Is my router worth upgrading?

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Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:51 pm

I currently have a Netgear FVS 338 router, and Ive been extremely happy with it for the last 8 years. Now with all my rigs having gigabit connections along with my cable modem, is there any reason to upgrade? Also I do use 7 of the 8 ports on this router, so I would need something with an equal amount of wired ports. I also do not use wireless so that is not a big issue for me. Is there anything out there worth upgrading to, or should I stay happy with what I have?
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:32 pm

There's a noticeable difference in throughput between two PCs with a gigabit connection compared to 100 Mb/s.

Would just plugging a new gigabit switch into your existing router (or one of the innumerable available wireless routers that include four wired gigabit LAN ports) provide an inexpensive upgrade?
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:57 pm

I would agree with JAE - if you're happy with the performance and stability of your current router, don't feel forced to upgrade if you're not exceeding the throughput of your internet connection, just add a nice gigabit switch (like the one JAE mentioned) to interconnect your computers and leave anything that doesn't need the bandwidth on the switch ports of the router.

And now, a word of caution: if you feel like you would like to upgrade the router and see the NETGEAR FVS318N and think "Self, this looks like exactly what I would like - gigabit ports, wireless N, VPN, etc. Looks like the spiritual successor to what I have now. Seems like a great piece of equipment" Don't. Just Don't. I bought one for our business (for the aforementioned reasons) and the throughput was so horrendous (constant DNS lookup failures, SSL vpn only worked on specific configurations [W7 64-bit wasn't really even supported]) that it now sits in a drawer after 3 months of firmware updates, scouring the interwebs for setting changes, etc. I haven't thought about it or the fact that it's $180 wasted but I don't want you or anyone else that happens to read this make the same mistake I did.

Sorry for the thread hijack (at least it was close to being on topic).
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:09 pm

All depends what you do with it. If you wanted gigabit in your network you might get away with just a switch, which you could plug into the router and then plug everything into the gigabit switch.
Another reason could be the new IPv6 protocol, unless your old router has a new firmware that already supports it.

I have been happy with my d-link DIR-655 for the past few years, although it only has 4 ports.

I have been eying the Asus RT-N66U, as it has more options, IPv6 support (my dlink does not, too old h/w & f/w)

If you really want to see some numbers like max simultaneous connections, etc. then you should check out smallnetbuilder's router charts.
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Either way most routers now have 4 ports, so an additional switch may also be required.

edit - the charts
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/r ... harts/view
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Get a switch and see what you think, it could definitely help a lot if you do lots of transfers over your internal network and will help offload switch duties from your current router too. Since you already use 7 ethernet ports, even if you do get a new router you'll probably want to add a switch to it anyway because although there are routers with enough ethernet ports, the choices are very limited and I wouldn't want my router choices to be that limited.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:59 am

As with almost anything, I think we need to really know your usage scenario in order to give good advice. What are you doing over the network? If you're just sending print jobs and accessing documents on the NAS, I doubt you'll see much improvement. If you're actually transferring large amounts of data then you probably will.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:57 am

Yes, I do a ton of big transfers back and forth on the computers on my network along with a decent amount of downloads. Sounds like a switch would def be an improvement, so whats out there and doesn't suck?
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:32 pm

I have the Netgear GS108 plugged into my D-Link DIR-655 with most of my devices plugged into the switch. It seems to be cheap and effective for my purposes.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:00 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I have the Netgear GS108 plugged into my D-Link DIR-655 with most of my devices plugged into the switch. It seems to be cheap and effective for my purposes.


For those thinking about wireless routers (and there are probably many reading this since the title doesn't say 'wired only'), a word of warning:

In dense areas, like apartment complexes, you want a good dual-band router. That's 802.11n at 5GHz, and 802.11ac. I've already done the uphill drag with various wireless routers from D-Link (including the above-mentioned) and Netgear; and where I was living last, 2.4GHz was so crowded that I couldn't maintain a connection 20ft from the router across an open room. An Android app confirmed the crowded spectrum, and a TP-Link 802.11n dual-band router (with Gigabit ports!) cleared it up. Also remember to get a good PCIe WiFi card; make sure it has three antenna connections, and if it doesn't come with an external antenna, get one or get a card that does come with one. And good luck!
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:10 pm

As for switches, I've got a bunch of TrendNet 8-ports I've suggested to friends and not a one has ever complained. They're cheap to boot.

