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Old 05-15-2014, 09:23 AM   #21
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OK, so your router is rated at:

Amazon.com: Cisco-Linksys WRT54G2 Wireless-G Broadband Router: Electronics

Quote:
lets you connect both screaming fast Wireless-G (802.11g at 54Mbps) and Wireless-B (802.11b at 11Mbps) devices to the network.
I'd assume your devices are connecting to the faster 'g' link, but (assuming you really have 2.1Mbps again), even the slower 'b' link is ~ 5x the speed of your internet connection. So, unless you are having problems with the router, it is plenty faster than your internet connection.

And three SD quality Netflix streams will use only ~ 5Mbps, still 1/10 the rating of the wirelesss 'g' router you own. IOW, I really can't imagine a new router will change anything for you, other than reducing the size of your wallet. Granted, routers do provide lower rates under typical conditions, but a 10:1 ratio provides plenty of reserve.

You can verify that the router is functioning properly by connecting to a wired port of the router, run the speed test, and then run it again wireless.

-ERD50
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #22
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I'm pretty sure my router is faster than my ISP...
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:18 PM   #23
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WRT54G V1 should be replaced. Check the comparison link posted earlier in this thread. After replacing with one of the top models you'll see a gain. I actually had that router quite a while ago. Never regretted trashing it.

Or is it WRT54G2 V1? That model is OK, but check for newer firmware.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:45 PM   #24
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WRT54G V1 should be replaced. Check the comparison link posted earlier in this thread. After replacing with one of the top models you'll see a gain. I actually had that router quite a while ago. Never regretted trashing it.

Or is it WRT54G2 V1? That model is OK, but check for newer firmware.
What is your basis for saying that? See my earlier post - it would appear the router is many times faster than his internet coming in. How can the router be 'the weak link'?

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Old 05-16-2014, 06:28 AM   #25
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What is your basis for saying that? See my earlier post - it would appear the router is many times faster than his internet coming in. How can the router be 'the weak link'?
The WRT-54G v1 model is very old, and scored near the bottom of the results posted at smallnetbuilder. I saw that model last night, but it is not there now.

The WRT54G2 v1 model is newer, but it could be a 2008 model. I am ok with that for now, but a firmware update could eliminate certain problems the OP is having.

The reason I referred to 2 different models is that the OP mentions a Linksys WRT5462 v1 model. I think we really need to clarify the specific model, the firmware, and the manufactured date. Newer routers have so many features, I personally think a new one is in order. However, that is just me.

Over the past decade, I've probably worked with a few dozen wireless router installs. There are many nuances to be considered.

In the OP's case, we don't know the advertised bandwidth the ISP is supposed to provide. We don't know what actual speedtest shows on a wired computer, or wireless one. We don't know what all the devices are, nor there wireless requests. We don't know of any interference in the environment. And we don't know the specific router model or its firmware.

Now we get to what these dang users are trying to accomplish on the internet.

I don't understand how you are so sure the router is not the weak link. The smallnetbuilder page shows that there is a wide divergence of performance among routers. There could be a specific performance problem in that v1 model of WRT54G2. I see there are hardware models 1.0, 1.3, and 1.5. No firmware updates for 1.0 or 1.3 hardware. Now that I dug deeper, I am convinced the OP will see better results with a newer router.

Rather than finding a single bottleneck, I consider all of the potential failure points (bottlenecks, if you will). Experience tells me that there is usually an interaction of more than one failure point. For instance, the older router is a weak link in that it does not have newer features which address streaming. However, some of the devices may be having problems with the security on the router. And I don't assume that the ISP is delivering high-speed until I test it.

There are many things that could be discussed, but I'd buy a router to replace the 2008 model, and move on from there.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:47 AM   #26
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the router is linksys wrt54g2 v1 and believe it or not the wired download speed on my desktop actually dropped to 1.7mbps. surprised by that. I might have to call centurylink and see what is going on with them.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #27
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the router is linksys wrt54g2 v1 and believe it or not the wired download speed on my desktop actually dropped to 1.7mbps. surprised by that. I might have to call centurylink and see what is going on with them.
That's what we were trying to get to. On connections like DSL and cable the connection is shared and can slow down a lot when everyone in the area is streaming at the same time. Evenings are usually the worst.

