The new(ish) TWC cable modem rental fee finally prodded me to buy a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem (I waited until the prices dropped back down to normal, reasonable levels), disconnect my (nearly unused) TWC second phone line, turn off my (ditto) cable TV service, and upgrade to a faster tier of internet service.

Two observations.

Even before upgrading internet service, the new cable modem seemed to have smaller latency and more consistent throughput.

Running the app on my phones, with mobile data turned off, gave interesting results. My personal Galaxy Nexus showed full-speed (20/2 mbps) connections reliably. My work Galaxy S3 and my wife’s Nexus 4 both absolutely consistently showed much slower connections, about 2mbps down and about 600kbps up. I alternated between the three phones, sitting in exactly the same spot near one access point, so I can’t think of obviously confounding factors. Does anyone happen to know why?

Next item: upgrading to modern access points. Trying to decide between using router(s), perhaps ASUS or Buffalo, as access point(s), or deploying a few Ubiquiti UniFi APs around the house… It seems like a good idea to get something that could reasonably run OpenWRT as well as DD-WRT if I get a router; something where I have a chance to fight bufferbloat.

Michael K Johnson April 30, 2013 15:15

Hmm. I’d like to show support for Buffalo adopting DD-WRT instead of doing yet another NIH junk firmware. Of the dual-band “N600” or “N750” models, Buffalo WZR-600DHP would make sense if the antennas were removable, or if they would publish what “High Power” is supposed to mean, but neither is true, which makes me sad as otherwise the specs look nice. Atheros seems clearly the way to go, and ASUS doesn’t use atheros.

TP-LINK TL-WDR4300 looks like it might be OK; it has replaceable antennas (though the specs don’t list transmit power) and it looks like it has good support in OpenWRT:

If I need more drive space, I wonder if the fact that it has two USB ports means that I could put a high-quality USB key in and mount that space?

Anyone want to share experience with TP-LINK in general, or especially with TL-WDR4300?

Eugene Crosser April 30, 2013 16:47

I have D-Link DIR-825 running OpenWRT Backfire and I am quite happy with it. Cheap and plastiky but works without a hitch. Dual band. One caveat: your first reflash has to be from a windows machine.

Michael K Johnson April 30, 2013 19:42

Tonight, I can’t reproduce the results of last night’s speed test on my phones. No idea why. I’ll find out soon how well the TL-WDR4300s work. Probably with OpenWRT, so that I can take advantage of Codel…

Michael K Johnson May 02, 2013 21:38

First deployed the TL-WDR4300s with stock firmware to see how it works. Much more consistent (faster) results on all phones. Better coverage.

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