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Do I Need a New Router or Modem? (1 Viewer)

John Dirk

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Mike. I suggested that particular dongle because it was available at Staples and I figured you wanted something right away. Given the results I would recommend returning it and [if you want] ordering a similar dongle from eBay. They're available there for about $10.00.

As others have already mentioned 50Mbps is a perfectly usable Internet speed for practically anything you're likely to be doing in a home environment except perhaps gaming.
 

David Norman

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David Norman:

Nah. I'm not a gamer and don't use my laptop to stream or anything.

But my webpages (on places like this forum) don't pop up quickly. There's a few second lag. And weirdly, things like calling up the emoji list can take several seconds. Compared to her laptop and my work desktop, there's an annoying difference.

I think I'll be keeping the USB stick as it gets me more than what I'd have otherwise--and onto the 5G. Besides our laptops, everything else in the house will likely be on the 2.4G.

I had dinner at my son's house tonight and he impressed me with his speeds via Verizon FIOS: 300+ on BOTH download and upload! :oops:

Like Dave said, the emoji list and most website lag may not be the Internet speed unless you are on site heavily photo laden or complex graphics.

I know this kind of lag used to be RAM hungry computers though it looks like from teh prior link 16GB which is pretty strong

Do you have a lot of background programs loaded - right click on task bar (or ctrl-alt-delete) and start task manager and you should see how much RAM or CPU resources are being used at any given moment. When I was the Family fixit guy, I was shocked how often 80% of the computer was running garbage programs or preloading stuff that was never used -- shut all that stuff down and the computer would act like it was on Crack for a month until they reloaded everything I'd taken off and most of it on stuff they NEVER used. I'm pretty paranoid about keeping my background programs to a minimum. Nobody here would allow that, but it's amazing how much stuff creeps in over time. Chrome Browser is a memory hog to say the least -- it's better now than it was in the past, but still sucks up power. Some of the Anitvirus programs are awful

A program like ccleaner is easy to get tp look at the startup programs being loaded -- many of them totally unneeded. Disable as many as make sense and reboot to see if is acts better. Pretty much I leave my security programs at startup and turn off just about everything else. TaskManager Startup tab gives a quick idea of what;s running
Easy enough to turn things back on if you need later.
 
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Johnny Angell

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David Norman:

Nah. I'm not a gamer and don't use my laptop to stream or anything.

But my webpages (on places like this forum) don't pop up quickly. There's a few second lag. And weirdly, things like calling up the emoji list can take several seconds. Compared to her laptop and my work desktop, there's an annoying difference.

I think I'll be keeping the USB stick as it gets me more than what I'd have otherwise--and onto the 5G. Besides our laptops, everything else in the house will likely be on the 2.4G.

I had dinner at my son's house tonight and he impressed me with his speeds via Verizon FIOS: 300+ on BOTH download and upload! :oops:
I have run a speed test and gotten over 200 mbps (I’m paying for 200) via wifi on my iPad Pro. I then immediately go to HTF and it doesn’t POP. It doesn’t drag, but there’s not the response you would expect. However it is better than when I was getting speeds in the 20’s. Other sites do POP like yahoo, for instance. The moral of the story is don’t use the HTF to judge your speed.
 

John Dirk

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The moral of the story is don’t use the HTF to judge your speed.

Exactly but to be fair, you shouldn't use any single site to judge your speed. The speed test sites will even produce varying results based on factors like the load on their servers at any given time and the path your traffic takes there and back. Any ISP will tell you that actual speeds are never guaranteed but when you're getting significantly different speeds from devices on the same network there is opportunity for improvement. In this case I think even Mike knows the best solution would be a new laptop but as several of us have also pointed out, in practical terms, 30 - 50 Mbps should be fine for a typical home laptop so there is no reason to upgrade unless maximum speed is a priority. It would be for me but I'm a little obsessive when it comes to my tech.
 

DaveF

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And in this case it appears that the "upgrade" needed isn't home internet or home modem / router, but new laptop? Because the wife's laptop can do full 100Mbps speed they pay for? And adding USB wifi dinguses aren't really doing much?
 

Dave Upton

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And in this case it appears that the "upgrade" needed isn't home internet or home modem / router, but new laptop? Because the wife's laptop can do full 100Mbps speed they pay for? And adding USB wifi dinguses aren't really doing much?
Yes, more or less.
 

