packet loss. Signal quality was still suffering.

    So I compared the signal strength of the 2 brands and the Netgear was at least 8-10dB stronger over the same distance than the Linksys, which is significant.

    I ran out of time, but two issues here. You can overcome weaker signals with a quality antenna. It appears this far the Linksys had neither. It's signal was weaker than the Netgear at the same distance and the antennas are too wimpy and not polarized for good bridge use.

    I will look at boosting the RF output of the Linksys radio thanks to Tomato, but I can't change that internal antenna.