Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:30 Post subject: NAT Router Throughput and Wireless-N questions
Before I ask my question, here is the background. Recently Comcast upgraded me to 75 Mbps service. I connected my laptop directly to the modem and used a speed testing website and got ~80 Mbps - great. My laptop's interface is only 10/100. Now I connected through my WRT54G v4 and got ~50 Mbps. My conclusion is that the bottleneck in this case is the processing power of the WRT54G and not the 100Mbps limitation of the ethernet ports. Am I correct?
So I was looking to find a faster router. Unfortunately the processing speed is not a metric they include in the specs. In the Wiki I got the models WRT350N and WRT600N. I know they support Gigabit and wireless N but will they fix my throughput bottleneck?
Finally, I'm confused about the wireless N standard: I know G goes up to 54Mbps, but although both of these models support the N protocol, their wireless speed is still specified as 54Mbps. So then what's the point of having N? I'm sure this is a dumb question, but what I've read so far only seems to muddle things up.
Yes, you are right that the NAT throughput depends on the processor power of the router and sometimes also depends on whether it has hardware accelerated NAT. As for wireless N standard, theoretically the max speed is 72M for 1 stream (1 antenna) and 20MHz bandwidth. With 2 antennas and MIMO, the speed is doubled and with 40MHz bandwidth, it is further doubled to 300M max. Check this wiki for more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11
As for the WRT350N and WRT600N routers, they are 2006~2007 models which are obsoleted long time ago. I don't understand why you pick those models. They have 300MHz processor which is very slow in nowadays standard. Your 75M Internet service deserve a better router. Unless you are on a tight budget, you better get a router such as Netgear R7000. For tighter budget, get a TP-Link router such as C5 or C7. Or wait for Christmas sales as it is not too far away. Anyway, just my suggestion, you probably have your own reason.
Wow thank you for the quick response and the recommendations. I checked the models that you recommended against the dd-wrt router database and couldn't find them listed there. Is this a problem?
I like some features of dd-wrt, more specifically the SSH protocol support and generally availability of unix tools. But ultimately the thing that matters the most is the ability to open and remap certain ports so I can run a server behind the firewall that offers IMAPS, SSH, and HTTP/HTTPS services. Would the native OEM firmware work for that?
Thank you for pointing me to the right place to read about the 802.11 standards - I now have a much better understanding.