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Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

NMLiz
Guide

Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

We live in a rural area and have an extremely slow DSL connection (at best 11 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up). Previously we had an IQRouter v2, which was great for maximizing the connection for multiple devices...but got old and kept dropping the connection.

 

I upgraded to the RAX38v2 (firmware V1.0.11.112_2.0.77), which gave us faster speeds, but terrible bufferbloat. Now when we have friends visit and an increase in devices, it is nearly unusable for everyone. (And it is not because of the DSL connection, because the speed is the same, and the modem is the same, a Windstream Actiontec T3200.) QoS is on, but appears to make no difference whether on or off.

 

I could move to the IQRouter v3, but it seems like I should be able to get a better result with the Nighthawk than I am getting. It also seems to drop the connection a lot sometimes, even when not overloaded with devices.

 

Suggestions? Thanks.

 

 

Message 1 of 14

Accepted Solutions
richbhanover
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

> We live in a rural area and have an extremely slow DSL connection (at best 11 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up). Previously we had an IQRouter v2, which was great for maximizing the connection for multiple devices...but got old and kept dropping the connection.

 

Before I moved, I had that situation (DSL 7mbps down, 768kbps up). I used an IQrouter v2 to completely eliminate the bufferbloat. No one would call the connection fast, but it was always very usable, even with two simultaneous zoom sessions.

 

The IQrouter v2 is a re-labeled Archer C7v2 - one of the most reliable / revered routers - Wirecutter's Best Router for Home a few years ago). It is designed by a team of folks at Evenroute who also suffered from bufferbloat.

 

Before you blame the IQrouter, you can do some troubleshooting:

 

- Run speedtest.net. Look at both the up/down speeds, but also the new Responsiveness numbers that show latency during the speed tests.

 

- If you know how run a ping test from the terminal. Look for dropped packets.

 

- Call your ISP. Tell them you are having problems. (Report the speedtest.net and ping test numbers.) Ask them to check the line characteristics. Ask them if they see any problems.

 

- Also, ask them to replace the Actiontec - it's an older model, and perhaps it failed or got damaged in a storm.

 

Good luck!

 

PS Double-NAT (your DSL modem connected to your router) is almost certainly not your problem. I do it all the time - the IQrouter is designed for it. Double-NAT *can* cause problems, but not bufferbloat. (Symptoms would include being able to connect to certain services, but not others, and mostly fairly unusual situations/applications.)

 

 

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Message 6 of 14

All Replies

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2


@NMLiz wrote:

.... the modem is the same, a Windstream Actiontec T3200.)

 


That looks like a modem router? Is it in modem only (bridge) mode?

 

Two routers on your network can cause headaches. For example, you can end up with local address problems. Among other things, the other router can misdirect addresses that the Netgear router usually handles, such as routerlogin.net or the usual IP address for a router, 192.168.1.1.

This explains some of the other drawbacks.

What is Double NAT? | Answer | NETGEAR Support

Unless you have specific reasons for using two routers – to create two separate networks for example – it is often easier to use just one router and then to set up the second router as a wifi access point. Netgear advises this, as does just about every site you will visit.

But that has its own drawbacks:

Disabled Features on the Router when set to AP Mode | Answer | NETGEAR Support


Message 2 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

 
Message 3 of 14

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

And?

 

Your message was blank.

 

 

Message 4 of 14
microchip8
Master

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

Do note that your modem might be responsible for bufferbloat you're seeing. I had a modem in the past that made huge bufferbloat and always thought it was my R7800 router. Did virtually everything to minimize but couldn't so I gave up. Short after, after changing Internet plans, I got a new, more modern modem that can handle 1 Gbps speeds (DOCSIS 3.0). Suddenly my bufferbloat had disasspeared and stayed so even till today. So even today and a router change to a RAX43, I still get mostly an A on bufferbloat and occasionally, when network is a bit congested, a B.

Message 5 of 14
richbhanover
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

> We live in a rural area and have an extremely slow DSL connection (at best 11 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up). Previously we had an IQRouter v2, which was great for maximizing the connection for multiple devices...but got old and kept dropping the connection.

 

Before I moved, I had that situation (DSL 7mbps down, 768kbps up). I used an IQrouter v2 to completely eliminate the bufferbloat. No one would call the connection fast, but it was always very usable, even with two simultaneous zoom sessions.

 

The IQrouter v2 is a re-labeled Archer C7v2 - one of the most reliable / revered routers - Wirecutter's Best Router for Home a few years ago). It is designed by a team of folks at Evenroute who also suffered from bufferbloat.

 

Before you blame the IQrouter, you can do some troubleshooting:

 

- Run speedtest.net. Look at both the up/down speeds, but also the new Responsiveness numbers that show latency during the speed tests.

