Home network question

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Charles L. Cotton
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Home network question

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:24 am

We have a combination of wired computers and wireless laptops and other devices. We recently switched form Uverse to Comcast and had/have a problem with the Cisco router and our VoIP phones. Here is a very short version of a long story.

Comcast uses a very good Cisco router, but it doesn't play well with the Nextiva VoIP service. (Changing to another VoIP service is not an option.) Due to a setting that cannot be changed in the Cisco router, the phones are repeatedly losing network connection and go through an automatic reboot. This happens several times a day. Nextiva recommended a few different routers, so I chose the Netgear WRN3500Lv2. The Cisco router was put in bridge mode and the Ethernet computers and phones are connected to the Netgear router. Everything is working fine and the phones are not losing the network.

Here's the problem. When using the Cisco router, the Internet download speeds on both the wired computers and the wireless devices was around 88Mbs and upload speeds were 5+Mbs. With the Netgear router, the wired download and upload speeds are remain the same. However, the wireless download speed is atrocious at 1.0 Mbs, while the upload speed remains 5+Mbs. I tried my laptop standing about 10 feet from the Netgear router and the download speed went up to 12Mbs. This is not acceptable because I use my laptop downstairs extensively during the evening and we stream movies to the TV through a dedicated wireless laptop.

Here's my question: I know double netting is frowned upon and Nextiva says doing so with the VoIP phones will cause major problems. Here is my proposed solution and I'd appreciate some of you experts chiming in with your thoughts.
    1. Leave the Cisco router in bridge mode with a single cable going to the Netgear router;
    2. Turn wireless off on the Netgear router and use it solely for the wired computers, the homeserver and VoIP phones via Ethernet cables;
    3. Get a separate wireless router to use solely for the wireless laptops and other wireless devices like phones, tablets, etc. (This router would be connected to the Internet via the Cisco router through an Ethernet cable.)

Nextiva tech support thinks this should work fine, so long as the phones are not part of the second network.

If this will work, the only downside I can see is that the wireless laptops will not have access to the devices on the home network (Windows Home Server and network printers). Neither of these is a deal-breaker if the system will otherwise work and give back the fast download speeds. Obviously, the proposed new wireless router will need to have good performance specs. The Cisco router has both 2.4 MHz and 5 MHz routers and since the download speeds are fast with it everywhere in the house, I would look for something similar.

So computer/network experts, what do you think?
Chas.
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dave_in_austin
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Re: Home network question

Postby dave_in_austin » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:36 am

You might first look at changing the channel the Netgear is using. There may be interference from other devices and some channels may give better throughput. Also, be sure the wireless is turned off on the Cisco device.

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Re: Home network question

Postby Pawpaw » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:37 am

That Netgear router is open source. You might find a fix for your problem at the community website.

http://myopenrouter.com
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Re: Home network question

Postby Pawpaw » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:47 am

Another issue, since your laptop works well close to the router, could be that you're bumping heads with other routers using the same or a close channel.

You can download a freeware version of inssider and see if you have any conflicts. If necessary, you can change the channel your router is using to one that has less interference.
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Re: Home network question

Postby bblhd672 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:47 am

I have configured and installed hundreds of Sonicwall devices into customer locations. A business class device such as this, compared to a consumer class device like the Netgear, will have greater throughput. On a multilevel house, you may have to use multiple access points to have solid wireless connections on all levels, however a Sonicwall with wireless built in has greater signal strength than consumer wireless. Another plus on a business class device is that it usually has better security and controls. The downside is you would need someone versed in whatever business class device you buy to configure it properly for your VOIP and other networking needs.
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Re: Home network question

Postby bblhd672 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:49 am

Pawpaw wrote:Another issue, since your laptop works well close to the router, could be that you're bumping heads with other routers using the same or a close channel.

You can download a freeware version of inssider and see if you have any conflicts. If necessary, you can change the channel your router is using to one that has less interference.


