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Router upgrade

oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Router upgrade

My FTTC is running perfectly (33mb) after some initial incorrect capping at 10mb. I am supplied with the standard Netgear WNR1000 but this is only 10/100 and I need to stream HD with a gigabit LAN. With cost in mind, what alternative gigabit routers are ok to use?
Also, I spoke to Novatech to see what they stock, but when I stated I needed a "cable" router (as was stated on the Netgear box), the salesman was unsure what I meant and asked if it was DSL or ADSL. What should I be looking for?
30 REPLIES
jingomandan
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 23-02-2011

Re: Router upgrade

hey oakwoods
you beat me to the exact same question. i have been investigating which router is supplied for this trial, which seems to be the unit you have been supplied.
i too would like a gigabit based network, and wasnt too sure about the situation as my new plusnet account i am having activated is "non contract" (i.e. supply own routers) but it looks as though plusnet provide a router in any case (guessing due to the "trial" part of it?)
i had previously looked at the following 2 routers:
Linksys E3000
Netgear WNDR3700 (v2)
i think the primary feature that is required is ethernet-based WAN port and support for PPPoE (wasnt too sure of this need myself, as thought it may be a straight pass-through connection up to the BT-supplied VDSL? maybe someone can comment who has proper knowledge, than my double guessing?!)
the above routers i list have both, are decently spec'd (i.e. for running DD-WRT custom firmwares if so desired) and score very highly on the smallnetbuilder.com which i regularly use as a reliable source of info.
so the question is can it be confirmed these are acceptable routers for use with the FTTC trial, hooking into the BT-supplied VDSL?
thanks
jingomandan
oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Hi Jingomandan. Not cheap are they? I've never paid over 100 quid for a router but maybe now is the time.
Without wishing to stray off track too far, as this a fibre forum, I have a techie friend who has queried why I am doing this. He reckons if I connect a gigabit switch to the current 10/100 router, and then feed all Pcs, printers, extenders, etc through the switch and not the router, then there is no need to upgrade the router. I mentioned this to Novatech and they said this is wrong and the router will slow the LAN speed, even though the switch is downstream. My techie friend is certain Novatech are wrong.
Any ideas? Do I need to change the router?
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Router upgrade

Quote from: oakwoods
the standard Netgear WNR1000 but this is only 10/100 and I need to stream HD with a gigabit LAN.

Why?
oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Itsme - Because my current LAN is only sending 22mb/s to the media extender down a standard cat5 cable. I understand HD requires at least 50mb/s. I can't find the reason for the low speed, so gigabit seems the way to go.
jingomandan
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 23-02-2011

