T or F: Computer connected via CAT6 will suck all the bandwidth from router?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by HandsOff, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    This is the situation: We (actually, they) have 3 computers connected by wireless, a couple rather slow windows 7 laptops, and one very slow XP desktop computer and 3 "smart phones" and my much faster windows 8 laptop that connects via a 300 foot long CAT6 cable.

    I installed the CAT6 cable because I am the furthest from the wireless/ethernet/USB router. The actual distance between the router and my computer is probably closer to 200 feet, but the shorter cable run feasible is just under 300 feet, hence the the 300 foot cable length. I was pretty impressed with the router actually because I can almost get adequate performance using an external USB adapter (a miniature plastic dish made by Hawking).

    To make a long story short everyone has been complaining because they say my fancy ASUS core i7 computer sucks all of the bandwidth out of the (Comcast cable service) router leaving nothing left for their puny computers and smart phones.

    I would like to laugh at their scenario however, there do seem to be some technicians that back up their claim.

    a few more facts: With CAT6 I am able to achieve around 20 mbs download speeds. With wireless I can get around 800 kbs from my distant location. The router besides having wireless connectivity has 4 ethernet ports 2 USB ports and, I believe, two regular phone jacks.

    The way I always believed was that demand would determine the allocation of bandwidth, and if someone has a much slower connection it is because they are not capable of more. The opposition says that a wired connection gets priority over a wireless connection. (seems silly to me since how would a smartphone ever hope to connect in that case)?

    I realize this is a very theoretical question, but it is quite important. For instance, if two more computers would connect via CAT6 will there be a level playing field for those connections? With the wireless computers and smart phones still be shut out or will my bandwidth eating monster now only have 1/3 of ability to suck bandwidth?

    This is complicated! I am still gathering facts, but to make a long story short, I don't think the others are doing what they need to get a good signal, and are blaming me because I did what I needed to do. The want my result without doing anything to warrant it.

    ...but, the comcast technician supposedly told them all, my big bad machine was devouring the band width.

    BTW- Is there a dashboard gadget that would keep a running view of my bandwidth usage? My thought being that I can't be using 20 mbs all the time, and when I am not, where is it all going?


    Please help! A mob with burning torches is getting ready to set myself, and my computer aflame!

    -HandsOff
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I'm sure that there's a bandwidth limiter for Windows 7.

    Someone?

    Edit: Quick google gives me -http://www.netlimiter.com/, which costs 30 USD.

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Interested in this thread.

    Best regards,
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  5. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    I've always thought bandwidth required for whatever your doing approximately equals bandwidth used. IOW, why would your computer use anything more than whatever you're demanding at any given time, so if you're just viewing simple webpages as opposed to downloading huge files all the time, the former operation should use far less bandwidth than the latter?

    Also, wouldn't the wired connection afford far better bandwidth potential than the wireless connected computers? Sorry, I can't otherwise offer a solution.

    Yeah, basically the way I've always believed it to be :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  6. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    In my experience, there are no bandwidth priorities or preferential treatment. Then the question would be why you can take up a lot of bandwidth while others are left with the breadcrumbs. If there is no preference/priority then the others should be able to 'claim' bandwidth just as you do instead of 1 computer sucking up most of the bandwidth. My theory is that it's kinda like first-in, first-served. If someone downloads big files with high speeds then he's constantly making requests to the router, whereas others who are just browsing a bit occasionally make requests so they may have to wait in line before they are served(Not sure if the metaphor is correct.) I have noticed this also when everyone is on wireless. Depending on the quality of the wireless signal/equipment and internet subscription speed you may be able to reach higher speeds on a wired connection and unless you have a very high speed subscription, you can easily reach speeds the same as the total subscription bandwidth, which makes it possible to claim all the available bandwidth. The solution would be to limit the bandwidth usage on your computer or if your router supports it, Quality of Service(QoS). With this you can give preferential treatment to HTTP traffic for example, so other users browsing don't have to wait in line but are served immediately. Since they only have small 'orders' and are thus handled quickly, this should have a minimal effect on the speed of big file transfers.
     
