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information-technology:2018-ideal-network

Ideal Network

We've got a house of 8 users, and I've been having consistent delays and “request timed out” pinging the router, connected wirelessly. If I wanted to know if it's a wireless issue, as opposed to an overload of the router cpu/memory, I would test pinging the router under load while connected via ethernet.

I have the worry that the router can't keep up, and responsiveness will become an issue under heavy load. To reduce the load, I hypothesize that the following router settings will help:

  • limiting bandwidth usage per client. If it's a router without OpenWRT, that doesn't have such settings, I can control everyone's bandwidth usage by setting the router to 802.11g only, and 802.11a only, so that 11n is not used.
  • I can use WEP because I hypothesize it's less overhead than WPA2.
  • I wish I could set the number of simultaneous connections per client, much like one finds in a torrent application.
  • I can disable the router firewall, vpn, and any other services that could possibly add to the router load.

All these “solutions” may not be valuable if the bottleneck is in the wireless (which is most likely the case). But, if it is a problem of the router being overwhelmed, a more powerful router is in order. Which leads me to dream about my ideal network. My ideal network would have a fanless mini pc with gigabit ethernet ports, connecting two dual-band wireless access points for the 8 house mates. The need for two access points is because all wireless bands are crowded in nyc, such that any channel can't handle much. The decision for a fanless mini pc, such as ones available for $100, was based in part on a openwrt forum thread, and an arstechnica article.

I don't trust the wireless auto settings, so I manually set the channels. Though it's still a nightmare because other wireless routers continuously change channels in the most stupid way. I also don't trust the auto band selection by the wireless clients, so I use different SSIDs for the 2.4 and 5 ghz bands.

I chose a simpler solution than setting up “the ideal network”. I had a 50 foot ethernet cable on me. I ran the cable from the router to my room, since I only use internet from my desk. I suggested others do the same if they had issues (which would also reduce the wireless load).

So, what to do about the now occupied ethernet connection, that used to connect the Buffalo router for my local lan with the printer and second laptop? I used my local lan to share files between the laptops (so as not to add load to the wifi). In a past residence I had a double NAT set up with the Buffalo, but it is old and only has 10/100 ethernet (Speedtest website clocked 225mbps download). Should I abandon my local lan and buy a gigabit switch to tie in everything to the house network?

Instead, I chose to keep the local lan ethernet cable next to the laptop, and manually switch them as needed. It's not ideal, but I may be moving soon, and I don't know what my needs will be in the future. I'm using a program called NetSetMan, to quickly change my ethernet settings to the manual configuration I'm using on the local lan.

information-technology/2018-ideal-network.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/27 03:42 by marcos