Tag Archives: networking

Verizon FIOS: MoCA, Actiontech Router, Ethernet Tested

I have long wondered why my FIOS seemed so slow at home compared with the FIOS that I was used to in the workplace. We recently had Verizon out and I had them switch our programming over to allow us to use the Ethernet port instead of having the Actiontech router get the WAN over MoCA. I did a little test and it seemed like my latency went down about 2-3 ms by going with direct Ethernet instead of using the MoCA. It was an improvement, but it didn’t seem like much.

I downloaded and installed the software from Apple that updates your ethernet settings for high latency connections. I understand it makes your tcp window settings larger which may seem to reduce the effect of the latency. I didn’t save my test results from before and after this, but I did some further testing.

I was concerned that the poor Actiontech router might be slowing things down a bit too. Obviously, any device in the chain is going to impact your performance in some way. For my test I performed a simple test of pinging google.com and apple.com through terminal. I performed about 10 pings each and will report the data as min/avg/max/stddev as reported by terminal. (I should have restricted it to 10 pings each time, but this was an impromptu  test and I didn’t plan it out very well.) I also performed a test on speedtest.net. We are on the 25/25 FIOS plan.

First off was my test of my computer (a MacPro) plugged into the Actiontech/FIOS router. In all tests the Aciontech was connected to the ONT via cat5e/ethernet. Terminal reported 16.401/19.388/21.840/1.818 ms to google.com and 21.259/22.547/24.383/1.340 ms to apple.com. Speedtest reported 25.46 Mb/s down, 19.19 Mb/s up and a ping time of 29 ms.

Secondly, I tested the computer connected directly to the ONT without a router. I first got results of: 19.374/21.092/22.507/1.308 ms to google.com and 23.638/24.259/24.817/0.361 ms to apple. Something had to be wrong! We realized that my DNS settings had changed. I had been using openDNS through the router and the computer was getting the DNS via DHCP and using the router. I manually changed the DNS settings to use OpenDNS directly and immediately noticed an improvement: 18.740/19.428/21.589/0.912 ms to google.com. I must have annoyed the traffic police at apple, as they stopped responding to my icmp requests/pings. Speedtest.net reported 25.47 Mb/s down, 19.92 Mb/s up and 24 ms ping time.

Finally, I tested the computer connected to a NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit Router with USB WNR3500L (Amazon affiliate link). Terminal reported 18.743/19.741/21.669/0.918 ms to google.com. Speedtest.net reported 26.10 Mb/s down, 19.55 Mb/s up and a ping time of 26 ms.

All speedtest.net tests were reported as if going to the same server in San Diego, CA. Obviously the data was close enough to show that it doesn’t make a difference on the speed, but potentially does on the latency reported through the ping time.

In the end I went back to the Actiontech router since it was free and I didn’t want to pay currently for the Netgear. (I had it here to setup for a customer and figured a quick test wouldn’t hurt anything.) Maybe someday I’ll test a real (Cisco) router in line and see if that changes anything.

How to Determine Airport Speed on a Mac

I always use MenuMeters which is a great plugin that will allow you to see your network activity, cpu usage and so forth. I don’t know if my wife would find is so useful though, so it isn’t installed on her MacBook Pro (Amazon Affiliate Link) as it is on all of my machines.

Anyways, we just signed up for a new Verizon FIOS account and got the new Actiontech router to go with it. She’s the only one of us lucky enough to really take advantage of the new 802.11n features built-in though and I wanted to see if it was actually working. I was suprised that the Mac doesn’t show you the speed of your airport connection anywhere, so I had to search and found this great tip to just push the option button while clicking on the airport menu icon.

I hope you will find this useful as I do.

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been …

Apple, I’m appalled that this problem hasn’t been fixed yet. My trust is being lost quite quickly in the recent months. There is no excuse for this to have not been fixed the week it was discovered.

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been ….

I’m not about ready to delete my network setups just because someone at Apple is too lazy to solve the problem they created with a security update.

Long Day

Today was long. I could argue I worked 12 hours straight and my feet would attest to that. I really like being able to come home and take off my shoes and I didn’t have that opportunity really today. The ribbon cutting and open house went well, I’ll have to post more on my work blog tomorrow. I then went and worked with Sister Dowden to try and jump-start this social networking and viral marketing campaign. It looks like a lot of work to get all these services going and get the viral marketing going.

I still think that we all need to ditch all these services and everyone just needs their own domain where they can incorporate whatever it is they want. I’ve got visions of having to post the same thing in 14 different sites. I’m hoping there is software that will at least do some of the cross posting for you.

