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Be aware of speed limits on some older routers
Authored by: vrillusions on Dec 28, '06 11:21:49AM

this kinda goes with hwojtek's response. but enough extra information that I didn't make it a reply to his...

The four common types of network connections for homes are 10-base-t (10mbit) full duplex and half duplex, and 100-base-t (100mbit) full duplex and half duplex. Full duplex means traffic can be traveling in both directions at the same time at whatever speed it's at (10mbit or 100mbit). Half duplex means it can only send OR receive at a time. Basically half duplex things are passing back and forth several times a second. I am sure the WAN port on the linksys uses 10-base-t (cheaper then 100-base-t) but seems like they would still want to make it full duplex. The catch is, you will never hit 10mbit on a 10-base-t system because of the overhead in TCP/IP traffic (generally around 20% is the estimated reduction in efficiency). That immediately drops you down to 8mbit/sec in a perfect and ideal situation, which of course never happens. So I would guess the linksys routers are 10-base-t full duplex. Which when they were created was fine since there was no high speed internet service to the home greater than 10mbit.

Another possible concern is the processor used in routers. When a router is made, it's made with the slowest and most inexpensive parts that still have "acceptable performance" for the devices "typical user base." A family sharing an internet connection among a few computers that are just browsing the web or playing online games it will work fine. Start running some torrents and watch how everything slows down. While partly due to the traffic amount, it's also because the processor inside the router can't keep up with all the traffic.

As mentioned before, if it's feasible I'd recommend building your own router using something like ipcop. It has tons of options and just find an old pentium 2 computer that can take a few network cards and it's still a whole lot faster than any consumer level hardware router.

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