How can I test a router?

Discussion in 'Linux Networking' started by ryanvade, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Hello everyone,

    I recently switched ISPs, from High speed DSL at 6 Mbps to FiO at 60 Mbps. We switched because instead of paying tons of money to DirectTV/Charter we want to use Amazon Instant video. (With student discount it costs half of a Netflix subscription). While I generally love the performance lately I have been experiencing issues.

    Normally around 5 PM the internet speed slows to about 10-20 Mbps. I am not sure why. After talking to the ISP they keep blaming my router. Honestely I think the ISP is just giving an excuse. I bought the router in July 2013, a Netgear R6300 dual band router. (This was right before the R7000 Nighthawk was released) For local traffic I don't have any issues so I highly doubt what my ISP is saying.

    However, to confirm the issues, does anyone have any ideas on how I could test the router? We watch Amazon instant video on our Smart TV in the living room which is connected to the 5Ghz frequency (up to 1300 Mbps). My laptop connects to the 5Ghz frequency also. (intel 7260 NIC). Desktop/server is connected via ethernet. There is another laptop connected at the 2.4 Ghz freq and a few other devices that are also connected at 2.4 Ghz. Do I have too many wireless devices? I think this router can handle it.

    EDIT: for example, I have 6 devices connected to the router and I am having issues watching Youtube. Actually, I am not sure about some of these devices.:(

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  2. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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  3. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    According to IPERF throughput tests, the router is fine.
  4. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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  5. unixfish

    unixfish Member

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    The easiest thing to do would be to plug you laptop directly into your modem via network cable. When you see the slowdown again, you can tell your ISP that it's not the router since you eliminated that from the chain.

    This is my normal test scenario for issues with an ISP - eliminate every item they could blame so the issue is back in their court.
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  6. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Clever thinking. That would fix Ryan's problem.

    Food for thought: What if the ISP blames the cable or the laptop's Ethernet ports?
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  7. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Hey thanks @James Fisher . Not a bad idea at all.

    Right now I have the internet DIRECTLY connected to my laptop. I am having Youtube troubles; the issue is NOT the router. :D

    The speedtests (speedtest.net) are inconclusive however. They range from 6 mbps to 12 mbps depending on whether or not Youtube is buffering. Definitely not the 60 we were promised.

    I am now wondering about how to best setup our network. So many devices...

    @DevynCJohnson Well, I have no idea how they will respond to my tests. All I can say is my laptop has gigabyte Ethernet..
    network_connecion.png

    (I almost uploaded my IP address. :eek:)
  8. grim76

    grim76 Active Member Staff Writer

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    What you might want to do is while you are streaming Youtube is do a packet capture to see if you are seeing anything odd in the network traffic.
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  9. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    @grim76 Good idea. I might run wireshark just to see.
  10. atanere

    atanere Member

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    What if it _REALLY IS_ the cable, or ethernet port? Just another simple test to make to swap them out when the signal is bad. I don't know much about fiber systems, but they are fairly immune to various RF interference issues. But if you connect to a modem with a ethernet cable, it could pick up interference more easily from something within your home or from a nearby neighbor. RFI problems are often very hard to detect, but almost anything electrical or electronic can cause RFI.

    And my silly question: you're not using an old ethernet cable, right? I don't know when the specs change to support higher speeds, but an old Cat-5 would not be good.
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  11. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Well, the FiO cable runs into the house then into a "Converter box". There is no modem, just our router. I can actually connect to the "Converter box" because of the Cat-5e (gigabyte speed, very new) cable running from it to the router.

    The ethernet cable is on my laptop...would rather not replace it. ;) Although I could get a USB ethernet port. I did try this with my desktop also. Same issues.
  12. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    You mean an Ethernet cable is permanently mounted to your laptop? Could you show us a picture?
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  13. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    It was during tests. Not all the time. I was talking about the ethernet port...sorry.
  14. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Here is a very crude diagram of our network.
    network.png
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  15. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    I talked to my ISP again. They are still blaming the router. This time the issue is supposedly the wireless channels...I set the router to what the "engineer" told be me to and now the internet is slower and I cannot access local machines on the network. Even via ping. For example if I try:
    ping 10.0.0.3 I get no reply but if I try
    ping *******.no-ip.biz (My minecraft server no-ip.com address) I get a response.

    So sick of these so called experts. :mad:
  16. ainteinstein

    ainteinstein Member

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    I don't know if this will help, ryanvade, but did you ever try Ookla speed test? Sorry, I can't give the web address. I always love the numbers I get...Verizon, my provider rates D+.
  17. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Call the ISP more often and demand that something be done.

    That is the first time I have seen someone on this site use ":mad:". I thought I would never see its use.
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  18. atanere

    atanere Member

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    Of course, when you bypassed the router and coupled direct to the converter box, you proved the router isn't THE problem, or the only problem. New or not, you can get bad cables. Also, even though Cat=5e is rated for gigabit speed, it is inferior to Cat-6 (or they wouldn't have developed a Cat-6, right?). So the first thing your top-grade service encounters is medium-grade cabling.

    Here is a brief quote I found on the web: "...a category 6 connector is 12 times less “noisy” compared to a category 5e connector." True or not, I don't know. But it is certainly a likely weak link in your system, if it's not the FiO service itself.

    I'm no expert either, but a new Cat-6 cable would be my next step. (A good quality cable... nothing from Radio Shack! LOL)
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  19. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    @DevynCJohnson I emailed them again. Here is their response:


    Is 2 gigabits a real improvement?
  20. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    If it will be increased by 2Gb/s (Gb = Gigabits) for a WHOLE city, I guess that is an improvement. I hope you live in a small city. If the average person gets 10megabits a second and the city will soon support up to 2000megabits/sec, then 200 people can enjoy 10Mbit/s at the same time in addition to the original population.

    Later in the email, they say 20gigabit/sec; I assume this will be the new total after the increase. That would support 2000 people at 10Mbit/s at the same time. I guess that is good, but I think an increase larger than 2Gbit/s would be more logical.
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