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Im always seeing comments not to use a WLAN but to use ethernet connection to router.  

I THINK my WLAN is well set up.   But I do have issues with SL, but Im fairly certain they are due to age of my machine / GPU / RAM limitations (Del XPS, dual NV 8700M w 500MB each + 3 GB RAM).

Ethernet cable leads to the obvious question as to what is the max reasonable distance one can run blue cable? is 50 feet Ok?  100 feet ?   For a number of reasons the modem and the router are a ways from my desk.

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In general Ethernet CAT 5 cable is officially rated good for a max of 300FT (91m). I've run cable 300ft to a hub and then on almost another 300ft to another hub. All the machines out at the end of their runs (600+) worked fine. I know people that have pushed the limit without a problem.

Wireless performance is very much dependent on 'total' traffic via the wireless connections. It is also subject to interference. Ed Merryman encountered a user that eventually tracked down the reason for her being knocked off SL every evening as her neighbor using a microwave to cook dinner. Fluorescent lights can be a problem and with the banning of incandescent lights more people are running into problems.

The makers of wireless access points/routers are improving them to handle interference and more traffic. So, new wireless routers are working well. But, it very much depends on the local environment.

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That's helpful, thanks.

Part of my problem is not being able to make much sense of the logs. So when the viewer crashes or goes non-responsive it's hard to pin down the cause. Right now my money is on memory / GPU - so I want to see at least over several trial sessions if the cable makes any difference.

Regarding Routers, do you have any recommendations? I'm currently using a DLink Xtreme I think it's called, about 4 years old.

Regarding fluorescent lights, where do they make an impact? Near the router (not an issue it's in a cupboard), near the PC? Or anywhere in between? And what about LED?

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JoyofRLC Acker wrote:

 

Regarding Routers, do you have any recommendations?
I'm currently using a DLink Xtreme
I think it's called, about 4 years old.

Regarding fluorescent lights, where do they make an impact?
Near the router (not an issue it's in a cupboard), near the PC? Or anywhere in between? And what about LED?

You wrote a lot in your OP but you actually wrote nothing.  There are many points of faliure/latency when connecting to SL.  Yes, ethernet is best but a properly configured wireless router will work at levels that are more than sufficient for you to enjoy SL. 

One item I found with DLink routers is the QoS is enabled by default.  I would access the router and disable.  Believe it or not you will get much better results with this easy fix.  I get ~70 FPS with a wireless.  

Re: fluorescent lights.  If you have a bad ballast on the fixture then perhaps you will get some interference.  Below is a post from Cisco: "In reality, the many other types of devices emitting in the unlicensed band dwarf the number of 802.11 devices. These devices include microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless video cameras, outdoor microwave links, wireless game controllers, Zigbee devices, fluorescent lights, WiMAX, and so on. Even bad electrical connections can cause broad RF spectrum emissions. These non-802.11 types of interference typically don't work cooperatively with 802.11 devices, and can cause significant loss of throughput. In addition, they can cause secondary effects such as rate back-off, in which retransmissions caused by interference trick the 802.11 devices into thinking that they should use lower data rates than appropriate."

I have never encountered these problems with a properly configured wireless connection; and if I did it would be too onerous to track down and fix.  So, to this end, I would not worry.  If you are still having issues then I suggest more RAM or a different GPU and drivers. 

 

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Not quite sure what yr 1st sentence means Storm.   But moving along...  pardon my ignorance but what is QoS, in simple terms.   (I did a quick Google and got confused!).  

I have Dlink D655.   Looking at the QoS page there are multiple boxes (see below)  which are basicall all checked.   To turn off QoS as you recommend - do I uncheck both "enable traffic shaping" and "enable qos engine"?

Does this affect what I might call the variability of the connection?   My point is that most of the time I get  adequate frame rates in SL.So I dont think I need to improve the 'best' or the 'average'.

One other question ... I assume it doesnt matter how many Ethernet connections there are?   Of the 4 available, 3 are already used by my audio / home theatre set up (Squeezebox, Wii, etc) but there is one slot free.  Is it ok to leave those others connected?   (There isnt anything being streamed when Im on SL).

......

 

WAN Traffic Shaping

Enable Traffic Shaping:

Automatic Uplink Speed :

Measured Uplink Speed : Not Estimated

Manual Uplink Speed : kbps  << 

Connection Type :

Detected xDSL or Other Frame Relay Network : No

QoS Engine Setup

Enable QoS Engine :

Automatic Classification :

Dynamic Fragmentation :

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JoyofRLC Acker wrote:

Not quite sure what yr 1st sentence means Storm.   But moving along...  pardon my ignorance but what is QoS, in simple terms.   (I did a quick Google and got confused!).  

I have Dlink D655.   Looking at the QoS page there are multiple boxes (see below)  which are basicall all checked.   To turn off QoS as you recommend - do I uncheck both "enable traffic shaping" and "enable qos engine"?

Does this affect what I might call the variability of the connection?   My point is that most of the time I get  adequate frame rates in SL.So I dont think I need to improve the 'best' or the 'average'.

One other question ... I assume it doesnt matter how many Ethernet connections there are?   Of the 4 available, 3 are already used by my audio / home theatre set up (Squeezebox, Wii, etc) but there is one slot free.  Is it ok to leave those others connected?   (There isnt anything being streamed when Im on SL).

......

 

WAN Traffic Shaping

Enable Traffic Shaping:

Automatic Uplink Speed :

Measured Uplink Speed :
Not Estimated

Manual Uplink Speed : kbps
 << 

Connection Type :

Detected xDSL or Other Frame Relay Network :
No

QoS Engine Setup

Enable QoS Engine :

Automatic Classification :

Dynamic Fragmentation :

I didn't mean anything bad with my 1st sentence, it's just trying to figure out what you are asking. 

