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PaulFNZ

20 posts

Geek


#275710 5-Sep-2020 20:03
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​Hiya

 

I have the NF18ACV, and I'm only currently on 100/20 plan with Slingshot, but intend to upgrade to the gigantic at some point soon.

 

Just wondering ​​what the performance of this router is compared to say the Edgerouter Lite? Or X perhaps? That sort of price range/performance anyway.

 

Whether there is there much to be gained by upgrading. 

 

 

 

Can't really find any meaningful specs on it, and frankly not sure that's the end of the story either.

 

Don't use the wifi on it as I found it rubbish, but I do need VoIP for the mum in law's daily chit chats as she lives with us, so would need to set that up behind anything new. Seems like others have had success doing that, and I can follow instructions.

 

 

 

I do some gaming on a PS4, so mostly interested in latency/jitter/bufferbloat etc, but on fibre is a 'faster' router going to add anything here?

 

My gaming bandwidth is shared with the usual fare of Netflix/VoIP calls/web. 

 

I do use a VPN - but only PC based (eg AnyConnect) for remote work in this current climate - which is streaming video and then just some RDP etc - only really about 15Mbps worth.

 

 

 

Was looking for some QOS, but I see that this isn't hardware offloaded with the Lite, and seems to generally slow down total speeds on any sub-commercial router anyway, so not sure about going that route.

 

Does QOS increase ping? I.e if I actually did use the QOS in the Lite or X, knowing that I didn't need more than 300Mbps (without hardware offloading), would it be advantageous to use QOS at the risk that it increases latency through processing? Or is that done so fast were talking negligible amounts?

 

 

 

I can probably answer my question really - I imagine it to be marginal gains, so probably just looking to be easily convinced it is worth it for some reason! I guess I've also been conditioned to think that ISP supplied units are typically very low tier.

 

 

 

Also - hey Michael; hope you're browsing - how's life been since primary school? 😄

 

 

 

Paul

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fe31nz
594 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2557694 5-Sep-2020 23:29
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I know nothing about the NF18ACV, but I have used an EdgeRouter Lite ever since they first came out.  I have recently upgraded to an EdgeRouter 4.  The ERL is able to do full gigabit fibre speeds as long as it is offloading everything to its routing hardware.  As soon as you do anything that requires the packets to go through the CPU instead, its performance is down to at best about 300 Mbit/s. This is without any firewall rules except NAT and the standard three.  Adding any more rules of any sort reduces the speed further.  At only 100 Mbit/s, you can do more, but I would still recommend not doing anything without offloading working without testing it carefully.  If you need to do QoS, then you really should just get a gigabit fibre connection and avoid the need.  That said, the QoS in an EdgeRouter has good options - it has the newer methods that avoid "buffer bloat" that increases the delays for packets through the router, and full control of all the QoS settings.

 

What is really great about EdgeRouters is that they are full featured routers, and the underlying Debian Linux is also able to be used if you can not do what you want directly in the ERL config.  So you are not limited to only being able to do the things that are what your router thinks you should be able to do as a consumer.  There are endless features that you may never have a need for, but if you do they are there.  For example, one of the first things I did when I got mine, before 2Degrees did IPv6, I set up a tunneled IPv6 connection to he.net so I could try out IPv6.  In consumer grade routers, a few can do an IPv6 tunnel like that, but it is rare.  If you want to have automatic failover to using a cellphone connection if the main Internet connection is lost, you can do that.  If you want to do load balancing between your two different Internet connections, it can do that.  If you are a business with your own AS number and need to run BGP, you can do that.  You can also install Debian packages to do things that the ER firmware normally does not do.  And so on.  I am currently trying out PXE network booting, and the way I want to do that needs a very specific bit of configuration of the DHCP server to make my preferred iPXE software work.  Edgerouters can do that:

 

set service dhcp-server shared-network-name INNER subnet 10.0.2.0/24 subnet-parameters 'allow booting;'

 

set service dhcp-server shared-network-name INNER subnet 10.0.2.0/24 subnet-parameters 'allow bootp;'

 

set service dhcp-server shared-network-name INNER subnet 10.0.2.0/24 subnet-parameters 'option log-servers 10.0.2.4;'

 

set service dhcp-server shared-network-name INNER subnet 10.0.2.0/24 subnet-parameters 'if exists user-class and option user-class = "iPXE" {filename "http://pxe.jsw.gen.nz/pxe.cfg";} else {filename "undionly.kpxe";}'

 

And if you are trying to do something and it is not working, you just disable offloading and run tcpdump or tshark (from the /var/log directory so you do not kill your USB stick with too many writes).  Then you can work out exactly what is happening to the packets and fix it, rather than having to poke at the router and hope you can get it to work.

 

The reasons I upgraded to an ER4 were two main things.  The first is that I was using a zone firewall with lots of firewall configuration.  The sheer size of the config meant that the ERL was taking about 7 minutes to boot up, and substantial time to make even small changes to the config.  The ER4 is much faster - it has a much faster CPU and can handle all the config checking and translation in a very reasonable time.  I have not actually timed it as it is fast enough that I am not worried about it, but I think it is less than a minute.  And the small changes (such as adding a blacklisted IP address for another Russian or Chinese hacker poking at my network) are virtually instant.  The second reason is that I do a lot of torrenting, which causes a huge number of connections to my torrent software at any one time.  Routers that do hardware offloading like EdgeRouters still have to handle the setup and close down of any connection in the CPU, and the offloading hardware also needs to access the table of connections to handle each packet.  In the ERL, the huge number of connections and the size of the connection table was reducing the speed I could torrent at.  The command "sudo conntrack -L" is currently showing 2460 connections through the ER4.  The ER4 means I get substantially faster torrents.  They start up faster and their maximum speeds are faster - I commonly get a new torrent going up to over 10 Mbytes/s within seconds of starting.

 

I have my old FritzBox 7390 set up behind my ER4 to handle my VOIP connections to 2Degrees - my mother still wants a landline!  One thing EdgeRouters do not have is telephony software (or hardware).  I have heard that someone did run Asterisk on an ERL though.


PaulFNZ

20 posts

Geek


  #2557865 6-Sep-2020 12:28
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Thanks, very informative. You must have quite the setup!
Your Russian and Chinese mates gave me a giggle.
Yeah the 4 sounds insane, but really above my price range, would be hard pressed to swing that past my "accountant" haha.
So, even though I'm not using even 100mbps regularly, going to "gigabit" fibre would still negate the need for qos?
I feel like the bottleneck would still be at my end, even if the road was wider, but maybe I'm understanding this wrong?
I hear if needing qos the X should be faster than the Lite, is that so? How much latency does qos actually add? Like in ms? I know it would lower the top spikes as designed, but it must lift the baseline right? Just in terms of additional processing?

 
 
 
 


sbiddle
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  #2557866 6-Sep-2020 12:42
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From a simple performance benefit there would be zero performance gains from upgrading. The NF18ACV can route Gigabit easily.

 

There are functionality differences, but if you have no requirement for advanced networking capabilities (and more importantly how to configure these).

 

 


PaulFNZ

20 posts

Geek


  #2558015 6-Sep-2020 17:46
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Thanks, very succinct.

 

Was concerned the Netcomm wasn't competent, but it sounds like it is; just sans any fancy features.

 

Probably just leave it as is for now then, and look at the gigabit upgrade next.

 

Appreciate the input!


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