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mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC

[TWC] Am I overloading my modem/router?

I have Time Warner Cable's Extreme Internet package (up to 30Mbps) but I still have issues with my connection being extremely slow and often quitting completely. I don't know if there's a problem on TWC's end or mine, so I figured I'd ask people much more tech savvy than I here at dslreports.

I honestly don't know what is/isn't important, so I'm going to give you as much info upfront as possible.

I've contacted TWC about my Internet issues a few times already and they've replaced the Ubee Router/Modem once already but I'm still having intermittent issues. Some days the Internet is at a complete standstill, other times I'll go days without issue. Going days without issue for a service I'm paying $52.99/mo. for isn't exactly getting me to do cartwheels, however.

To the best of my knowledge, here is what is connected (or may be connected as several of these things are turned off most of the time) to my wireless network at any one time:

7 DirecTV receivers (3 Whole-Home DVRs and 4 digital receivers)
1 iMac running Snow Leopard
3 desktops running Windows 7
1 laptop running Windows 7
1 laptop running Windows 8
1 Google Chromebook running the Google OS
1 iPad 2
2 iPod Touches
4 iPhones (1 4s and 3 of the new 5 model)
1 Kindle
2 Barnes and Noble Nooks
3 PlayStation 3 consoles
1 XBox 360 console
1 Acer Tablet
1 Kurio Tablet
1 Android smartphone

I realize this seems like a ridiculously insane number of items that may at any point be connected to this system, but I have a wife and four children plus a foreign exchange student living with us for a year and my parents live with us for roughly 5 months each year in the finished basement in-law we set up for them.

Of those items, 1 DVR and 1 digital receiver, the Acer tablet, Android phone, laptop running Windows 8, and a desktop with Windows 7 belong to my parents and are only used while they are here. When they are here, I have most of my issues, but even when they aren't here, I still have issues. Obviously, their DirecTV receivers are always here, but the rest of the things are not in the house unless they are here.

I use my iMac for typical uses such as Internet, email, Office documents, etc. I have never Skyped nor do I stream movies or audio to it. I do, however, download things via iTunes and sometimes other sources.

My kids desktops and laptops are rarely used, although my son has become addicted to Minecraft and plays that more than I'd like.

The Kindle and Nooks are rarely used as are the iPod Touches.

The PS3s are connected to wifi but no one uses them to play online games. They are used more for media and occasional games than anything else. The media is loaded via USB drives, so they aren't being streamed from any computers or the Internet. Same with the XBox 360. We don't have XBox Live and, to be honest, I'm not even sure if it's connected to the Internet.

Our foreign exchange student uses her laptop (Windows 7) fairly often and Skypes a great deal to her family in Germany, but by fairly often I mean she may spend 2 hours a week on Skype. I don't believe she's downloading anything nor streaming anything. I've asked her and she's said no. I have no reason to doubt her honesty based on anything else.

Whew, that's a lot of information but I wanted anyone who read this to be as fully informed as possible.

TWC's recommendation to me was, not surprisingly, to upgrade to their Ultimate plan for $32 more each month. Even at that, they couldn't guarantee I'd be without issue. Needless to say, I'm skeptical.

I have no idea how to do anything with my router other than to access it and see things that I don't understand. I don't know how to turn off computers/devices via the router or how to limit the amount these items can draw from my current bandwidth nor if that's even possible. I also don't know how to read the reports to tell if there are issues on TWC's end. They tell me that there are no outages and that my signal looks strong on their end, but again I simply don't know.

If you were me, other then selling everything on eBay and going back to the postal service for communicating with others (lol), how would you approach this?

I asked if TWC could add a separate line so I could have my iMac and a couple of other vital items on one network and everything else on another, but they said they can't do this.

Vios and UVerse are unavailable in my area so I'm limited to TWC and AT&T DSL service (with lower speeds as their high-speed stuff isn't available here either). Should I add the cheapest AT&T line offered for the other items?

Is there something I could do in the router that would resolve these issues? I've heard of Tomato and DD-WRT but have ZERO idea if their compatible with my router or how to use them without messing things up even further.

If you've made it this far through this post, thank you and I look forward to any suggestions you may have to offer.


mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC




I figured this might help.

Speed is different from bandwidth, though, isn't it?


hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
join:2001-11-25
Orchard Park, NY
kudos:11
reply to mhuntoon

You are using your own router with the modem in Bridge mode?

Hob


jojoyohan

join:2007-02-19
united state
reply to mhuntoon

If you are using your own router, what is the brand and model number? With that many devices, an old router could definitely be having trouble.


mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC
reply to hobgoblin

No, I'm using their modem/router.


mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC
reply to jojoyohan

They have provided me with a Ubee modem/router. Model number DDW 3611. I know literally nothing about this device nor how to modify it. We've already replaced the device once and that didn't fix anything. I know it's possible that both devices were bad, but they were both new in box (watched them open the first one and opened the second myself), so I'm thinking it's probably not that.



swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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said by mhuntoon:

They have provided me with a Ubee modem/router.

The all in one devices are junk under normal load...i can only imagine with all your equipment how they must be holding up.

I suggest you get a new router. Everyone has their own opinions but i can say the Asus N56 or N66 are both crazy good and the stock firmware is great out of the box.

Once you have the new router, I would call them and have them put the all in one unit into bridge mode so it is just a modem only.
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jojoyohan

join:2007-02-19
united state
reply to mhuntoon

Yeah, get a router from newegg, and I think any modern wireless router should do the trick, but you might want to err on the side of caution and go for a performance oriented router. Remember to call them once you get the new router and tell them to turn off the wifi on the modem.


mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC
reply to mhuntoon

ok, so are we in agreement that it's just simply lousy hardware? I don't mind getting the new router and having TWC do what they have to to turn this thing into just a modem, but I don't want to waste money if that isn't the likely fix. I know we can't be guaranteed of an outcome but how likely is it that this is the fix I need?

With that said, do I need 30Mbps for my configuration or am I over/under on my bandwidth needs?

I've got Amazon Prime and I'd love to take advantage of the streaming video through my ps3 in the bedroom, but I don't dare try it now based on how poorly I'm already doing.



been there

@savvis.net
reply to swintec

Google "wifi hidden node problem." You may need to set up an access point or more.


mhuntoon

join:2012-12-30
Summerfield, NC

I asked TWC tech support if adding wifi extenders would help and they said no. That is what your link was telling me I needed, right? Or did I misread it?


jojoyohan

join:2007-02-19
united state
reply to mhuntoon

Too much bandwidth: Maybe, but that isn't the crux of your problem at the moment. The lowest tier should be enough to stream video, but with your large collection of people and devices it may not be enough to enable every user to do what they want.

A majority of users probably have 1-2 devices connected to their AP, and you have 31. To be honest, you would probably benefit from purchasing your own modem and router, since you will save money without the modem rental fee and have a higher quality modem.

A wifi extender wouldn't solve your problem, since it isn't a range issue.

I would assume that the problem is that when a problem occurs, "too much" traffic is going through the router, slowing it down and crashing it. The modem portion should be fine just forwarding the traffic onto the router, but actually routing the traffic to the correct device is the problem.



chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to mhuntoon

Like others have had the all in one devices are junk I have more stuff connected to my Cisco router and I get full speed.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
reply to mhuntoon

Run the ICSI Netalyzr test and see if anything interesting shows up. Look at buffer latency that might explain some of your symptoms.



been there

@savvis.net
reply to mhuntoon

When wifi clients can "see" a single access point but not each other they can affect throughput andthis is not a "range" issuei tis a "collision" issue. Adding an ap is a way to rehome some clients and stop thecollisions.