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Part of the problem can also be signal strength and degradation, so the router might be struggling and wasting its CPU handling the connection, thus not having enough to allocate to other connections.
    Mrk
     
  8. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Unless you are running any kind of LAN based QOS bandwidth will be shared evenly.

    My hunch without further information is that the limited bandwidth is actually down to a weak Wifi connection.

    Get them to run speedtests with your network cable unplugged and compare to plugged.

    This will quickly rule out if the issue is your wired connection or not.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Oh? Got a link?

    With some routers, you can prioritize which device gets priority either via the menu, or depending on which of the Ethernet switch ports you use on the router. Check your manual. That said, I suspect this has nothing to do with that.

    And I highly doubt it has anything to do with the fact you have an i7 either - EXCEPT that your i7 is likely coupled with lots of RAM and a decent graphics solution and together, your computer is simply using more bandwidth because your computer is demanding it. You may just need to buy more bandwidth.

    Connecting is not a problem. Your router will support 256 connected devices.

    Note, technically, there is no such thing as a "wireless router". That is a marketing term for an integrated network device that just happens to have a router, a WAP (wireless access point) and a 5-port Ethernet switch located on the same circuit board, sharing the same box and power supply.

    Note I said 5-port switch, not 4. You see 4 on the back of the router. The 5th is internal and used to connect the WAP to the router. This means all the wireless devices are sharing just one Ethernet port, and its bandwidth. Thus it may very well be your single wired device does see more bandwidth than the wireless.

    As a side note, if me, I would place a switch at about the 150 foot mark on that long cable.
     
  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @HandsOff

    What are the numbers, again?

    cable bandwidth: X Mbps down, Y Mbps up
    your i7 throughput: 20 Mbps down, Z Mbps up
    other WiFi devices: A Mbps down, B Mbps up

    You say CAT6. Are the LAN ports and your i7 NIC 1 Gbps?

    Is the WiFi 100 Mbps?

    Thanks.
     
  11. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Sorry to take so long to get back to you but, get this, one of mob that I described to you got drunk and cut my ethernet cable with wire cutters!
    I guess for now the possibility of reconnecting with the cable is out. I suspect that I could repair the cable if I wanted but this person is to ignorant and volatile to deal with at present.

    Thank you for your interest and comments, though. Especially of interest was the possibility of limiting the bandwidth used. I had been hoping I could use browser setting to set a limit on it, however, I am a loyal Firefox user and would not consider using Internet Explorer or other commercial browsers.

    Also, it is interesting what was said about the wireless users sharing one ethernet connection. My theory that adding me to the stack of users trying to connect to the wireless port would actually make it harder for other users to connect, however, it is complicated to me, and (what someone else mentioned) about simply taking measurements comes into play. This was, in fact, what I was trying to do. I knew from taking many tests with my original wireless setup that I was only getting around 768 kbs download speed compared to 20 mbs with my ethernet connection. however, the low rate was due to being at least 200 feet away and going through walls. I was interested in what the speed would be if I took my laptop within a few feet of the router, so as to test the wireless bandwidth. That is when the drunk guy spots me and (despite the fact that I am actually set up with my computer 20 feet away --- and obviously I would not need my computer there if I was plugging in the cable, since the point of plugging it in would be that I would not have to be near the router --- and pulls out a trusty pair of wire cutters and cuts my cable!

    BTW the things I do on the internet that probably do take a lot of bandwidth are watching Netflix, and occasionally using Googles free voice phone that you can use to call out on (Have you tried it? I like it a lot). My understanding is that Netflix at high definition only requires a speed of 2 mbs, however, you know how people like to use numbers. My personal observation is that Netflix will take a few seconds to download a 4 minute buffer, and that as you watch, if the connection is good, it maintains this buffer as you view. If your connection is bad, then it takes much longer than a few minutes, and the buffer is not maintained causing you to experience frequent pauses where you have to wait for more to download.
    The implication seems pretty clear. you may only need 1 or 2 mbs to watch the streaming HD content, however, if you have the bandwidth it uses much more than that speed while loading the video content buffer to your computer, though it only needs to do this for about 2 or 3 seconds, after which it won't need to exceed 1 or 2 mbs except very occasionally. Which is why my guess is that slowing my speed down is what will cause my computer to make constant requests to the router. Ironically, slowing me down would make it harder still for people to get online through the wireless.