My definition of QoS may be different from others as I see QoS as a ploy by ISP's to stream (shape) your data more efficiently for THEIR network, not your network. 

My rule of thumb is If "I" don't know what a function is then I whack it.  Yes, disable both traffic shaping and QoS engine.  See what happens from there.  (Do a reboot of the router and take some benchmarks before disable; prove to yourself the fruits of your effort.)

By the 'variability' of the connection do you mean that you will lose connectivity or crash?  I'm not sure of this term.  Imo, you will only see benefits NOT adverse ramifications. 

 

Yes, it is ok to leave those other devices connected, you can even use them all at the same time :|   I would suggest you go to amazon and get yourself  4-5 short cat6 (NOT cat5) and rewire all the connections if you haven't already done so. 

 

Enjoy

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hmmm.... well, I got a 100' Cat 6 cable (my desk is about 75'+ away from the cupboard that has the router in.    SL is now giving me a slightly lower frame rate!   So I ran speedest.   Ping times are similar.   Upload speeds are similar.   But there is a HUGE difference in downlaod speeds.  And wifi is WAY faster.   Is this expected?   I checked both local server and Dallas TX (one of the SL cities).   Here are the results (averages of 2 or 3 readings)

                                          wired           wifi

Local     Ping                         9            12.3 
               Down                      8.6          48.4
               Up                           3.3            3.1
               MaxPing                  9              17

 

Dallas  Ping                        57.5        58
              Down                        7.4       35.5
              Up                             2.8         3.0
             MaxPing                  58           58

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, this is all new stuff to me.  sorry for being a bit helpless.

Not sure how I can tell if the "connection" is 10/100 or 1000 as you put it.   The laptop seems to have two network cards, but I have no idea how to tell which is being used when and when I googly for specs I just get more confused!  The netwrok cards are:
Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller
Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN
and as I said the router is DLink 655 "Gigabit Xtreme"
but the way I read the online infor for both cards and router I should be getting more than 10 Mb/s.

Standing back from the weeds though ...
- am I correct that the purpose of the cable is to eliminate RF intereference?  while Im pretty sure Im hardly getting any on my WLAN once cant be sure.
- does the difference between 7 Mb/s (wired) and 35 Mb/s (wifi) matter for SL?

I still think my issue is Vid RAM (older laptop w NV 8700M GPU) but do want to be sure connection is set up best way possible.   (At least when it matters, trailing a 100' cable round the house is not onvenient!)

 

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With those results from your wireless, continue using it if you're happy.

The two main things in favour of wires are that no matter how far you are, as long as you're within the cable length limit, the performance will be the same.  With wireless, it can vary hugely throughout the property.

Second is speed, a gigabit wired connection when working normally is far faster than current typical wireless. 

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JoyofRLC Acker wrote:

Yeah, this is all new stuff to me.  sorry for being a bit helpless.

Not sure how I can tell if the "connection" is 10/100 or 1000 as you put it.   The laptop seems to have two network cards, but I have no idea how to tell which is being used when and when I googly for specs I just get more confused!  The netwrok cards are:

Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller

Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN

and as I said the router is DLink 655 "Gigabit Xtreme"

but the way I read the online infor for both cards and router I should be getting more than 10 Mb/s.

Standing back from the weeds though ...

- am I correct that the purpose of the cable is to eliminate RF intereference?  while Im pretty sure Im hardly getting any on my WLAN once cant be sure.

- does the difference between 7 Mb/s (wired) and 35 Mb/s (wifi) matter for SL?

 

 

I still think my issue is Vid RAM (older laptop w NV 8700M GPU) but do want to be sure connection is set up best way possible.   (At least when it matters, trailing a 100' cable round the house is not onvenient!)

 

Hi Joy,

The throughput numbers you quoted are curious. Are those from some sort of internet bandwidth test?

Presuming so, it seems that in the wiring between your laptop and your ISP modem you're encountering something that's limiting throughput to 10baseT (10Mbps). Your wi-fi router appears not to have that bottleneck. For this reason, your laptop gets better throughput via wi-fi than wired. I'll guess that there's an old 10mbps switch/hub between your laptop and modem, or the laptop cable is some old CAT3 or older stuff, or that the wired connection goes through a few connectors before reaching the modem.  The last two situations could cause enough signal distortion to force the network adapters to back off to 10mbps. That distortion could also cause an error rate that actually makes the wired connection less reliable than the wi-fi. An intervening 10mbs switch or hub would not increase the error rate, it would simply lower the throughput.

So, check your wired network layout to see if there's a switch or hub between your laptop and the modem. If there isn't, there's cause for concern about the low bitrate.

While Sassy is generally correct about wired connections being more reliable than wireless, it is possible to have a wired connection that's poor enough to bring the error rate above that of a wireless connection in the same environment. The difference is that the wired error rate will probably not change much over time, as the signal degradation comes from the wires, splices and connectors. Signal degradation in a wireless environment comes from other sources of interference, like microwave ovens, other wi-fi networks and wireless devices, moving objects (people) etc.

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Ok, problem solved!   I have done some spelunking around and discovered:

LAN uses the Broadcom controller,  Wifi uses the Intel.
Using windows device manager, I discovered a Speed setting for the Broadcom thatwas set to 10 half.   I changed it to Auto.  And - viola!!   HUGE improvent in Mb/s.   Local starts out in the 80s for a few seconds then drops, avergaing 45.   Im also getting similar reults from Dallas, slightly lower but not a lot.

There is no such setting got the Intel.

Will try it inworld a bit later on.

 

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Yes I was just referring to the potential nature of variance that is likely with wireless than with a normally working wired

connection.

 

Good to hear the setting has been found. The Intel doesn't have the same setting because that is only a wired option, the wireless options are completely different.

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