Re: Router upgrade

i would presume that if all your LAN kit was attached through the gigabit switch, all traffic directly routed between these devices would occur at gigabit speeds. however, as the megabit router also performs a number of functions on the LAN (DHCP, DNS, etc) there may be alot of traffic that is routed/diverted through the router which would reduce this speed.
it'll get confusing and may not always guarantee it will all run at gigabit, but i would concur with your techie friend in principle. direct ip to ip comm's should occur at gigabit speeds through the switch, not even bother with the router.
HD will stream across megabit (10/100 LANs) no problem too. atleast on wired connections. likely requires 50Mbps (note the lower case "b" to signify megabit, not megabyte) for blu-ray quality m2ts files (currently the highest available). it will put you LAN at a higher utilised bandwidth, but should handle this, so bear in mind.
it is a bit more than i have paid also, but these are top end consumer routers. about as future proofed as you can get currently. they contain multiple radio's across dual-bands so the hardware performance should be the best available, i.e. strongest wifi signal with most channels, best LAN-to-WAN throughputs onto the speedier fibre broadband speeds, etc. the extra grunt allows for DD-WRT which i am serisously considering to eek out the best performance of the routers from software/firmware perspective (rather than simply relying on stock firmwares of the manufacturers). though there is also an equal argument that for your bog standard wifi router, why would the average joe need these additional features? general geekery is likely the best answer  Grin
there will also be gigabit-based routers that are less well spec'ed but above the WNR1000... something like the Linksys E1000 or E2000, and likely half the price. not sure of equivalent netgear models. D-Link are also a reliable brand in this field.
have a hunt around smallnetbuilder. for example, nice article concerning different linksys routers (and how they are just re-badged linksys WRT models) is here:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/31111-inside-story-linksys-e-series-and-ci...
i will be putting on a NAS-based QNAP (or similar) device which will provide many of my internal network functions, and this will require gigabit link to my pc's/laptops. and in your setup, if these were set across the gigabit switch most things should occur at the higher internal speeds.
oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Hi Jingomandan
It appears Novatech are correct and my friend is wrong. I have just wired in a gigabit switch. Cable from router to switch. Cable from PC to switch. Cable from extender to switch. The PC to extender line tested at 22Mbps, same as before. Double checked with an HD video and confirmed it is still unplayable. So it seems Novatech are correct when they state the router is killing it.
Looks like a new router is needed. I will have a look at the Linksys and Netgear models you recommended. Thanks for your help. It's much appreciated.
puffin
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 24-03-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Before you rush out and buy an expensive new router...
have you tried that pc to extender on the gigabit switch *without the router connected at all*?
oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Hi Puffin - welcome to my confused brain.
Surely the router is still needed for IP addresses. I think what you have suggested would be the same as connecting the extender directly to the Ethernet of the PC. That cannot work, can it (or am I missing something)?
jingomandan
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 23-02-2011

Re: Router upgrade

so long as you can manually set ip addresses in same subnet range on both devices and attach to the switch, and direct traffic between these 2 ip's, you should be fine.
the problem arises if you use any DNS hostname-lookup feature, DHCP scope, or some other config or service like that. you havent said how the extender is accessing, but if its direct (i.e. not via a workgroup or something similar, which will require NetBIOS, etc) should be fine.
oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

I see what you mean. However, even if this worked, it's not the way to go as I use the extender frequently for streaming between PC and AV system. I don't really want to start pulling cables every time. If the router was disconnected, then I have also lost Internet on the PC and the extender.
I'm surprised I haven't been kicked by a moderator yet for being off topic. Sorry moderators.
Picnic
Grafter
Posts: 186
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-10-2007

Re: Router upgrade

I have a GB switch downstream of my router, my PC and NAS are connected to the GB switch, the GB switch is in turn connected to the router (PN supplied Netgear WNR1000). My PC and NAS talk much faster via the 1Gbps switch than they do if either C is directly on the router. Also, in the old days, when both were on a 100Mbps switch I still got significantly better tx rates than 22Mbps. How are you measuring the speed?
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Router upgrade

Novatech are wrong...
If you have two Gigabit devices connected to a Gigabit switch then the data flow between those ports will be Gigabit regardless of other devices connected to the switch.
If the data path is via a slower device then it will be buffered in the switch and fed out at the slower rate on the slower port.

oakwoods
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Registered: 27-04-2009

Re: Router upgrade

Picnic & Knowdice - Thanks for that. I'm measuring speed with Totusoft LAN Speed Test. It shows 22Mbps but this is confirmed by the inability to stream HD video. My earlier post seemed to prove Novatech correct when I connected a gigabit switch between PC and extender and still had the slow speed, even though the data was effectively travelling direct from PC via the switch to the extender. The router was connected but up line with no data passing through it (or so I thought).
Novatech are stating the data will still pass through the router. He did make a point by stating that if it were possible to connect a gigabit switch and still achieve gigabit speed, then why would they make gigabit routers? A 10/100 router + gigabit switch is cheaper than a gigabit router.

knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Router upgrade

You should test by connecting your PC directly to the Extender (did you tell us what this was - model number etc?) may need a cross-over cable.
Also, what switch and router are you using?
They make Gigabit routers because the chipsets are cheap enough now and it's a good selling point...