Router question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TheRealColbert, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Years ago I used an ethernet hub to network my computers. When I got a notebook, I got a wireless router instead. When I used the hub, each computer would get a unique IP address from the cable co. Now the router gets one, and distributes it. (Subnet, maybe? I don't know) Anyways, I am concerned lately that my bandwidth is being throttled from the cable company. When I have a big download, it slows to a crawl after a while, to the point where other computers on the network can barely surf with a web browser. My cable co allows 3 unique IP's with my current plan. If I get my computers on running on different IP's, do you think my performance will improve?

    If so, what is the best way to achieve this? My hub is from the '90s, but maybe it is as good as it ever was.

  2. You sure it's a hub and not a switch?
  3. Yes, it says it is a 10base-T ethernet hub.
  4. Sintax


    The if you are indeed using a hub rather than a switch, that could very well be your problem. A hub simply replicates and passes along frames that are sent into it. It does not take into account whether or not other computers are attempting to "talk" at the same time. This can cause collisions. If frames collide they need to be resent, thus slowing down performance, proportional to the number of clients on the hub.

    A switch is like a hub with a traffic cop in it. It will take into account other clients that are trying to send data simultaneously, and assign priority in order to avoid collisions. Less collisions, less bad frames, faster performance. Switches have pretty much replaced hubs because of this.

    No guarantee, but a $50 netgear or linksys switch could solve your problem.
  5. ET873


    Maybe it's your router's firmware:

    Good firmware if your router supports it.
  6. Thanks for the replies. I should say that I am not having any "problems", per se. I am not currently using the hub and my wireless router works like it is supposed to. (I would hook up the hub just to test it, but I lost the power adapter)

    My interest in going back to the hub is just to evade bandwidth throttling by my ISP. When I am not being throttled, it all runs fast. (If I am, in fact, being throttled. It might just me that my ISP is sucking lately) In addition, I might be mistaken in my premise that having a separate address for each computer will help. They might be more sophisticated than than.

    If I decide to experiment, I will get a switch and toss the hub.
  7. JackR



    Confirm that the cable-company provided router has a number of different ports to which you are connecting each computer. If so, the router is assigning a different IP address to each computer and a hub will not help as the router is (more or less) acting as the switch described above by the Sintax. You can confirm this by accessing the router and there should be a page listing all DHCP addresses assigned. You access the router through your browser by typing the router's address in the browser. If you don't know the address open a CMD box (Run CMD). Ten type "ipconfig /all". Look for the Default Gateway address. That should be the router in your system.

    You have a wireless router. Are you using the wireless capability? If so, is it encrypted (WEP, WPA, etc.). If you have not enabled the encryption (they come defaulted off) someone may be piggybacking on your connection and slowing things down. You should see such a connection in the DHCP listing if it is active or if it got a "lease" and the lease is still active even if the intruder is currently off-line. Disable the wireless or encrypt it.

    The router should also have a page showing your connection speed. This can be misleading as the speed shown is typically the fastest the link can operate, not the actual uplink/downlink performance. You could try turning the router off about 30 seconds and turning it back on. Recheck the speed. Sometimes when there are problems the modem side of the router will reconnect at a slower speed and continue to run at the slower speed. Does not sound like your problem but you can never tell. It's like rebooting Windows.

  8. Lucky


    Does your big download slow down too?
    If so, you're probably getting throttled.

    If not, your big download is probably choking out the other computers' bandwidth.
    Getting a router with QoS would help.

    I doubt your ISP is dumb enough to allocate bandwidth per IP, but you can always try your multiple IPs thing to see if it works...