    Well, i do appreciate all your thoughts, and I will get back to you with more questions and answers, however I am afraid by now you might be either laughing, crying, or shaking your head. In my own defense I can only say, "Hey, I just live here. I am just a guy trying to watch Lost, Family Guy, and Psych." Oops! Maybe I just hurt the ol' credibility, huh?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I would have called the cops! That's destruction of property and may involve some laws concerning disruption of communications too.

    You can "repair" Ethernet cables by slicing the cut ends together, but the connection will add resistance. Splicing is generally not recommended and a new cable is always best.

    Alternatively, if you can route the cables out of the wire cutters reach, you can just crimp RJ-45 connectors on each cut in and put a switch there.

    "Connecting" to your network is not the problem. It is sharing the bandwidth for data after connecting that's the issue. All wireless devices go through the same WAP and same switch port to the router.

    In the end, all the devices, wired and wireless, share the same "Internet" bandwidth.
     
  13. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    Thats what I thought and IMO it just sounds like the others are slower do to system specs and the technician feed them a line of BS.
     
  14. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Yeah, and then the slower Win 7 laptops and XP desktop won't have the processing power to render Flash and video content as efficiently as the Win 8 machine has, so this probably compounds the issue that the others, including the tech, may not realize.
     
  15. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi, I'm back to relay the next chapter in this adventure, and my take on the situation.

    Well, the last couple of days I broke my Hawking external usb adapter while attempting to elevate it to the top of a 20 foot tall mast that I erected. Not wanting to be without internet, I went to town and bought a fairly nice Belkin high performance dual band adapter. This adapter is omnidirectional, whereas the Hawking was an approximately 4 inch diameter dish which, of course works much better when aimed in the direction of the source signal. I did manage to get the Belkin adapter in place without breaking it (yet) and the results are interesting. Right now it is 9:48 PM, and I just did a couple of speed tests:
    I did one at "Speakeasy" and got a download speed of 4.18 mbs, and an upload speed of 7.44 mbs.
    I did two at CNet which seem to be composite speeds. the first was 10.1 mbs, and the second was 9.6 mbs.
    I did one test at Speedtest.net and got 14.32 download, and 7.77 mbs upload.

    All of those numbers seem quite good to me. In addition I just watched a couple episodes of Lost using Netflix and I did not get any of those annoying pauses in the episodes. However during the early evening before raising the usb adapter, I went up close, to try to check my email and I could not get online at all.

    I tend to think that the person who said that the problem was not not which connection was being used, but was how much bandwidth was being used. The reason why people stopped being able to connect after I installed my CAT6 cable I believe was that it was the that I started using the internet a lot. Before it was too slow, so I was hardly ever online. Another thing about cable broadband that I have heard is that the entire network becomes slower at peak usage times.

    Oh, I forgot to say, the same day that my cable was cut, someone followed my advice and separated the Verizon cell phone repeater by getting a longer ethernet cable so that it could be situated 25 feet away from the router, as the manual says it should be. Sadly, with my cable cut only a few hours later, we lost the chance to see if that makes a major difference. All I know is that just prior to installing my new, as I like to call it, "Tower of Power", I was told by none other that the guy that cut the cable, that "Everyone was happy now." I was so amazed by this clueless comment that I didn't even state the obvious exception to happy people majority.

    Anyway, for those who have stuck with me this far, I am going to attempt to let you know how happy everyone is in a few days. I have a feeling I know, and that is to a great extent to our discussion here. I believe my new connection is not as strong at the cable connection. Enough so that it limits the amount of bandwidth that I can take. However, if inability of the router to meet demand is the problem, then what should happen is pretty much the same as before. People will have a hard time getting online, but I, with 8 gigabytes of RAM, an NVidia GTX 660m, and a Core i7 processor will probably have less problems than the others. Only now I can sit here 200 feet away where they can't effect me!

    -HandsOff!
     
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