By July 6, 2006

100% Functionality, 50% Speed

I called Verizon yesterday to see if something wonky had happened with my FIOS account. I was hoping that they’d put me down to the middle-speed account level by accident. It would have been the easy solution to my slow upload and download speeds. Unfortunately, my account was configured correctly. My call with tech support didn’t raise any immediate issues. The tech walked me through a TCP/IP optimization program (which didn’t do much, as I expected, but I was willing to give it a shot), and after that asked the dreaded, “are you sure it isn’t your router?” question.

I told the tech I’d check out my configuration and hung up. I couldn’t exactly work on my network with him on the VOIP line anyway. I plugged my main workstation directly into the FIOS feed and ran another speed test. I got ~28Mbps down instead of the 15Mbps down I got through the router. My fear was right: it was my Linksys.

I did some research, and it turns out that the Linksys WRT54G has a problem with PPPoE connections, especially if non-Linksys open source firmware is used. While the DD-WRT firmware has a lot of neat things going for it, I didn’t want to deal with crippled speeds. I reverted back to the latest official Linksys firmware and rebooted my router.

I was back up to my rated speed — 25Mbps down, 3.1Mbps up — much better. Verizon is expected to go off of PPPoE and on to DHCP in the next month or so (certain areas are already DHCP), and hopefully that will take care of the rest of my slowdowns. Now if I could just figure out wtf is wrong with my upload speeds. The tech was like, “the difference between 3 and 5 Mbps isn’t that bad.” I almost agreed with him, until I realized that the difference is faster than the trunk line the ISP I used to work for was in 1998. 🙂

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