Just recently, I realized that I really had to do something about my network. As more and more machines continue to be added to my LAN, and as my sister starts discovering streaming media, both my LAN and WAN transfers are slowing down considerably, too much for comfort I might even add. Gaming with decent pings is becoming a rare thing, and I'm at my sister's mercy when I'm lucky enough to get reasonable latencies: she can just open up the Jewtubes and make my game unplayable. Hell, even browsing while seeding a couple of torrents has become impossible. A nerger's gotta do what a nerger's gotta do: my parents have accepted to get a bigger pipe, but in the meanwhile it's optimization time.
The easiest and probably most profitable upgrade would probably be changing my router to a more recent gigabit variant (teamed gigabit NIC on my 680i have been begging for this). My entire house is wired in CAT 5E anyways, so pulling off half-duplex gigabit isn't problem and the increase in performance, specially in a network attached storage on LAN context, is promising. People with newer routers have also noticed lower pings and faster overall internet as a result of the reduction of the latency from within the LAN.
Buying a new router is an interesting option, but there is a major downside, and that's the price of a quality gigabit router. Even off ebay, those things run for a 120$ minimum, and that's for a Netgear. My problem with putting 120$ on a router (or rather my father's problem) is that all the gigabit routers come with tons of useless features, IE 802.11N wireless with Super-Duper Range Booster Max Extreme Plus Improved and a 24 entry DMZ system. My sister's already growing a third arm because of prolonged exposition to all the wireless networks I have running in my house, and none of my wireless adaptors are N, I just DON'T NEED any of it! The challenge is now where to find a wired only gigabit router, either used or at a low price. I was thinking D-Link's GamerLounge special edition, but those things are very rare and run for the same price as Wireless N + Gigabit routers. If you think you have a router that I would like, please post it here.
Otherwise, I'm looking forward to accelerating web browsing with my new home server Annabel by setting up a DNS cache on LAN using DNSMasq, with the supposedly super fast and feature-full upsteam DNS servers from OpenDNS. People in larger LANs have used DNS caching to speed up things a lot, and browsing is supposed to be greatly improved, specially on pages where elements load from lots of different locations, ads from google, content from a seperate server, images from Flickr and videos from Youtube all at the same time for example. Anyways, the only thing that I care about it that it reduces traffic on the WAN side, I'll have to see if the difference in speed is that dramatic.
I also thought about scheduling torrents to run only during the morning and at night and when I'm not at my machine, but that's pretty much it. Now all I have to do is to wait for that 10 mbit symmetrical
I've been waiting for.
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