Modifying my home network

Vortex

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So funny story. I spent a couple hours this morning troubleshooting why I couldn’t download faster than 90 Mbps.

I used to have 275 Mb down with Xfinity and since 90 was fast enough for what I needed, I always wrote it off as “meh, Comcast sucks.”

I upgraded my modem today to gigabit mainly for faster uploads. My upload speeds jumped from 12 Mb to 35-40, but download speeds stayed capped at 90. Wtf... I’m running gigabit everywhere and have no problem transferring files around my home network at gigabit speeds.

Well after a couple hours of troubleshooting and phone calls, I figured out it was the Ethernet cable that runs between the cable modem and my router. It’s a Cat 5E cable according to the sheathing, but it only had 4 wires at the connectors! No wonder!

57E83096-B354-4B39-9DDF-68AB5A45530C.jpeg


I swapped it out for a better cable and now it's all good.

I get 1.0 Gb down at the router which is amazing. Passing through my WiFi router's ethernet switch, it drops to 650. Hopefully the Orbi's ethernet allows me to still get full speeds when I run through it. That's still plenty in practice, but hey, it'd be nice to get the full speeds I'm paying for. :)

That cable... What a stupid reason to have all my downloads bottlenecked, haha.
 
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STS-134

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So funny story. I spent a couple hours this morning troubleshooting why I couldn’t download faster than 90 Mbps.

I used to have 275 Mb down with Xfinity and since 90 was fast enough for what I needed, I always wrote it off as “meh, Comcast sucks.”

I upgraded my modem today to gigabit mainly for faster uploads. My upload speeds jumped from 12 Mb to 35-40, but download speeds stayed capped at 90. Wtf... I’m running gigabit everywhere and have no problem transferring files around my home network at gigabit speeds.

Well after a couple hours of troubleshooting and phone calls, I figured out it was the Ethernet cable that runs between the cable modem and my router. It’s a Cat 5E cable according to the sheathing, but it only had 4 wires at the connectors! No wonder!

View attachment 148222

I swapped it out for a better cable and now it's all good.

I get 1.0 Gb down at the router which is amazing. Passing through my WiFi router's ethernet switch, it drops to 650. Hopefully the Orbi's ethernet allows me to still get full speeds when I run through it. That's still plenty in practice, but hey, it'd be nice to get the full speeds I'm paying for. :)

That cable... What a stupid reason to have all my downloads bottlenecked, haha.
Did Comcast give you the CBR (aka "Comcast Business Router") modem? It looks like this and has CBR-T/CGA4131COM written on the bottom.

comcast_business_cbr_image.png


This thing is what they apparently use for gigabit. They tried to push me onto one of these devices when I upgraded my plan (though not all the way to gigabit) and I quickly found out that these things are pieces of junk. They will give other devices blocks of IP addresses via DHCPv6-PD, but won't actually route to those addresses...meaning that my IPv6 configuration was completely broken, and they had no plan or timeline for fixing the firmware. So, I had to go through a 2-3 week process that involved 3 different technicians visiting before they finally were able to figure out how to get their systems to allow them to swap this thing out for their older brand of modem (on which DHCPv6-PD and routing works properly).
 

Vortex

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Oh wow, that's messed up.

I've always used my own modems that I purchase separately so I don't have to pay the monthly fee. Up until now I'd been using an Arris SB6190 that I picked up used from @sdrawkcaB and it's been great. I was wanting to stick with it, even if it couldn't do full gigabit speeds, but Xfinity wasn't able to upgrade my service if I stuck with the modem so I just upgraded to the SB8200 to get DOCSIS 3.1.

That IPV6 assignment problem sounds like a headache and I'm surprised it was even an issue in the first place.
 

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So many complications and suggestions. I am lucky we have FIOS so I can connect Verizon's own router to ONT, then connect a 16-port Netgear switch with PoE to router and for all Wi-Fi needs connect Netgear WAC540 wifi AP to the switch. This AP covers all 3 floors of the house and has 3 radios (one 2.4Ghz and 2 separate 5 Ghz band radios) and does not need controller software running on some other device like Ubiquiti's stuff. As a person who had many issues with Ubiquiti's firmware (they always introduce more bugs with each new firmware release) I am glad I switched to Netgear.
 

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Oh wow, that's messed up.

I've always used my own modems that I purchase separately so I don't have to pay the monthly fee. Up until now I'd been using an Arris SB6190 that I picked up used from @sdrawkcaB and it's been great. I was wanting to stick with it, even if it couldn't do full gigabit speeds, but Xfinity wasn't able to upgrade my service if I stuck with the modem so I just upgraded to the SB8200 to get DOCSIS 3.1.

That IPV6 assignment problem sounds like a headache and I'm surprised it was even an issue in the first place.
Yeah, it's really messed up. And, I don't have the option to use my own modem because I have static IP addresses https://business.comcast.com/help-and-support/internet/use-your-own-comcast-business-modem-device/
 

sdrawkcaB

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Oh wow, that's messed up.

