LinkSys WRT54GS performance issue

I upgraded my home network, replacing a LinkSys BEFW11S4 with a new WRT54GS. Laptop cards for the family laptops were also upgraded to WPC54GS cards.

I have Verizon DSL, with 1.5Mbit provisioned.

With my old BEFW11S4, I would consistently get 1.2-1.3Mbit down on speed tests.

With the new WRT54GS, I taking a huge regression - 200k - 400k down, at best. Download speed is 4X-6C slower.

I do not have security enabled.

I'm basically using default settings - same settings I had on the BEF11S4.

LinkSys (tech support via email) suggested I change RTS Threshold to

2304 (from 2432) and Fragementation Threshold to 2304 (from 2346). They also suggested I change DTIM from 1 to 3.

My limited knowledge of what these advanced wireless settings do leave me very skeptical as to whether or not they'll fix a 6X bandwidth regression, but I will try them and post the results (right now, I'm back on the BEFW11S4, until my kids tell me it's OK to take the network down :^).

I'm open to the possibility there's something wrong with the WRT54GS, and if (when) the LinkSys suggestions do not fix the problem, I will exchange it for a new one.

Just a heads up on an odd problem doing a simple (and otherwise painless) upgrade of the home LAN from 'b' to 'g'.

I will post findings, results.


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I have yes. No difference.

Thanks, Jim

Reply to

An udate.

  1. The settings changes from LinkSys support did not make a difference.

  1. I ran back to the local retailer and exchanged the WRT54GS with a new one. Same problem precisely. So it's not broken hardware.

  2. I did try different channels.

I'm on the phone with LinkSys support now (for the last 20 mins) - they're completely stumped. I'm spending more time listenting to the "on hold" music than talking to anyone. On their behalf, they are trying.

Watch this space for updates.


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Thanks - it's in 'g' only mode. And the firmware is up to date.

Another data point. It's definitely a wireless issue...

If I connect to the WRT54GS using the wired ports, the speed is as it should be. I tried this on 2 different computers (Mac & Wintel), and they both get excellent speed when on a wired interface.

Waiting for LinkSys to call back. First line support had to escalate.

A real head-scratcher, this one...

Watch this space.

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Send the virtual face slap.....

I thought I had checked this, but must have f'd up. The firmware was 4.50., which I thought was the latest.

LinkSys had 4.70.6 firmware available, which I download and installed.

Speed is great now on wireless. 1.32Mbit down on the speed tests.

Sorry for the noise.


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That's the speed limit established by your DSL provider for

1.5Mbit/sec DSL service. Your BEFW11S4 can do up to about 5Mbits/sec.

I can't tell if the speed problem is coming from the DSL or from the wireless. If Verizon DSL is having a bad day, you'll see slow performance. I suggest you use two computahs, one with a wired LAN connection to the WRT54GS, the other wireless to run benchmarks. I suggest you use IPerf:

formatting link
will take the DSL speed out of the picture.

Waste-o-time. This has nothing to do with your problem. RTS threshold turn on flow control and is useful if you are experiencing hidden transmitter problems. This really only happens in outdoor WLAN's with lots of users. Fragmentation threshold is useful if you're experiencing inteference. It will reduce the packet size down to the point where the packets have a better chance of getting through the interference. DTIM is the time that it beacons. Changing the beacon interval from 100msec to 300msec isn't going to do anything useful. Put these back to defaults please.

My guess is that your unspecified wireless client radio is an 802.11b only radio. The 108Mbit/sec wireless devices have problems with some of these cards. I suggest you dive into the Wireless settings on the WRT54GS and disable all the enhancements such as turbo mode.

The kids take priority. You're correct to be suspicious. Those tweaks will do nothing.

Any chance that the BEFW11S4 and WRT54GS are on different channels? If you have a neighbor with an access point on the WRT54GS channel, it could explain the slowdown.

Find a friend or acomplis that has a known working 802.11g laptop. Test your router with their laptop. Also, do the benchmarking using a LAN connected computer (as previously mentioned) as you may be benchmarking Verizon DSL.

Did you also update the wireless client radio? If so, you're troubleshooting two things at once. Bad idea. If there's a new

802.11g card in the laptop, drag it to the local free wireless hot spot and do some testing with a known good router.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

That was too easy. Now, why didn't I think of that...

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Hey Jeff - Yep, and why didn't LinkSys mention it?

Nonetheless, thanks for the post(s).

FWIW, prior to doing the firmware update, I did check the speed on wired connections (2 computers, Mac & Wintel), and both acheived excellent results on the wired ports, so the routermodem path was good, it was a wireless issue.

Things are humming along now...

Thanks, /jim

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Are you using your WRT54GS in mixed mode (b & g)? Even though Linksys performs well in mixed-mode, I've always gained better speeds by choosing one mode. I know this is elementary, but is the firmware up-to-date on your wireless router and notebook cards?

Reply to
Doug Jamal

For what it's worth... I also upgraded from the BEFW11S4 to the WRT54GS and experienced no problems. I currently am running the firmware version : v4.50.6 and was not aware of a newer release. So thanks for that info.

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