• Last Updated:
  • Mar 15th, 2018 5:18 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 7, 2003
623 posts
46 upvotes

Faster Home Network

Problem:
My Home Network is getting slower, more congested. I have a lot of connected devices. The router reports 59 devices today. The rule of thumb for home networks is 45. I've notice the wireless devices (tablets and laptops) slowing down and webpages resolving much slower, sometimes timing out. It's a big family living in a 3 story home.

Infrastructure and Devices:
Telus Fibre, Shaw 150, Router Asus RT-68U (with Merlin firmware set to Load Balance), Netgear 724T gigabyte switch, 3 Netgear 8 port gigabyte switches at various locations. And 4 wireless AP's set to the same SSID, however different channels. (I am sorry neighbours).
When I set load balance 1:1, Speedtests can be above 170mbs, the netflix test can show 250mbs on WAN connection, however

smart smoke detectors
Eccobee thermostat with remote sensors
smart door looks,
smart vents
smart things hub
Google home devices with Google music
Amazon Echo devices
washer and dryer
TV's, media players, Home theater, 2 Optik TV devices, NetFlix and part-time VPN.
NAS devices,
computers. Tablets, smart phones, iphones, xbox, steambox.
2 Networked printers
Even the odd vehicle connected to the wireless when they're at home.


Solution: ??
I disconnected all the cameras, front yard, back yard, door, and street.
My Wireless Access Points are older Netgear re-purposed routers with the DHCP server disable in 3rd Party firmware (Tomato and DD-WRT), all the Same SSID, Different wireless channels.
As indicated, My main router is an Asus RT-68U with the latest Merlin firmware set to Load Balance and DNS set to OpenDNS and Google servers (not the Internet Providers).


Would a Mikrotik hEX RB750Gr3...router alleviate the bottleneck? Perhaps, replace the AP's with Ubiquiti Unifi Ap-AC Lite or Ubiquiti Unifi Ap-AC Long Range Perhaps, a cheap WAN bonding device? Would any of the net techs or network hobbyists recommend these or would you go in another direction?

I don't need to be told to have less connected devices, it ain't happening. It's a connected world. Thank you for any help and suggestions.
If I could go back in time, I would change this signature!
23 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27788 posts
3595 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
I would try replacing the repurposed routers with proper access points first. I think you can get by with two Unifi AP LR but you’ll need a PoE switch.
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
1469 posts
310 upvotes
I don't have first hand experience, but one of the network techs was stationed in nunavut for about 5 years, and he swore by the Ubiquiti stuff; it's prosumer (professional consumer) hardware and in light of the price on Cisco stuff, this was the next go to.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2012
1009 posts
277 upvotes
Hamilton
Hmmm. I have never heard of a 45 limits. Typically I use a 255.255.252.0 subnet of 172.31.x.x. Currently I use two subnetd and six sid’s. No significant slow downs as a result. Although a few simple things you can do to help is assign static IP addresses, use multiple routers either with aimesh or access points. Use a VPN router for select devices. Use ipv6 when possible.

Of these ipv6 is probably the most important. NAT tables are relatively inefficient. I can believe if you have 45 busy devices all constantly hitting the bat tables then your router will slow down. But if you are mainly using ipv4 for connections between the devices you won’t be filling up the NAT tables.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
8338 posts
926 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Not to sure on your exact setup so I'll just make some suggestions and hopefully something can help you out or give you more ideas.

IP Cameras - Get them on an NVR (assuming you have them going to a desktop now over your network) THh NVR will take care of everything and reduce network congestion until they are accessed over the network or outside your home.

Network cables: Every device that had a network jack should be hardwired with Cat6 this will take more load off the wireless part of your network not only that but as you probably already know hardwired will provide you with faster more reliable speeds. To add to this any connections between routers/switches/modem etc I would make sure those cables are in good condition, ie, if you happen to have an older Cat5 cable running from a switch to a router replace it with an updated Cat6 cable as that could be adding to the bottleneck.

Also does restarting the router or just modem resolve the issue temporarily?
0_o
<_<
>_>
Deal Addict
Nov 20, 2005
1012 posts
233 upvotes
Don't have the full picture, but assuming it's a speed issue on the WAN side, I am leaning towards a limitation on the router's CPU. With the additional task of load balancing the 800Mhz 2core cpu may have a hard time keeping up. Also if you have QoS enabled this would eat away cycles too.

