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Topic # 140608 14-Feb-2014 20:03
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Heya, all! I'm currently having some major networking woes. The network at this fairly large flat of 17-or-so people is in some major need of lovin'. Currently, it has an ADSL connection coming in through Slingshot. The connection itself is mediocre, but I have a feeling that the router in the modem/router combo is significantly hindering performance. I've seen as many as eighteen devices on the DHCP client table, at least two of which are other routers. The modem/router combo is some sort of old, antiquated Dynalink piece of hardware with only 4 MB of flash memory and 16 MB RAM.

Fortunately, I brought my EA4500 router from the United States when I flew in. I set this router up in my own room so that my laptop and tablet could have wireless Internet access. To try to improve performance and reliability, I've also assigned my router a static IP through the Dynalink router's control panel and also placed it in DMZ. I would like to set the Dynalink router into a complete bridge mode and utilize just the EA4500 for the entire flat since it's considerably better suited for the job, but the connection is set up with PPPoA while the EA4500 only seems to support PPPoE. I also do not currently have the DSL connection credentials. Right now, the EA4500 is set to just receive its connection via DHCP (which gives it the assigned IP address), although I could easily enough set that to static as well.

Would it be worthwhile to install the EA4500 router and connect that to the network switch as opposed to having the Dynalink there? The EA4500 would obviously still have to be connected to that since that's where the Internet connection is coming through, although it seems like it could handle the network strain a bit more reliably. If I were unable to bridge the connection and just (lazily) kept NAT enabled on the Dynalink, it would still reduce that device's DHCP table to one client instead of close to twenty. It would just have to push Internet-bound data to and from the EA4500 at that point, or at least, that's my thinking (please correct me if I'm wrong!).

I'd love to be able to install a basic modem without any routing functionality whatsoever, but such equipment seems to be surprisingly difficult to find in New Zealand! Everything's a modem/router combo.

Long-term, I'm going to be talking to the landlord about upgrading to Slingshot's VDSL, which is fortunately available in this area at the moment (no UFB, though, sadly). AFAIK, Slingshot would provide a new modem/router and the connection would altogether be massively improved. The network simply feels like it's held together by string and duct tape at this point, haha.





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  Reply # 987503 14-Feb-2014 20:11
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With that many people on a single DSL connection I'd suspect your biggest problem would be saturation of the connection.

If you want to use your router the best option would be a Draytek 120 ADSL2+ modem which supports bridge mode, allowing you to configure PPPoE in your router and for it to be the primary router.

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  Reply # 987504 14-Feb-2014 20:12
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17 people in a flat? sharing a single adsl connection?

and i couldnt stand simply sharing with family members!


VDSL clearly would be a good move to make, while sticking on unlimited plans. with that many people, your wanting something far more reliable than the slingshot VDSL provided router (there is a thread floating around the SS section about the router they send out, if you want details on it).

good luck to you! not a network i would want to touch, would be a ordeal and a bit, just to keep everyone happy while you changed hardware.


the one problem about this many people, and VDSL would be the urge to "problem solve" by rebooting the modem multiple times, DLM would have a field day in retraining the line.




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  Reply # 987507 14-Feb-2014 20:16
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A proven method is to use a draytek vigor 120 as the ADSL modem, and then you can hook that into your router.  

I'm a little vague on the details but people here will clarify how this works. 

From memory, I think you put the vigor into pppoe passthrough mode and then you can configure your router pppoe setings.  




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  Reply # 987508 14-Feb-2014 20:17
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Haha, yeah, it's a bit scary. I was sitting comfortably on a 100 Mbps connection all to myself in the US, so it's a pretty drastic change.

The biggest thing is that, like you said, I don't want to be changing much at all with this many people. I've got my router optimally configured so that I could swap it in quickly and have the network back up and running in about three minutes, but if I really wanted to get things running optimally, there would be some downtime.

The connection's surprisingly usable for regular browsing, although larger downloads and pretty much any sort of gaming tend to make it choke. I'm trying to determine just how much is the Internet connection itself, and how much of it can be attested to the horribly unfit router.





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  Reply # 987509 14-Feb-2014 20:19
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17 people is a hotel




Galaxy S7 Edge

 

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  Reply # 987510 14-Feb-2014 20:20
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By the way, I did find out how to bridge the Dynalink router while mucking around in the settings. It's surprisingly obscure! My biggest concern would be configuring my router for PPPoE. I could easily do this, although I'd first need to obtain the credentials, and I'm also not entirely sure if the current connection would support PPPoE. I'm new to NZ so I'm not sure how all of the ISPs operate yet, but I've seen a few discussions that led me to believe that it needs to be in PPPoA to operate.

If I'm wrong on that last point, please correct me. I'd love to be wrong. :)





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  Reply # 987511 14-Feb-2014 20:20
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Kodiack: Haha, yeah, it's a bit scary. I was sitting comfortably on a 100 Mbps connection all to myself in the US, so it's a pretty drastic change.

The biggest thing is that, like you said, I don't want to be changing much at all with this many people. I've got my router optimally configured so that I could swap it in quickly and have the network back up and running in about three minutes, but if I really wanted to get things running optimally, there would be some downtime.