Showing off my utter ignorance of the OSI stack here, but I've always had some conceptual continuity issues with this. Assume bog-standard cheap Linksys 10/100 Wi-Fi/Ethernet router hooked to the cable modem, gigabit switch hooked to the router, and everything else hooked to the gigabit switch. Since the router is doing all of the DNS/DHCP/whatever, and is only good to 100 megabits, does this constrain the transfers between boxen on the gigabit switch negotiated and mediated by the 100 megabit max throughput of the router?
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:22 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Showing off my utter ignorance of the OSI stack here, but I've always had some conceptual continuity issues with this. Assume bog-standard cheap Linksys 10/100 Wi-Fi/Ethernet router hooked to the cable modem, gigabit switch hooked to the router, and everything else hooked to the gigabit switch. Since the router is doing all of the DNS/DHCP/whatever, and is only good to 100 megabits, does this constrain the transfers between boxen on the gigabit switch negotiated and mediated by the 100 megabit max throughput of the router?


By definition, a standard layer 2 switch should be 'switching' based on MAC addresses. Cisco (and others I assume) make layer 3 switches that can do limited IP routing within a network, but assume that network is far more complex than a home or small business network.

So no, that 'bog-standard' 100Mbps router/switch shouldn't affect transfers between two nodes on a 1Gbps switch, only between nodes that must talk through the router/switch.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:27 pm

Airmantharp wrote:So no, that 'bog-standard' 100Mbps router/switch shouldn't affect transfers between two nodes on a 1Gbps switch, only between nodes that must talk through the router/switch.

The blue LInksys boxen are everywhere.

Confirms my lack of knowledge about the OSI stack. For some reason I've always had the belief that the DNS/DHCP source had to be gigabit to let everything under it be gigabit. What do you want from someone who started networking with IPX over token ring?
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:17 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:So no, that 'bog-standard' 100Mbps router/switch shouldn't affect transfers between two nodes on a 1Gbps switch, only between nodes that must talk through the router/switch.

The blue LInksys boxen are everywhere.

Confirms my lack of knowledge about the OSI stack. For some reason I've always had the belief that the DNS/DHCP source had to be gigabit to let everything under it be gigabit. What do you want from someone who started networking with IPX over token ring?


To share a pitcher of beer :).
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:37 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Confirms my lack of knowledge about the OSI stack. For some reason I've always had the belief that the DNS/DHCP source had to be gigabit to let everything under it be gigabit. What do you want from someone who started networking with IPX over token ring?
To share a pitcher of beer :).

That'll be no trouble at all.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:21 pm

I've got the camera figured and the hiking boots worn in, now I just need the vacation time and the spare change. Vermont's always been on the list.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:12 am

Captain Ned wrote:As for switches, I've got a bunch of TrendNet 8-ports I've suggested to friends and not a one has ever complained. They're cheap to boot.

Showing off my utter ignorance of the OSI stack here, but I've always had some conceptual continuity issues with this. Assume bog-standard cheap Linksys 10/100 Wi-Fi/Ethernet router hooked to the cable modem, gigabit switch hooked to the router, and everything else hooked to the gigabit switch. Since the router is doing all of the DNS/DHCP/whatever, and is only good to 100 megabits, does this constrain the transfers between boxen on the gigabit switch negotiated and mediated by the 100 megabit max throughput of the router?


i was looking at that one last time I was on newegg, If it gets the captain ned seal of approval I guess Ill give it a try. The netgear is an enterprise class router, and can handle a lot of concurrent traffic, just transfer speeds between computers on my network take a while. Hopefully I can be sending my gigabits around at blinding speed now.
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Re: Is my router worth upgrading?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:40 am

I haven't tried the Trendnet switches but I have 2 Netgear GS108 sitting on my desk at work and 3 of the D-Link similar type (forget the model number) at work. I've benchmarked both of them and get over 900Mb/s using Intel GigE network adaptors.

As others have said, the speed counts where the traffic is flowing. DNS, DHCP and friends are only used to work out where to initiate the connection, the traffic goes direct. In Axeman's case the gotcha is that multicast gets treated like broadcast to a switch unless it has something to tell it where to send it e.g. IGMP snooping or some out of band management and that needs enterprise class managed switches.
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