After that crash course – oh, I taught her some HTML and such as well – I went to the a city council meeting to check things out. I finally made it to the Rodriguez’s for dinner and then came home to meet Sabrina and Frank to look at the house. I think Frank could make a great roommate, so I’m looking forward to that in a few weeks.

It seems like there wasn’t much time to think today as I was just running around getting things done. Temple tomorrow night. I’m thinking about the Zoo Friday or Monday and I have to figure out plans for this weekend.

School Traffic

I’m not sure I really like the idea of the kids going back to school. It seemed that there was a lot more traffic on Whitewood this morning, before I left the house. It was really the noise that was getting to me, maybe the wind was just blowing this direction or something. I did see a bit more traffic on Whitewood than normal, but it wasn’t the first time I had to sit through an extra turn at the intersection of MHS.

Work went well today. I was busy most of the day just trying to stay on top of things while Tara is gone. I found myself getting pretty impatient trying to get tracking numbers for things that should have shipped days ago and I probably enjoyed bugging people for tracking information too much. I did get a lot done though and need to work some on my actual job tomorrow and hopefully can keep moving forward there.

I went over to the Rodriguez’s for dinner and crashed their party with the Dunagan’s. As always, that ended up with doing something technical, in which case we ran a ethernet cable and then I started working on setting up computers for networking. Of course, one is xp home and the other is xp pro, so they don’t want to talk and I have to deal with tons of software getting in the way. Oh, there was also the router from Verizon FIOS that was resolving the name of one of the computers to an ip address that it was no longer at. I don’t think the second router was helping that problem and probably needs to go so we don’t have any further problems down the road. I still need to finish up the printer sharing which will involve making home and pro play nice together.

Keep Moving Forward

I just finished watching Meet the Robinsons. I really liked the theme of keep moving forward. I feel that is what we always need to be doing. It is so easy to be content with the same old stuff day to day. We always need to be trying to come up with better ways to do something and improving ourselves. None of us are going to be perfect, but as long as we keep trucking down the road striving for perfection I think we are doing good.

I spent almost the entire day working on our DSL or our network in general at home. We hooked the DSL modem up straight to the POP without any other devices on the network to ensure that there was not a wiring problem in the house. After another call to tech support and finally being elevated to tier two we were able to determine that the problem was some idiot had put us on a lower plan that what we should have been on. We were able to get our account upgraded to the 3 mbps connection and suddenly we had real internet back. I was able to put away my Verizon card and go back to using the DSL – it was very nice.

I convinced my dad that it would be well worth the effort to run cable in the house to replace most of the wireless connections we have. Either we could do it ourselves or hire an electrician to come in and do it, but we have spent well more time making it work than it ever would have cost to run cable. Even after that, he was determined to make sure he had the best wireless connection he could in the meantime. That lead me to thinking about updating the firmware in the units which set me on this plan of basically starting from scratch. I couldn’t figure out the ip addresses for some of the units, so I just started wiping them. I couldn’t get the repeater we had in the kitchen working again, so I decided just to try connecting my dad without the repeater. It worked and was way faster than anything we had ever seen before. I ended up having to setup an access point in his office to feed the replay in the master bedroom, but we got it all working again and everything seems to be happy.

I just found out I don’t have to be at our branch council meeting tomorrow morning. I guess it’s a good thing that my meeting earlier in the morning got cancelled. This means it’s going to be a long fast morning at home, but I’m sure that will be good for me. Maybe I can actually spend some time doing what I should be doing instead of rushing to get things done for church.

I think I found the new home theater receiver I’m going to get. It’s a decently priced Sony unit that has 3 HDMI’s and some opticals, which seems to do everything I need it to today. I could argue to get a higher priced one that might last longer (as in do whatever I want it to do next year), but I think that I have no clue what next year may bring so there is no reason to plan for expansion and just get what I need and save the money in the bank for the future. It’s a Sony STR-DG910 7.1 receiver. It is missing S-Video, but I can’t actually figure out what I would use that for at this point and I could always go straight to my TV if necessary for something. I found it for $350 at B&H or $425 at Circuit City. It seems that I will be ordering it from B&H once they allow customers to place orders again. I seriously would think about boycotting them just because they are such a pain (B&H), but price gets the better of me and I’m just looking that I can save $75 and I have no need to have it right away. It will be nice to be able to watch HD DVDs again and I’m really looking forward to having the optical hookup for AirTunes to get rid of the hum that is in it now. I’m guessing from the discounts I’m seeing on this unit that it is about to be replaced, but I’m ok with that. We’ll save the high quality stuff for someone who has a real theater and not just my bedroom.