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-KarumA- 2012-07-10 19:23

Question about this router, connectivity and overloading
I moved back home for the summer, my parents house has cable and recently also enhanced internet thanks to their ISP.
There are two computers, mine and theirs connected to the modem with the use of a router (since the modem is on the main floor and both pc's one floor and two floors up). The modem is a Conceptronic C100BRS4H and is about 5 years old now probably even older.

The thing is that I am not sure if it is dying or not or if it is in need of replacement. I never handled routers before so it is a guessing game for me now, I do know about one thing which is overloading after experiencing it in a house with 5 other people and one very rude guest who never capped his stuff.

My dad plays WoW, I tried torrenting something capped at 1,5 mb/ps and the router gave out. I tried several times capped at 750 kb/ps and it gave out again.
I tried capping at 500 kb/ps with my computer being the only one turned on and it gave out again. If I even had Utorrent open with a torrent active in the download section it would simply "die" until reset and if it were active during resetting it would only live for 5-10 seconds and die again.

I was here last year and I had capped my things around 750 kb - 1 mb and left it running all day without problems while other people gamed downstairs. It is now a first that it is giving out.

However if my dad games and I only lurk online then it doesn't give out. So I started looking around for solutions, I heard several people mentioning that older routers can't handle the modern speeds as well as they should (unlimited I can run up to a download speed of 9mb/ps due to changes the ISP made this year, but only for so long as clearly my router can't handle it). I am now running Utorrent with some configured changes and the router hasn't given out yet; I capped at 500 kb/ps again and limited my connections from 200 to 50 (can this really change so much and cause my router to remain alive?) and turned off the DHT.
(I already tried changing ports on the router but that didn't help me much).

The routers capacity is 100mbs in WAN. I wanted to know what you guys thought about the situation before I start spending cash on a possible replacement which in its price category will have the same max capacity as the old one most likely and if it isn't dying I would probably have the same problem all over again but after losing cash which I could spend on other things.

I just found it weird that in a house sharing internet with 5 other students who all go about their gaming etc. including a router I didn't have problems with my current connection set up and now I am in a house with 2 people one of which is myself and another who only plays WoW and the router here kept on giving out, I figured the traffic in our home would be a lot more intense than here. (I always limit the download and upload speeds at around 750kb-1mb, we also capped the receiving packages for each user in my other home with 6 but this router doesn't have a menu for it in its settings, I looked everywhere and it doesn't even have a monitor for it). Right now it is still online and running with a torrent reaching the cap of 500, I am going to test tomorrow if it will run or give out while running this and WoW at the same time. But can the max connections which I had set to 200 cause that much trouble?

SeijiSensei 2012-07-10 21:54

Most residential routers cannot manage the large number of connections that gaming and torrents generate. I have a global connection limit of 60 in my torrent client to keep my router from falling over. Bandwidth limits typically don't matter as much as connection limits. If you're in active clouds with hundreds of peers, having a connection limit of 200 is certainly a likely reason for why the router falls over.

Note that we're talking about the router here; the modem shouldn't matter at all.

sa547 2012-07-10 23:05

Some older routers could falter after a long period of time, as they do sometimes heat up. Where I am, we have a circa-2006 Linksys WRT54G that sometimes needs to be lobotomized.

As for the model you described, looks like it's more of a router.

Newer routers are cheaper, uses the new wireless-N protocol, easier to set up (including configuration for capped connections), can work with cable modems, but with bigger bandwidth in use these days (up to a premium of 100mbps), I think they're more than capable enough to handle larger amounts of peer-to-peer connections.

MeoTwister5 2012-07-10 23:47

This is going to be a problem in countries where internet speeds are outpacing the technology of routers to properly handle the data speeds. In countries like the Philippines where internet speeds don't reach that high it's not that big of an issue yet but it will eventually. I have a D-Link router that's starting to give way when my torrents reach 500kbps.

The best suggestion is to get a new router capable of handling the speeds as sa547 recommends.

