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Thread: Optimizing your WiFi/internet speeds in 2023

  1. #1
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    Default Optimizing your WiFi/internet speeds in 2023

    Do you remember the days of TCP Optimizer? Does anyone still use it? It would be interesting to know what people do today to get the most out of their home internet connections.

    When I came to Jamaica and signed up for Digicel Fibre, it was the first time I was exposed to a symmetrical 50Mbps broadband connection. It worked well on Digicel's/Huawei's gateway, but as speed upgrades occurred, I came to realize that a lot can be lost if you just use what Digicel gives you. I wouldn't be surprised at how many customers pay Digicel (or any major ISP for that matter) for better speeds, WiFi coverage, etc., when a few upgrades here and optimizations there can save a lot in the long term. But then again, not everyone is aware or has the time.

    Here are a few of the things I did to ensure I get the 150Mbps/150Mbps I pay for in my home and apartment:
    1. Wire in as many devices using ethernet (Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6a) whenever possible;
    2. Use a separate router behind Digicel's gateway - yes, this will cause double-NAT, but I'm behind CG-NAT anyway and haven't had any problems so far; it also allows you to use features that Digicel's gateway is lacking;
    3. Implement strategies to reduce bufferbloat - important in high speed broadband, but maybe not so much if you pay for speeds above 500Mbps; at one location, I use SQM (configured for 170Mbps/170Mbps) and I'm reaching my 150Mbps speeds with loaded/unloaded latencies of 2-3ms (compared to SQM turned off when loaded latency is 130-140ms);
    4. Turn off the AP on Digicel's gateway and use your own AP(s) with support for 5GHz (WiFi 5 wave 2 or better) - the gateway Digicel provided me only supports 2.4GHz broadcasts which will never allow 150Mbps over WiFi in our neighbourhoods where everyone is blasting 2.4GHz everywhere; also, more APs allows you to use lower power output so there is less noise and interference with nearby APs;
    5. Tune 2.4GHz and 5GHz antenna broadcasts so that they are not at their highest power output, use a reasonable channel width, and are not overlapping with a neighbour's signal that is -80dBm or better; a spectrum analyzer comes in helpful

    A little more advanced setup:
    1. Upgraded to prosumer network equipment - comes with higher up-front cost and need for technical knowledge;
    2. Segregated devices into VLANs and implemented firewall rules for security;
    3. Used AdGuard Home (similar to PiHole) as a local DNS to block unwanted traffic/ads

  2. #2
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    All of what you got there looks good. Currently using TP-Link M5 but planning to upgrade to the X series.

    There's some segmentation - using Ubiquiti stuff - but I'm trying to either move entirely over to TP-Link or use the HP Aruba stuff for the multi-SSID setup. Currently have a streaming and "free" ID that's used on separate VLANs. I live in a little area that others have issues with FLOW at times, and I'm on StarLink. So I offer a free 2Mbps connection to everyone. Captive portal on Ubiquiti been giving some issues, so thinking of moving to Aruba to get rid of that.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1986 View Post
    Do you remember the days of TCP Optimizer? Does anyone still use it? It would be interesting to know what people do today to get the most out of their home internet connections.

    When I came to Jamaica and signed up for Digicel Fibre, it was the first time I was exposed to a symmetrical 50Mbps broadband connection. It worked well on Digicel's/Huawei's gateway, but as speed upgrades occurred, I came to realize that a lot can be lost if you just use what Digicel gives you. I wouldn't be surprised at how many customers pay Digicel (or any major ISP for that matter) for better speeds, WiFi coverage, etc., when a few upgrades here and optimizations there can save a lot in the long term. But then again, not everyone is aware or has the time.

    Here are a few of the things I did to ensure I get the 150Mbps/150Mbps I pay for in my home and apartment:
    1. Wire in as many devices using ethernet (Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6a) whenever possible;
    2. Use a separate router behind Digicel's gateway - yes, this will cause double-NAT, but I'm behind CG-NAT anyway and haven't had any problems so far; it also allows you to use features that Digicel's gateway is lacking;
    3. Implement strategies to reduce bufferbloat - important in high speed broadband, but maybe not so much if you pay for speeds above 500Mbps; at one location, I use SQM (configured for 170Mbps/170Mbps) and I'm reaching my 150Mbps speeds with loaded/unloaded latencies of 2-3ms (compared to SQM turned off when loaded latency is 130-140ms);
    4. Turn off the AP on Digicel's gateway and use your own AP(s) with support for 5GHz (WiFi 5 wave 2 or better) - the gateway Digicel provided me only supports 2.4GHz broadcasts which will never allow 150Mbps over WiFi in our neighbourhoods where everyone is blasting 2.4GHz everywhere; also, more APs allows you to use lower power output so there is less noise and interference with nearby APs;
    5. Tune 2.4GHz and 5GHz antenna broadcasts so that they are not at their highest power output, use a reasonable channel width, and are not overlapping with a neighbour's signal that is -80dBm or better; a spectrum analyzer comes in helpful

    A little more advanced setup:
    1. Upgraded to prosumer network equipment - comes with higher up-front cost and need for technical knowledge;
    2. Segregated devices into VLANs and implemented firewall rules for security;
    3. Used AdGuard Home (similar to PiHole) as a local DNS to block unwanted traffic/ads
    Good advise. I already do most those with my connection and plan to do the prosumer stuff later...mainly a PiHole to drop stuff and my implement an additional firewall with a NUC like.
    I will do further stuff when I can move somewhat off JPS.
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    I just use Google WiFi 😌

    With Flow modem use to get like 380mbps/60mbps up...

    With Google Wifi consistently get 495+mbps/98+mbps up...

    Have Flow 500/100 package...

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    Well. Direct cable connected will do that. I get much better results using my TP-Link Deco system than I ever did with the FLOW modem. When I had FLOW. Two reasons I'm upgrading the model that I have - newer technology (WiFi-6) and better specs.

    https://community.tp-link.com/en/hom...m/topic/593112

    An example thread showing the two devices. Moving from the M5 to the X60. Realize I'll be losing the built-in speed test though, but the boost in connectivity should give better results.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by calman View Post
    I used to be a Linksys fan, but the WRT1900AC changed my mind, from way back then. Since then I've liked Netgear, their Orbi line has worked well for me so you may want to look at them as an option.
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    As a 2024 update...

    Continuing to use the ER-X at the apartment connected to a AmpliFi Alien as a WiFi 6 AP. Configured upload and download SQM in the ER-X; disabled hardware offloading. Getting very good results over WiFi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1986 View Post
    As a 2024 update...

    Continuing to use the ER-X at the apartment connected to a AmpliFi Alien as a WiFi 6 AP. Configured upload and download SQM in the ER-X; disabled hardware offloading. Getting very good results over WiFi.
    Decided to test mine. Considering it's satellite internet - not bad IMO.

    https://www.waveform.com/tools/buffe...d-bd0e001aba7b

    Moved everything over to Deco. Less managed stuff for the time being - going test out maybe Fortinet stuff later on. I moved back to Ubiquiti for the free network due to issues with the Aruba. ER-X not currently in use - going test the TP-Link ER605 and see. Had moved some clients to that when the ER-X was going for USD$200 - prices came back down now.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by khat17 View Post
    ... going test the TP-Link ER605 and see ...
    I recently set up a ER605 at home to play around with a network that I wanted dedicated Internet VPN access. Attached a WiFi Router in Access Point mode to it, liking the results and setup so far.
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