The connection's surprisingly usable for regular browsing, although larger downloads and pretty much any sort of gaming tend to make it choke. I'm trying to determine just how much is the Internet connection itself, and how much of it can be attested to the horribly unfit router.


with that many people, poor thing would be being hammered by connections, wouldnt be surprised if multiple people were torrenting the crap out of it too...

simply put, a adsl connection will congest far too easily with that many, i dont understand how people share like that......




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  Reply # 987512 14-Feb-2014 20:25
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It's not easy, I tell you. I haven't heard any complaints, though, and of the few people I asked about the 'net performance, everyone seemed fine with it. *shrug* Neither the ADSL connection nor the router are suitable for the setup we have here. I'm definitely going to be talking to the landlord about upgrading to VDSL, although he's unavailable until Monday afternoon. At that point, I'm hoping I can hammer out some details with him. In the meantime, I'd at least like to better configure the network by doing away with that nasty ol' router. Without the credentials I won't be able to create a full bridge, although the static IP addressing and DMZ may be adequate to make do for the short-term.





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  Reply # 987513 14-Feb-2014 20:27
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everyones idea of "fine" is rather different, im sure many people would say i expect far too much.

almost willing to bet, there are no serious PC gammers in the house.




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  Reply # 987517 14-Feb-2014 20:33
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I'm willing to bet the same. The connection's far too unstable for that. I can't even remain connected to IRCs, and occasionally Thunderbird will time out when sending or receiving email.

It's pretty rare to see any connection issues while browsing the Internet since the connection doesn't need to stay alive for that sort of use. The intermittent instability only lasts for a few seconds. That's enough to disrupt any sort of gaming or real-time applications, but it's not really going to be particularly noticeable in casual browsing.





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  Reply # 987521 14-Feb-2014 20:51
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Kodiack: [snip] Without the credentials I won't be able to create a full bridge,


You mention several time that you don't have the credentials. Perhaps you should check with the person who does have them (and presumably whose account it is) before you go about replacing their hardware. Just sayin ;-)

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  Reply # 987551 14-Feb-2014 22:23
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The new Linksys routers are BY FAR the biggest pieces of cr4p out there. Don't bother.

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  Reply # 988223 16-Feb-2014 13:50
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chevrolux: The new Linksys routers are BY FAR the biggest pieces of cr4p out there. Don't bother.


Yeah I wouldn't want to trust a Linksys to run a connection for the whole flat, but then probably 100% more reliable than Netgear... Nothing is going to prevent congestion on ADSL with that many users, and setting up QoS will slow down the router's throughput and possibly make it less stable since it only has a little CPU.

I've just switched my own dynalink modem to half-bridge mode due to instability of my netgear router, but you may have to fiddle with it for a while. If you do try it, make sure to do things in the right sequence:

     

  1. Think about whether making the connection more complicated would cause more downtime with multiple people trying to work out which router to restart, and especially if someone "resets" one of them to factory default without realising what they are doing.
  2. Check what address range the dynalink is using eg 192.168.1.x, and change the LAN address of the Linksys to an alternative subnet (eg 192.168.2.x) that won't conflict with the Dynalink.
  3. At some point you will want to manage the dynalink to check ADSL settings/speeds or setup after somebody cleared the settings, so remember what address it is. Perhaps write the dynalink's LAN address onto the modem itself.
  4. Set the Linksys to get its WAN address by DHCP. I presume steps 1 to 3 have already been done.
  5. You should now be able to plugin the Linksys WAN port directly to the Dynalink. Any Ethernet cables on the dynalink must be moved to the Linksys LAN to ensure only one router gets allocated the outside internet address.
  6. Go to the Dynalink's IP address and the management page should load up. Setup the Dynalink for PPP half-bridge, my RTA1320 calls it "PPP IP extension". Once you are sure the dynalink is able to login PPP, go to its LAN settings and turn off DHCP so that it doesn't allocate a LAN address to the router and block the internet address.
  7. Check whether the dynalink's settings are saved, and you may need to restart it. Test whether you still have access to the dynalink's 192.168.x.x IP so that you can fine tune any settings you need to.
Good luck.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^



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  Reply # 988230 16-Feb-2014 14:04
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I did install the Linksys EA4500 last night, and it's significantly improved network performance and reliability. The EA4500 is a rather high-end piece of equipment. Everyone's a lot happier so far (turns out people were unhappy, most just weren't saying anything!). I'm going to be talking with the landlord tomorrow about stepping us up to VDSL as well, which would provide far more bandwidth and net us a more modern modem as well.

I've already done about everything there. I had the routers pretty much configured so that I could just "hot swap" it without much further configuration. Altogether, there was about three minutes of downtime for the install itself.

An actual VDSL upgrade would have longer downtime, but it would really benefit this place. I also found out that there are only two of us that actively make heavy use of the Internet connection and game on it. The other tenant that games mentioned that it was fine when it was just him, but that the connection was bogged significantly after I moved in. Oops!

The biggest issue is that nobody know what could be done to improve the connection. They just kind of accepted it. Even the landlord seemingly wanted to improve it (and actually had before), but didn't really know where to begin or what to say to the ISP. Tomorrow should be a nice day for finally getting the last details figured out. Until then, the connection is at least more stable and notably faster with the beefier router. There's still a lot of headroom for improvement, though - it's exciting!





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  Reply # 988233 16-Feb-2014 14:06
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good to know your making headway!

certainly not i situation ild wanna be in!




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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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