:iagree: Since most consumers don't do much more than unbox, plug it and start using their devices - rarely does the default wireless channel get changed - thus you and all your neighbors may be trying to use the same wireless channel.
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Re: Home network question

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:43 pm

After two hours on the phone with Netgear tech support, it appears that there is a hardware problem with the Netgear router. I said I suspected that at the beginning of the conversation, since no router should see an 87 percent drop in speed when going from a wired connection to wireless. Oh well, I'll send this one back and try another. If I still don't get the speed I'm getting with the Cisco router from Comcast, I'll give my idea a try.

Thanks for the input guys.
Chas.
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Re: Home network question

Postby uthornsfan » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:37 pm

What is the model of the comcast router?

Most likely you need to turn off SIP ALG on the ISP equipment, even if it is in bridged mode.

I would recommend you just purchase your own motorola modem and then run whatever router/firewall you want.

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Re: Home network question

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:56 pm

uthornsfan wrote:What is the model of the comcast router?

Most likely you need to turn off SIP ALG on the ISP equipment, even if it is in bridged mode.

I would recommend you just purchase your own motorola modem and then run whatever router/firewall you want.

Correct, the SIP ALG must be disabled, but that can't be done on the Cisco router Comcast uses. Nextiva tech support tried (me too) and it can't be done.

I was told by Comcast that I must use their modem/router. Is that correct? I would prefer to buy my own equipment.

Chas.

Edited: Comcast now agrees that I can use any modem that is compatible.
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Re: Home network question

Postby uthornsfan » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:38 pm

Fyi for anyone reading this.

No ISP can force you to use or rent their equipment. Many have been sued and have been forced to pay fines for this practice. Unless it is free, it is almost always better to purchase and use your own equipment.

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Re: Home network question

Postby Syntyr » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:11 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
uthornsfan wrote:What is the model of the comcast router?

Most likely you need to turn off SIP ALG on the ISP equipment, even if it is in bridged mode.

I would recommend you just purchase your own motorola modem and then run whatever router/firewall you want.

Correct, the SIP ALG must be disabled, but that can't be done on the Cisco router Comcast uses. Nextiva tech support tried (me too) and it can't be done.

I was told by Comcast that I must use their modem/router. Is that correct? I would prefer to buy my own equipment.

Chas


You can definetly use your own equipment. If you go to your own router make sure comcast stops charging the 10 monthly fee to rent theirs.

I use a netgear n600 to do the modem side of the equation. I have wireless turned off. I then pass the signal via cat6 network cable over to my asus rt-n66u and let it handle firewall, wifi and networking. Subnetting shouldnt be a problem i run 3 different subnets in my house. One for the tvs, dvrs, thermostats, garage door opener etc. The one for our computers, laptops, phones and a third for our security sysyem. I have 3400 square feet 2 story house and get 50 mbps everywhere.
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Re: Home network question

Postby Russell » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:20 pm

If I read this properly, it sounds like you have separate subnets for the wired and wireless side. You don't have to have separate subnets on your home network. Here's what I have going on for mine:

* AT&T Router / Gateway - handles my public IP, as well as DHCP for the rest of my network
* Wireless router in the bedroom - DHCP turned OFF and the ethernet cable plugged into port 1 on the router (not the Internet port, but the standard wired LAN ports) into a standard wired LAN port on the AT&T gateway.
* Wireless router in the office - Same setup - DHCP off and ethernet plugged into port 1 to another LAN port on the AT&T gateway

This allows you to maintain a single flat network, as your ISP router will handle all addressing and the wireless routers will act like a "dumb" access point as opposed to trying to handle addressing and routing on their end as well.

I use this wireless router for my home office. Excellent performance and stability, and offers dual 5Ghz/2.4Ghz: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0143HBZMW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The 5Ghz spectrum isn't nearly as crowded as the 2.4Ghz is. If your electronics offer it, I would move as much over to 5Ghz as you can if you haven't already.
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