I've always used my own modems that I purchase separately so I don't have to pay the monthly fee. Up until now I'd been using an Arris SB6190 that I picked up used from @sdrawkcaB and it's been great. I was wanting to stick with it, even if it couldn't do full gigabit speeds, but Xfinity wasn't able to upgrade my service if I stuck with the modem so I just upgraded to the SB8200 to get DOCSIS 3.1.

That IPV6 assignment problem sounds like a headache and I'm surprised it was even an issue in the first place.
@Vortex - That seems a little odd that they wouldn't let you upgrade service. That modem with DOCSIS 3.0 and bonded at 32 x 8 channels can actually reach 1.4Gbps down on the coax side. Terribly sorry that they forced you off of it. I suppose put it up for sale while it's still worth something. I expected they would continue supporting DOCSIS 3.0. I've gotten lots of bad information from Comcast reps over the years and had to go to their "Security Team" which is where their seasoned network engineers work, and can help out with more advanced technical issues like confirming DOCSIS provisioning files are good, removing outbound and inbound port filtering such as port 25 for hosting SMTP services, and etc.
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That cable... What a stupid reason to have all my downloads bottlenecked, haha.
Now we'll be able to hopefully watch your live weekend streams uninterrupted :D
 
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STS-134

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Rossm812

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Funny I catch this post today...

CenturyLink just upgraded us to gigabit synchronous fiber (1 gig up and down) ...

I just ordered an Edgerouter from ubiquiti and some of their Unifi AP HD Nano access points. I have a decent asus router that was $275 new and it just doesn't seem to be up to the task.

I'll be dumping the CL Gateway and connecting the Edgerouter directly to the ONT with the settings necessary to handle the connectivity configuration.

It should be a lot more robust network and the router has some basic firewall configuration.

The consumer level mesh stuff will likely be easier to configure for you if you don't have a lot of experience with setting up things in either CLI or an advanced GUI

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

R4D4RUS3R

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So funny story. I spent a couple hours this morning troubleshooting why I couldn’t download faster than 90 Mbps.

I used to have 275 Mb down with Xfinity and since 90 was fast enough for what I needed, I always wrote it off as “meh, Comcast sucks.”

I upgraded my modem today to gigabit mainly for faster uploads. My upload speeds jumped from 12 Mb to 35-40, but download speeds stayed capped at 90. Wtf... I’m running gigabit everywhere and have no problem transferring files around my home network at gigabit speeds.

Well after a couple hours of troubleshooting and phone calls, I figured out it was the Ethernet cable that runs between the cable modem and my router. It’s a Cat 5E cable according to the sheathing, but it only had 4 wires at the connectors! No wonder!

View attachment 148222

I swapped it out for a better cable and now it's all good.

I get 1.0 Gb down at the router which is amazing. Passing through my WiFi router's ethernet switch, it drops to 650. Hopefully the Orbi's ethernet allows me to still get full speeds when I run through it. That's still plenty in practice, but hey, it'd be nice to get the full speeds I'm paying for. :)

That cable... What a stupid reason to have all my downloads bottlenecked, haha.
You might have had a cable issue but those are the only 4 wires used in the ethernet cable (pins 1-2-4-5) and 5E is enough to support a gigabit connection so long as it is not more than about 1000 feet in length.
 

Vortex

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You might have had a cable issue but those are the only 4 wires used in the ethernet cable (pins 1-2-4-5) and 5E is enough to support a gigabit connection so long as it is not more than about 1000 feet in length.
Really? I thought that that wiring configuration was limited to 10/100. When I swapped the cable out for an 8 wire one (the cable was maybe 3 feet long), my speeds jumped to gigabit instantly.
 

R4D4RUS3R

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Really? I thought that that wiring configuration was limited to 10/100. When I swapped the cable out for an 8 wire one (the cable was maybe 3 feet long), my speeds jumped to gigabit instantly.
Yea, you may have found a bad cable. I misspoke earlier. Pins 1-2-3-6 are the only pins used for the network connection. Pins 7-8 are used for power over ethernet. Pins 4-5 are used for voice connections and in the case of detectors, power. Ha.
Sorry I misspoke earlier, I have many years of cable experience but moved into mgmt years ago and seems I‘m a bit rusty.

Gigabit networking was out prior to the CAT6 standards. 10/100 limitation would be for more a CAT3 cable. Even then, I have used a single CAT3 to supply networking and two phone lines. Not perfect with the crosstalk but it worked in the office I was in many years ago.
 
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dcova

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I concur with the explanation by R4D4RUS3R. Nice job. I believe the old cable that vortex replaced was just a wimpy CAT 5 cable. And, just for kicks, here is a pic of my over-the-top insane home network.

Cheers
 

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That looks great! I love the short cables too. :)

Yeah I’m not sure what was up with my wonky cable. It explicitly said Cat 5E in it and I got rid of any remaining Cat 5 cables ages ago. Maybe it was a cheapy mislabeled cable? Oh well... :)
 

PY004

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1000Base-T cannot work over 4 pins. The standard dictates 4 pairs of differential lanes which means you need all 8 pins in order to send data. PoE is sent over 4 of those pins overlapping with the data.

