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FoxTwo's Ramblings

Upgrading to 1 Gbit Plan

Recently I was contacted by Starhub to re-contract my home internet line. It was then that I realised that 1 gbps seem to be the “norm” these days, and did not see any lower speed plans on offer.

The entire upgrade is a story for another time, but it did force me to get a new router – the Netgear R7000, because the one given by Starhub, the DIR 850L, is just not powerful enough. The R7000 was my choice because it was geared for media and gaming activities – the 2 most important things I do on the Internet :)

Now, the one given by Starhub should be fine for most people. Downlink (WANLAN) is a respectable 750-850 mbps. Uplink (LAN-WAN) is the issue. I only managed to get 350 – 550mbps on it. Worse still if I enabled some other settings that were “OFF” at default state. If I enabled enough of these settings to depart from the “factory default”, the router plods along at 400 mbps downlink, and 250mbps uplink.

And I ain’t even talking about wifi speeds – these are WIRED speeds. I don’t care about wireless speeds because there are no consumer wifi devices that I know of that can connect at anything higher than about 600 mbps wireless, so even an AC1200 would be more than enough. Even if your device does connect at 600 mbps, the actual throughput would be 250 – 350 mbps… cuz, ya know, it’s wireless…. interference from other radio and electronic signals from everything in your house like the fridge, microwave, etc etc.

So anyway, I ran into a puzzling problem with the Netgear R7000 the moment I plugged it in. The downlink and uplink speeds were not much better than the DIR 850L. This puzzled me since the R7000 has a dual-core CPU speed of 1 Ghz each… it should have enough horsepower to drive a 1-gbit link. Plus, out of the box, it was in factory-settings condition… nothing was configured yet.

Only upon some research did I realise that the firmware in the router was “too new” out of the box. It had version 1.0.3.80. I had to downgrade the firmware to 1 version prior, to 1.0.3.68, before I started seeing 800 – 950mbps speeds on downlink and 950mbps average on uplink. Perhaps the newer firmware had fixed one too many bugs and one (or more) of the fixes actually affected the throughput of the router.

So now I can enable QoS, firewall and whatever other stuff I want without compromising my downlink and uplink speeds :)