Wireless router connection speed preferences

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Thread: Wireless router connection speed preferences

  1. #1
    Tiger Shark
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Baltimore, MD

    Wireless router connection speed preferences

    My bum of a roommate is 24 and doesn't have a job and hasnt in years. I'm not sure how he pays the rent, but he does. He sits at home and downloads stuff ALL DAY.

    Anyway, when I'm home and trying to get some work done my connection speed slows down to a crawl. We have a pretty fast cable modem connection, but when he downloads anything MY speeds crawl to about 4 - 5kbps. His stay pretty high.

    The wireless router is right next to his computer, while my computer is down the hallway about 25 feet and through a few walls. He doesn't know enough to get the router to give his machine preference. Is there any reason mine goes so slowly?

    Hahah, while writing this he just popped open a can of beer and tried to mask it with a cough. If I didn't have a job I'd probably be an alcoholic too.

  2. #2
    Hammerhead Shark cat5e's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Yeah after 25 feet and few walls you are lucky that you get any thing.

    Why? Coz the Wireless signal declines with distance and blocked by walls.

    You probably would not get much more even if he is Not downloading.

    What to do? Either get very long cable and use instead of the Wireless.

    Or use a shorter cable to place the Wireless Router in a spot that is closer and with less walls toward your room.

    Microsoft, MVP - Networking

  3. #3
    Hammerhead Shark MrBrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Somewhere in Texas
    I'll offer an alternate theory:

    He's probably using Bittorrent and your router is choking on all of the connections it's receiving. Most consumer grade routers don't handle large numbers of connections well. using Bittorrent for a day may generate thousands of connections depending on what you're downloading. If they aren't closed properly, the router will try and keep track of them - sometimes for a REALLY long time. This will lead to everything slowing to a crawl except his bitorrent downloads.

    The solution is to install 3rd party firmware that will allow you to increase the maximum number of tracked connections while also turning the TCP connection timeout way down. Some routers have it set to something rediculous, like 5 days, by default. Usually setting it to an hour or less is all you need. Note that not all routers have this capability. The best are the Linksys WRT 54G series, and others based on the same hardware. Google for Tomato or DD-WRT - those are the best firmware choices available. I personally like Tomato, but DD-WRT has support for more devices.

    25ft just isn't that far, and even through multiple walls it should be able to reach just fine with at least enough speed to maintain a fast internet connection. So unless your walls are made out of solid lead, I wouldn't think that's the problem. An easy way to test it would be to drag the thing out into the hallway and closer to your room and see if there's a difference. If it's a signal quality issue you should see an immediate DRAMATIC improvement over your current situation.
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  4. #4
    Great White Shark
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    What you say about connections may be true but wireless connections do slow down based on signal strength.

    In my house I am limited to passing through a single wall. More than that and there is no signal. I have a wired repeater about 10 feet from the main access point - past a hallway 2 concrete walls away.

  5. #5
    Tiger Shark
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Janesville, WI
    I'm using an Asus wl-520gu. I get good signal 25' away, even downstairs where line-of-sight is going through earth and concrete basement walls. Better upstairs with plaster walls. This router has a strong signal though, so that's probably the difference.
    Last edited by fluffmonster; 02-12-2009 at 09:09 PM.

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  6. #6
    Great White Shark
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Every wall is different. Mine are reinforced concrete. I have a powerful wireless setup that is no longer available for sale in the USA. There are none more powerful.

    If you have a strong signal, good. As the signal quality decreases because of loss of strength, interference or whatever, the speed will automatically down shift until it reaches the lowest permissible level.

    Use a sniffer to determine what kind of signal and the amount of interference is present.
    It is possible to have a very strong signal with a terrible signal to noise ratio.

  7. #7
    Snarky Quorums MrDigital's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    MrBrett's response is likely the most accurate. If the OP says his connection is fine until his roommate starts downloading, it's not the wireless signal.

    1) If your router has QoS, check that. Set your machine to a higher priority.
    2) Alternatively forward every port from 4000->99999 to your machine, that will slow down his connections, or outright block those ports if you have the option.
    3) Tell your roommate to put some sort of upload limit on whatever p2p program he's using since it's the upstream bandwidth that's killing your connection, not the downloading. If you fill all the upstream bandwidth ACK responses can't get out in a timely manner and TCP transmissions suffer.
    4) Change the router password so he can't get access to it.

    His connection is probably getting preference because the wired ports get preference. Wireless packets have to be encrypted and have a longer latency time than wired packets.

    There's a lot of things that can be tested but you need access to both machines and a couple of hours to run through various simulations.
    There is the theory of the moebius. A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop.

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