1000Base-T will work on Cat 5e up to 300ft.

So a CAT5e cable with only 4 pins will not work on gigabit.
 

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I concur with the explanation by R4D4RUS3R. Nice job. I believe the old cable that vortex replaced was just a wimpy CAT 5 cable. And, just for kicks, here is a pic of my over-the-top insane home network.

Cheers
Here is my over the top home network... For wifi I have 5 Nest WiFi Routers all wired over cat 6 cable.

@PY004 is correct you need 8 wires to get gigabit speeds.
20200523_155024.jpg


Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk
 
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dcova

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I stand corrected. The explanation by PY004 (Gigabit requires 4 pairs) is best.
Cheers
 

CobawLT2010

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Since this has turned into a my home network thread. I have a fortigate 60e with dual WAN’s. Primary WAN is 200/200 fiber and secondary WAN is a 25/2 cable line. I am running HP pro curve gig switches and two unifi AC pro AP’s.
 

R4D4RUS3R

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I stand corrected. The explanation by PY004 (Gigabit requires 4 pairs) is best.
Cheers
agree as well that my info was a bit out of date. I only use 8 pin cables but it used to be the case that only two pair were needed for data. I would not have used a 4 wire cable but good info to know. I would like to be able to go back and revise my post but its too old now.
 

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So my Orbi mesh system (I ordered a refurbed RBR50 with one WiFi router and two additional satellites) arrived on Friday and I've set it up and been playing with it ever since. It's pretty awesome!

I love having strong coverage all throughout the house now, fast speeds, and reliable connectivity once again. Setup was super easy, it automatically took care of the wired backhaul setup, and I love the extra granular control both in the app and through a browser to name and keep track of all my devices, see what's connected where, and basically map out my entire network.

One little quirk is that it uses just one SSID for both 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi. I've been using separate SSID's before this and so I've spent a number of hours this weekend migrating all my 2.4 GHz devices over to the 5 GHz SSID (which now transmits on both frequencies), even if the device itself only supports 2.4 GHz. It took a fair amount of resetting and reconfiguring for any 2.4 GHz smart plugs, Alexas that were on 2.4, cameras, my printer, and everything else throughout the house.

I've finished migrated everything that I can over to 5 GHz now and I'm liking how my WiFi cameras are more responsive. I also found out which devices only support 2.4 GHz, including some devices I didn't expect like the Apple Watch. Some devices still choose 2.4 automatically instead of 5, but they usually switch over. It's usually just Alexas and whatnot so I'm not too concerned. Most everything, including all my high bandwidth devices, are now set up on 5.

In my office I used to get about 650 Mbit over the wired connection through my old AP's. Now I get 750 Mb to 1 Gb which is a welcome improvement.

WiFi speeds are maybe 60-160 Mbit in the house over 5 GHz, even right by one of the satellites. That's slower than I was hoping, but still works okay for browsing, streaming, etc. I'll still need to plug in for editing videos and anything that requires heavy lifting, but it looks like it's solved my reliability issues throughout the house which I'm very happy with.

Thanks so much for the suggestions and recommendations! I'm much happier with this setup than what I was using before with 3 separate AP's all sharing the same SSID's.
 
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STS-134

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One little quirk is that it uses just one SSID for both 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi. I've been using separate SSID's before this and so I've spent a number of hours this weekend migrating all my 2.4 GHz devices over to the 5 GHz SSID (which now transmits on both frequencies), even if the device itself only supports 2.4 GHz. It took a fair amount of resetting and reconfiguring for any 2.4 GHz smart plugs, Alexas that were on 2.4, cameras, my printer, and everything else throughout the house.
Ugh, that's going to cause additional problems, due to stupid implementations on some client devices. Ideally, you'll want an SSID that's shared between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, as well as a 5 GHz-only and a 2.4 GHz-only SSID. I run all 3 types across both bands, and here's why:

1. For clients that have a sensible implementation (prioritize 5 GHz SSID if available, connect to 2.4 GHz if 5 GHz is weak or unavailable), I give them only the SSID shared across both bands. This includes all Android and iOS devices.

2. For clients that have a poor implementation of roaming between bands (like Mac OS), I give them the SSIDs unique to each band and set the priority of the 5 GHz band higher than that of the 2.4 GHz band. If I switch on the WiFi within range of the 5 GHz SSID, they'll connect to that. But if I switch on the WiFi out of range of the 5 GHz SSID, they'll connect to the 2.4 GHz SSID. Having both SSIDs allows me to force them to connect to the 5 GHz SSID if I go within range of it after previously being out of range of it. Had I given them the SSID that's shared across both bands, I would not only not have an easy way to see which band they are connected to (except by going to About This Mac->System Report->WiFi), but also no way to force connection to the other band except by turning WiFi off and then back on again...and then I'd have to verify bands by the procedure I already mentioned.
 

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