Are the Optik boxes behind the asus router or to the Telus router? I remember these used to multicast like crazy over wifi unless your router can disable or block multicast from going on the wireless interfaces.
Jr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
100 posts
40 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
Hi there. I have Gigbit internet running off the same router (68AC) with multiple gig switches. I have 129 active IPs on my home network. Everything you have plus more. 10 - IP cameras running 1080 with NVR. Entire network is gigabit. Some advice:

- avoid cascading switches off each other, have them home run.
- Replace merlin firmware with Shibby.....you won't regret it.
- endeavor to terminate/patch cameras on the same switch as your NVR to avoid congestion on all switches.
- replace any 100mb switches with gigabit
- Some AC access points only have 100mb jacks yet offer 100mb+ wifi. Replace AP if wired jack is slower than AP. (get AP that supports wired gig)
- ensure devices are negotiated at gigabit or at least 100fd.
- ensure AP support MIMO AC and endeavor to have devices connect to 5GHZ not 2.4.
- endeavor to set device IP statically on device or at least through DHCPD.


I could be mistaken but you haven't described your performance issue.

Last thing. If you're expecting gigabit performance from your router via internet and only seeing 250mb its likely because you have CTF (Cut-Through Forwarding) disabled. While enabling it will give you faster internet, it has it's disadvantages....read up on it.

Don't give up on your 68AC, and put shibby on it. It's underutilized! Ubiquiti will have a steeeep learning curve and will have much less features.

Let me know if you need additional advice.
Last edited by fordmaple on Mar 13th, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 7, 2003
623 posts
46 upvotes
Thanks for the tips.... I had forgotten about the need for PoE on the Unifi AP's
facebook259 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 10:14 am
Hmmm. I have never heard of a 45 limits. Typically I use a 255.255.252.0 subnet of 172.31.x.x. Currently I use two subnetd and six sid’s. No significant slow downs as a result. Although a few simple things you can do to help is assign static IP addresses, use multiple routers either with aimesh or access points. Use a VPN router for select devices. Use ipv6 when possible.

Of these ipv6 is probably the most important. NAT tables are relatively inefficient. I can believe if you have 45 busy devices all constantly hitting the bat tables then your router will slow down. But if you are mainly using ipv4 for connections between the devices you won’t be filling up the NAT tables.
Static IP's good idea. I had done that with some of the devices, then forgot as more devices were added. For some reason, I turned ipv6 off, not sure if it was due to smart locks or Amazon Echo. There was something. I'm going to try it again and see what it breaks, might be the door locks. Nice thing about these options, there is no cost but time.

I was thinking Aimesh, however Merlin isn't supporting it yet. And going with Ubiquiti stuff is cheaper than buying new high end Asus routers. (I use to be a Netgear fan, so have various iterations of their routers from past years.).
I haven't learnt how to set up V-Lan yet.
thanks people, it's a work in progress.
If I could go back in time, I would change this signature!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 7, 2003
623 posts
46 upvotes
Wow By the time I typed my second post, there were more get tips. I'm sure happy I asked for help.
If I could go back in time, I would change this signature!
Jr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
100 posts
40 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
One last thing. I have 4 - RT68AC. All overclocked. 1 as my internet router and the other three acting as APs for each floor of my house on separate channels. Excellent coverage everywhere. the 68AC is a $50 router that outperforms many out there and is feature rich with shibby.
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
1469 posts
310 upvotes
fordmaple wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 12:57 pm
the 68AC is a $50 router that outperforms many out there and is feature rich with shibby.
$50?? what, where do you find this router for $50?
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
1469 posts
310 upvotes
fordmaple wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 1:23 pm
ask and you shall receive:

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-AC1900- ... =asus+1900

Flash 68AC firmware and you're golden.
Thanks, saw a review with this:

This router uses custom CFE firmware that is years out of date. This router does not accept ASUS firmware and is unsupported by ASUS. This is a dead end.

Is this true, or does it accept the latest legit Asus firmware?

EDIT: Looks like there is a way to do it, but it's a bit involved compared to just standard firmware loading...
Deal Addict
Nov 20, 2005
1012 posts
233 upvotes
fordmaple wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 12:57 pm
One last thing. I have 4 - RT68AC. All overclocked. 1 as my internet router and the other three acting as APs for each floor of my house on separate channels. Excellent coverage everywhere. the 68AC is a $50 router that outperforms many out there and is feature rich with shibby.
Agreed. Shibby and OC is the way to go, maybe provide some safe numbers since you have experience with this particular model. Otherwise, he may brick it and have to console in via serial connections.

I have a R7000 and R8000 running Shibby and don't look back, max i got was 1200Mhz on the r7000 before it bricked.
Jr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
100 posts
40 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
pitabread wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 3:37 pm
Agreed. Shibby and OC is the way to go, maybe provide some safe numbers since you have experience with this particular model. Otherwise, he may brick it and have to console in via serial connections.

I have a R7000 and R8000 running Shibby and don't look back, max i got was 1200Mhz on the r7000 before it bricked.
My Asus 68U dual core routers are all overclocked to 1200Mhz. I never need to bounce them unless I have a power outage or choose to update firmware. Rock solid. CPU rarely goes over 10%. There are numerous articles how to switch firmware over to shibby. Best feature of shibby is selective VPN routing to route selective traffic by IP or source through VPN but the Shibby AIO firmware is feature rich if you're an advance user.

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