To check the ISP speed though you plug in directly to the ISP device ( cable/DSL modem ) then run speedtest. This will take the wireless router out the loop. You may need to do this several times with and without your router to get an idea of the differences.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:14 AM   #28
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The WRT-54G v1 model is very old, and scored near the bottom of the results posted at ...
I don't care if it is at the bottom of some list. The question is, can it perform adequately for the OP? With a ~ 2Mbps ISP, a router with the specs listed (802.11g at 54Mbps) and Wireless-B (802.11b at 11Mbps) should not be the bottleneck.

Quote:
but a firmware update could eliminate certain problems the OP is having.
We don't know what his problems are. We need to bypass the router and do some tests to determine that.

Quote:
Newer routers have so many features, I personally think a new one is in order. However, that is just me.
Maybe, but I don't see where he is asking about any of these 'newer features', he just wants to be able to access multiple video streams - pretty basic.


Quote:
In the OP's case, we don't know the advertised bandwidth the ISP is supposed to provide. We don't know what actual speedtest shows on a wired computer, or wireless one. We don't know what all the devices are, nor there wireless requests. We don't know of any interference in the environment.
Agreed. He has not answered some of the questions that have been asked of him. We got one or two speed tests, need the other info as well. If his wireless speed tests are showing ~ 2Mbps and the ISP is rated at 2Mbps then the router doesn't seem to be a problem.


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I don't understand how you are so sure the router is not the weak link.
I didn't say it can't be the weak link. But if it is working properly, and if he doesn't have interference or range issues, and if (lots of 'ifs' - this isn't so easy over the internet) his ISP provides ~ 2Mbps, then the ISP is the limiting factor and a new router can't 'fix' that.

And if there are interference or range issues, they need to be understood to make an appropriate router choice. Unless the OP just wants to throw money at the problems and try router after router until something works - but again, if the limiting factor is the ISP, no router can fix that.

If there are range issues, he might need a bridge or an antenna or something else than just a router. We don't have enough info.

Quote:
There could be a specific performance problem in that v1 model of WRT54G2. I see there are hardware models 1.0, 1.3, and 1.5. No firmware updates for 1.0 or 1.3 hardware.
Could be, but wired versus wireless test will tell us if there is a problem.

Quote:
Now that I dug deeper, I am convinced the OP will see better results with a newer router.
And I'm not convinced, because I have not seen any evidence.


Quote:
There are many things that could be discussed, but I'd buy a router to replace the 2008 model, and move on from there.
And I believe in eliminating the basics first. You can't get 10Mbps performance out of a 2Mbps ISP no matter what router you buy.

-ERD50
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:43 AM   #29
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #30
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frank - were you able to find out if your internet speeds will support the streaming you want to do? Or did you decide to upgrade your service?

Once your internet connection is fast enough for 2-3 streams, then we can determine if your router is a problem.

-ERD50
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:08 PM   #31
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Almost any router will keep up with 2 Mbps, even an old one.

Only about half of the advertised wireless speed is available as real user throughput, due to 802.11 overhead. So if your computer indicates it is using a 1 Mbps wireless connection (top speeds are only available near the router, speeds are reduced the farther away you get), you may only get a usable 0.5 Mbps. This would not affect a wired connection of course. For Windows 7 I can look at Network and Sharing, Change Adapter Settings, right click on your active wireless network and select Status. That will show the actual wireless speed you are using.

Some old but common routers were only good for a total of about 10 Mbps, even for wired connections. The processor in them just couldn't keep up. Wireless security would particularly slow things down. At 2 Mbps I don't think that would be an issue.

My Linksys E3200, a relatively new wireless router, would have a "failure" mode where it would only have a download speed of 1.5 Mbps. It would do that about once a week. I had to unplug it to recover back to normal. So it is possible your router is just flaking out.
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