 

- If you know how run a ping test from the terminal. Look for dropped packets.

 

- Call your ISP. Tell them you are having problems. (Report the speedtest.net and ping test numbers.) Ask them to check the line characteristics. Ask them if they see any problems.

 

- Also, ask them to replace the Actiontec - it's an older model, and perhaps it failed or got damaged in a storm.

 

Good luck!

 

PS Double-NAT (your DSL modem connected to your router) is almost certainly not your problem. I do it all the time - the IQrouter is designed for it. Double-NAT *can* cause problems, but not bufferbloat. (Symptoms would include being able to connect to certain services, but not others, and mostly fairly unusual situations/applications.)

 

 

Message 6 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

Sorry all, in the reply that came through blank, I was trying to say that the Actiontec is bridged. But it sounds like the Actiontec could actually be the problem.

 

On Speedtest, I get 10.14 Mbps down, 0.9 up.

Ping 26ms idle, 83 ms down, 215 ms up.

 

Is there a way to distinguish ISP latency issues from issues caused by the Actiontec? (Sorry to be such a newb.)

 

 

Message 7 of 14
richbhanover
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2


@NMLiz wrote:
...

On Speedtest, I get 10.14 Mbps down, 0.9 up.

Ping 26ms idle, 83 ms down, 215 ms up.

...


That definitely seems like upload buferbloat - that's certainly typical of what I saw on my DSL line.

 

Do you still have access to the IQrouter? If you are willing to try an experiment, reconnect it to the Actiontec and use it as your main router. Re-run the speed test to let the IQrouter handle the bufferbloat.

 

(You could also run a manual latency test - start a ping to, say, Google: "ping -t google.com" on Windows; "ping google.com" otherwise and see how much bigger the ping times get when you run the speed test.)

 

Let us know the results. Thanks.

 

Message 8 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

I don’t have the IQRouter, but I am contemplating buying the IQRouterv3. The speed with the IQRouter is as not as good as on the Nighthawk, but it was much better at dealing with multiple devices. Do you have any opinion on the IQRouter, v3?

 

But first I am going to work on getting Windstream to get me a new modem/gateway router.

 

 Could Netgear Armor be causing some of the lag?

Message 9 of 14
richbhanover
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

I also own an IQrouter v3. Its specs say it's good to > 250Mbps (much faster than your current DSL link) so you will be OK. I'm using the v3 on a cell phone hotspot, so my link speeds are only slightly higher than your DSL - 15mbps down, 3 mbps up


I didn't realize that you don't currently own an IQrouter. I would be strongly tempted to purchase the IQrouter v3 from some place where you can try it with right to return if it doesn't work (Amazon?)

 

I can't speak to Netgear Armor, but if your router isn't specifically controlling latency/responsiveness (sometimes called "bufferbloat") then your DSL speeds will be a problem. I think you'll be surprised how well things work. As I initially said, it'll never be called "fast", but it'll never be crushingly slow. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

Message 10 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

Sorry for the long delay. I had to wait several days for the "overnight" delivery of a new Windstream modem.

 

  • I am now getting higher speeds ever (14.3 down, 1.28 up)
  • Bufferbloat is still terrible.
  • The wifi connection continues to keep dropping out.

 

And now I have a new problem: if I put the new modem in bridge mode, the wifi on the Nighthawk no longer works. So right now it is no longer bridged.

 

I have tried with QOS on or off. It doesn't seem to matter.

 

Frustrated!

 

 

Message 11 of 14
richbhanover
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

 

I'm glad the Windstream made a difference in your speeds.

 

If you're plugging the Netgear router into the Windstream, I would make sure the Wi-Fi on the Windstream is turned off. (Don't worry about putting the Windstream into bridge mode.)

 

Then configure the Netgear as well as you can. If it still doesn't work, check out an IQrouter...

Message 12 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

So I am considering getting the IQRouterv3, and converting the Nighthawk to a wired access point (in another room) for wifi traffic. The TV, printer, and Synology NAS would be on wired Powerline connections. All the phones/personal devices would be on Wifi. Would this make sense? 

 

I am not certain because it seems like the IQRouter and the Nighthawk work in very different ways. I don't understand it all, but I suspect the Nighthawk achieves higher speeds with lots of buffering, which is what is causing the bloat.

 

Message 13 of 14
NMLiz
Guide

Re: Severe Upload Bufferbloat on RAX38v2

I should say that I have tried reducing my upload bandwidth on the Netgear QoS menu, but no matter how much I reduce it, the upload latency remains terrible. And with so little bandwidth...

 

Also, the new Actiontec modem/router IS faster (thanks for the suggestion), and I did get it set up in bridge mode--I just had to reset both routers at the same time (and give them plenty of time off), which apparently I didn't do the first time.

Message 14 of 14
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