Dave Upton

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Exactly but to be fair, you shouldn't use any single site to judge your speed. The speed test sites will even produce varying results based on factors like the load on their servers at any given time and the path your traffic takes there and back. Any ISP will tell you that actual speeds are never guaranteed but when you're getting significantly different speeds from devices on the same network there is opportunity for improvement. In this case I think even Mike knows the best solution would be a new laptop but as several of us have also pointed out, in practical terms, 30 - 50 Mbps should be fine for a typical home laptop so there is no reason to upgrade unless maximum speed is a priority. It would be for me but I'm a little obsessive when it comes to my tech.

HTF is actually pretty fast as forums go. Particularly if you're a premium member without any ads. Unfortunately, we have bills to pay and have to deal with that factor, which is very frustrating as we can't get at networks to be as concerned about performance as we are.

HTF is certainly much faster now than a couple of years ago at least!
 

DaveF

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And even super wealthy, super huge companies like Apple can have weirdly slow websites and stores at times.

I've found checking Google.com or a couple other small, always-fast websites, are my sanity checks when websites don't load. It tells me if it's me or them. If google loads fast, then Twitter (or whomever) is having problems. If Google doesn't load, then I'm having problems.
 

John Dirk

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And even super wealthy, super huge companies like Apple can have weirdly slow websites and stores at times.

I've found checking Google.com or a couple other small, always-fast websites, are my sanity checks when websites don't load. It tells me if it's me or them. If google loads fast, then Twitter (or whomever) is having problems. If Google doesn't load, then I'm having problems.

You said "even super wealthy, super huge companies like Apple can have weirdly slow websites and stores at times" and then you named [super huge and wealthy] Google.com as one of your reference sites. Huh??? :oops:

But seriously, regardless of the actual source of Internet bottlenecks, the only one we have any control over is our home networks. Anything beyond that will require a call to your ISP or a site administrator. Many newer routers also have an Internet speed test feature baked into their Admin utilities.
 

John Dirk

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HTF is actually pretty fast as forums go. Particularly if you're a premium member without any ads. Unfortunately, we have bills to pay and have to deal with that factor, which is very frustrating as we can't get at networks to be as concerned about performance as we are.

HTF is certainly much faster now than a couple of years ago at least!

No complaints here. Interesting though how the Internet has evolved to use redirects for ads whereas other mediums [TV, radio] have the ads stored locally under their own roof and served up as scheduled. Maybe one day the Internet will adopt a similar model.
 

Mike Frezon

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Many newer routers also have an Internet speed test feature baked into their Admin utilities.

My new Netgear Nighthawk AC 1750 does! I wish I was getting these numbers on my laptop! :D

full
 

JediFonger

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i assume your issue is resolved at this point mike? i quickly scanned the post and it looks like you are basically all set.

a couple of pointers:
-direct wired connection to the modem should get you the max bandwidth of whatever you are supposed to be paying for. cat 5, 5e, 6, 6e, 7, etc. shouldn't matter much for 100M. it's 1Gbps that you should pay more attention to, but even then i've had cat 5 (none e) version work in a jiffy. so the cabling is just a bunch of malarky.

-if you upgrade wifi, try to make sure it conforms to 802.11ac wave 2 standards (wifi6 standard includes this spec), preferably mesh network, that is the most impactful to everyone on a practical scale. it allows more concurrent users access to your wifi services with minimal performance hit. it does cost a bit though and you may need to run physical wires to all the various end points... but imho well worth it.

-down the road if you feel adventurous, you can built your own router, the performance between that and all other consumer-based routers is night/day: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/04/the-ars-guide-to-building-a-linux-router-from-scratch/

on a plus side you get almost enterprise feature/grade features/protection.

i run opnsense myself and mostly wired connection through out my devices and there is 0 lag across many rooms/multiple devices :)

-for older laptops, it varies from vendor to vendor, but in general you can purchase intel pcie cards to get the performance boost you want:

the issue is sometimes vendor dont whitelist specific model#s so it may require some driver hacking to work... or it can get dicey in general. pcie bypasses any usb latency that may or may not exist (even on usb3 standards). i haven't done extensive research yet myself, but in the past usb2 had additional latency/performance issues for wifi adapters vs. pcie-based plugs.

-cable modems: https://approvedmodemlist.com/comcast-xfinity-approved-modems/
just make sure you dont get ♦ Indicates an Intel Puma Chipset Defect – Do Not Buy
that's a physical defect no amount of firmware can fix.