-KarumA- 2012-07-11 04:16

Thanks for the advice and opinions. Since I am only here over summer and the only person who uses torrent traffic I think it would be better to just suck it up and leave my amount of connections low (which did not effect my download speed).
I looked around online for new routers yesterday but saw that nearly all that are affordable and not too overkill are in the same capacity range as the one we have now, this one had cost around 30 euro's and I looked around for about 35.
But I am testing it right now by running WoW and the limited Utorrent set up I made earlier and no crashing so far which is good. So it was the connections then after all.
I could buy a new router, but the thing is I am only here for a month and a half, maybe next year for the same length but not sure.It's a little pointless for me to buy a new one if I am going to be here for a short summer when the router is not dead and mostly being used by one computer to only game.

Ledgem 2012-07-11 19:05


Originally Posted by SeijiSensei (Post 4248752)
Bandwidth limits typically don't matter as much as connection limits. If you're in active clouds with hundreds of peers, having a connection limit of 200 is certainly a likely reason for why the router falls over.

Seiji is absolutely right. It doesn't have anything to do with the speed - even if a connection were faster than a router could handle (which is very rare today), it would just mean that the maximum speed you would receive would be the router's maximum. I wouldn't expect the router to lock up over it.

Take a look at the max simultaneous connection limits of some routers. The list isn't comprehensive, but take note that some of the routers with higher limits tend to be the better-rated (and more expensive).

It's anecdotal, but I've used a few routers by now and can verify that the connection limit is important. I've had a few routers (Linksys) with a simultaneous connection limit in the 60's, and I could easily lock it up with a few hours of torrenting. You get around that issue by limiting the maximum number of connections that your torrent client makes (although routers with a low session limit can still freeze up after hours of torrent activity, even with a reduced connection count).

On the other hand, I had a fantastic router (D-link) with a limit in the 200's. That one could handle torrents and other web traffic, and I only had to reboot it every other month or so.

Now I'm using a router with a limit of close to 30,000 (Apple). In the face of traffic that locked up even the D-link, this one goes with zero problems. I've even upped my maximum number of connections for a torrent, and whereas previously I only had one or two computers on the network at a time, I'm now running with more devices using the wireless network at a time. It's been running for months, and I have not yet had to reboot it because it froze up.

Granted, there's more to a router than its maximum connection limit... but if torrents are causing trouble, that's likely it. Don't throttle your speed, just drop your maximum number of connections to a lower number. Back in the early 2000's I think the advice was to limit it to 60, but if other members of your household are heavily using the internet, consider dropping it even lower. Your speeds will suffer, but you have to do what you have to do...

SeijiSensei 2012-07-11 19:30

More connections often don't translate into higher speeds. Typically there will be a few peers with big pipes that provide most of the transfer speed, and a lot of smaller peers bringing up the rear. Also your torrent client will often set up connections to peers that are "choked" and not able to really send you anything. Nevertheless these dud connections will still be tracked by the router.

In my experience the top dozen or so peers provide nearly all the transfer. All the rest aren't worth connecting to.

Ledgem 2012-07-11 21:41

This is true. Admittedly I just upped my connection count because I wanted to see if I could push my router :)

-KarumA- 2012-07-12 07:26

It's too bad my router isn't on that list. I had my connections set to 100 and it finally gave out after several hours. I now switched it to 50, just below what you said to see if it changes anything. At least it isn't giving out as soon as I even start my torrenting program.

sneaker 2012-07-12 09:23

Besides the already suggested limiting of the number of connections also try disabling the uTP protocol. Some routers don't like it at all.

-KarumA- 2012-07-12 09:39

I turned it off now as well to see if that works as well as the DHT again. It is weird because yesterday I was downing 350mb files without problems at 100 connections, DHT on as well as the uTP. Just now while trying with the same settings but 50 connections on a 1gb file it crashed the router as soon as I started the program.

I turned the uTP off as well as the DHT and it runs without trouble :/
I'll be glad when I'm in my own house again, that's all I can say..

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