Norbert Hartl

mostly brackets and pipes

WLAN Replacement

The router box (netconnect) that I got from telecommunications provider is not that good as it seems. I have trouble with my MacBook and wireless LAN. Another laptop (thinkpad) with linux installed does not have the slightest problem with this wireless LAN. I still have some boxes laying around and there are two Linksys WRT54GL routers. I connected one of these routers to one of the LAN ports on the netconnect box. The WRT box treats the netconnect box as an internet connection. It gets an IP address via dhcp over the wire from the netconnect box and offers dhcp over wireless LAN as usual. This way I get decent speed, too.

Two lessons I learned while changing the setup:

  • With my wireless router the MacBook has really bad performance if the display is closed. The ratio is approx. 1/10 of the speed if the display is closed. A friend of mine acknowledged the problem with his MacBook Air. The wireless mode was 802.11g. I don’t have a glue what is going wrong there. Be it the antenna or emmitance from the inside of the MacBook. It is just really weird.
  • The second thing unveiled was the possible performance of my internet connection. They upgraded our connection to 50MBit/s with an option to 100MBit/s. But there is barely a chance to use these high rates. The router I got is equipped with a rather slow ARM CPU (means a smaller/older one). A lot of things are done by this box in software so the maximum speed I can get is between 15 and 20 MBit/s.

At the moment this seems to be the case for most routers on the market even those that are sold for the use in an VDSL environment. I don’t think the telecommunication provides are sad about that. Not be able to use the full bandwidth doesn’t strike much. I still can get up to 20MBit/s which is fast enough for me. The change of the network setup is: I chained a WRT54GL box behind the netconnect.box with two different networks each serving dhcpI switched off wireless LAN on the netconnect box completely to save power