SB8200 for example doesn't have this issue and can accommodate 3.1 docsis
 

Dave Upton

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i assume your issue is resolved at this point mike? i quickly scanned the post and it looks like you are basically all set.

a couple of pointers:
-direct wired connection to the modem should get you the max bandwidth of whatever you are supposed to be paying for. cat 5, 5e, 6, 6e, 7, etc. shouldn't matter much for 100M. it's 1Gbps that you should pay more attention to, but even then i've had cat 5 (none e) version work in a jiffy. so the cabling is just a bunch of malarky.

-if you upgrade wifi, try to make sure it conforms to 802.11ac wave 2 standards (wifi6 standard includes this spec), preferably mesh network, that is the most impactful to everyone on a practical scale. it allows more concurrent users access to your wifi services with minimal performance hit. it does cost a bit though and you may need to run physical wires to all the various end points... but imho well worth it.

-down the road if you feel adventurous, you can built your own router, the performance between that and all other consumer-based routers is night/day: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/04/the-ars-guide-to-building-a-linux-router-from-scratch/

on a plus side you get almost enterprise feature/grade features/protection.

i run opnsense myself and mostly wired connection through out my devices and there is 0 lag across many rooms/multiple devices :)

-for older laptops, it varies from vendor to vendor, but in general you can purchase intel pcie cards to get the performance boost you want:

the issue is sometimes vendor dont whitelist specific model#s so it may require some driver hacking to work... or it can get dicey in general. pcie bypasses any usb latency that may or may not exist (even on usb3 standards). i haven't done extensive research yet myself, but in the past usb2 had additional latency/performance issues for wifi adapters vs. pcie-based plugs.

-cable modems: https://approvedmodemlist.com/comcast-xfinity-approved-modems/
just make sure you dont get ♦ Indicates an Intel Puma Chipset Defect – Do Not Buy
that's a physical defect no amount of firmware can fix.

SB8200 for example doesn't have this issue and can accommodate 3.1 docsis

Mike's laptop only has a single antenna - so he's also precluded from using any 2x2 wireless cards from Intel unfortunately.

If you're technically inclined, building your own router can certainly be worth it. In my case, despite being an uber-nerd who uses Linux daily, I decided to go with an enterprise class firewall since I wanted an easier GUI for setting up security rules. A Fortinet firewall will perform just as well, and not give you all the headaches managing it. Here's what I use:

Amazon product
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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That video above was helpful to me - I'm upgrading an Intel N 6205 card to an Intel AC 7260 card myself!

One thing I like about Dell is they don't do the mickey-mouse "whitelist" stuff that companies like HP do. They even post the latest Intel driver for the 7260 on their own support page (date 22 Jan 2020).
 
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JediFonger

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reply to Dennis N as well

re: laptop atennas. it's been a long time since i cracked open laptops, but as i recalled, Dells typically have 1 design and then they add/remove parts to sell variations of the same product on the marketplace. i seemed to recall on certain models you can replace the antennas as well and upgrade from just single to multiple antennas... but it's been a while and i'm not sure if they have started to lock things down.

re: laptop whitelist: yes that is all part of the issue. the key to that is the driver-workarounds. should still work after the fact. ebay does sell ones compatible with the whitelisting hacks afaik. i dunno if they still do, but in the past i've gotten great upgrades in performances.

re: *nix, my opnsense is run from esxi and it has a nice gui too to setup security rules :)


i mean you *can* compose rules on CLI... but most fw have great GUI to configure access.

Mike's laptop only has a single antenna - so he's also precluded from using any 2x2 wireless cards from Intel unfortunately.

If you're technically inclined, building your own router can certainly be worth it. In my case, despite being an uber-nerd who uses Linux daily, I decided to go with an enterprise class firewall since I wanted an easier GUI for setting up security rules. A Fortinet firewall will perform just as well, and not give you all the headaches managing it. Here's what I use:

Amazon product
 

Dennis Nicholls

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One last suggestion for poor Mike. You can buy the Intel AC 7260 with a pair of add-on antennas. https://www.ebay.com/i/392597433819 Beats me if this would work with his laptop.

EDIT Oh crap Mike needs an M.2 form-factor 7260.

EDIT 2 Found searching for HP whitelist info.

HP has never provided a list of whitelisted and non-whitelisted models, you have to go off information we have gathered here by trial and error. It appears HP abandoned the whitelist sometime in Q42013 and it was gone by 2014. Windows 8.1 models do not have it some Windows 8 models do. It is very likely your model does not have it is the best we can really say. It is right on the borderline of where the whitelist stopped.
 
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