Thursday, August 02, 2007

Buffalo WHR-G125 Router and DD-WRT



http://www.dd-wrt.com/
latest firmware:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/down.php?path=downloads%2Fbeta%2FBUFFALO+WHR-G125/
specifically the 7/30/2007 standard
- fyi the buffalo whr-g125 is onsale this week at Circuit City for $25 after MIR.
http://tinyurl.com/2r76j9
- I picked one up today and flashed the latest ddwrt. It was really easy using tftp. It worked the first time. The whole process takes just a few minutes. DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!
http://tinyurl.com/2a95am
Supposedly after the initial flash, you can do future upgrade flashes using the web interface.
- Wow talk about a lot of options to play with. Performance has been at least equal to my old netgear wgr614.
- Just a warning Qos seems a bit buggy still. I think it works but once you enabled it there is no way to disable it. Even though you apply changes with disabled, once you reboot the router it's enabled again. According to the wiki you sacrifice 15% of your max speed for Qos. So I was getting 8mbs down before enabling qos. After enabling qos and entering the recommended 15% less than max values I was down to around 7mbps. I decided to disable qos and I was still stuck around 7mbps. The work around is either restore factory defaults or luckily I had backed up the nvram settings before messing with qos so I was able to just restore that file and all was good again. Still Qos is a pretty nifty feature:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Quality_of_Service
- Ok after the nvram restore I ran into another bug. The wireless wasn't working and the option to broadcast ssid vansihed. After going through the wireless setup tabs and applying each one things were back to normal. I used IE this time too instead of firefox but I don't think that made a difference. Yeah this firmware is still beta but I'm sure they'll work out the kinks.
- Works great with the 360 with uPnP enabled showing full open NAT on the xbox live test.

Well worth the $25 (about the cheapest bridge out there if you plan to use it that way).

UPDATE: 6/3/08
So v24 is finally out!
- I rebooted the router, loaded up v24 std generic using the web interface, and then another reboot.
- Everything seemed to work fine. The new Bandwidth monitor and traffic graphs are great.

- I decided to give QoS another try. I have to say this final version of v24 seem quite bug free.
So here is how I tested. I pinged the maxpc/pcgamer tf2 server.
Baseline (no internet traffic):
Pinging 66.151.138.34 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=66ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=60ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=115

Ping statistics for 66.151.138.34:
Packets: Sent = 28, Received = 28, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 57ms, Maximum = 84ms, Average = 60ms


QoS OFF - fully saturated internet download:
Pinging 66.151.138.34 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=314ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=283ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=222ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=324ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=287ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=274ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=265ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=252ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=263ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=289ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=305ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=249ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=270ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=323ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=222ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=228ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=309ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=292ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=309ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=317ms TTL=115

Ping statistics for 66.151.138.34:
Packets: Sent = 46, Received = 45, Lost = 1 (2% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 169ms, Maximum = 324ms, Average = 266ms

Qos ON - fully saturated internet download
Pinging 66.151.138.34 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=86ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=85ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=68ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=65ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=115
Reply from 66.151.138.34: bytes=32 time=63ms TTL=115

Ping statistics for 66.151.138.34:
Packets: Sent = 44, Received = 44, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 58ms, Maximum = 102ms, Average = 64ms


Results:
Without QoS ping jumped an avg 206ms!!!!
With Qos ON ping only increased by 4ms!!!!
- You can feel it too while just surfing. Everything is just so much more responsive. Youtube and hulu videos streamed perfectly. I can see my DL speeds drop down to around 3mbps while streaming video which means QoS is doing its job!
- I used 80% values (for my DSL connection I get around 5.4/540 max so I used values 4.3/400). So the only drawback is my download speed maxes out around 4.3mbps which I can live with. I think the trade off is well worth it.

Hands down dd-wrt v24 firmware is amazing. I can't imagine using any other factory firmware after using dd-wrt. In fact I wanted to buy another router just as backup but unfortunately it seems the WHR-G125 is discontinued. I might pick up the LINKSYS WRT54GL as an alternative since it's stupid easy to flash with dd-wrt:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124190
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WRT54G#WRT54GL
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54G/GL/GS/GX#WRT54GL

UPDATE: 06/04/08
I ran some more numbers trying different down/up limits to see impact on ping. My real world down/up is around 5400/540.

I changed up to 500

down:
5200 - 136ms
5000 - 76ms
4800 - 70ms
4600 - 66ms
4300 - 64ms

So it seems the most efficient range would be between 4600 - 5000. Anything higher and ping starts to go way up. Now it's just a trade off on how much bandwidth you wish to utilize vs what is an acceptable ping.

I'm trying out 4800 for now. I've tested hulu.com hd 720p content and you do have to buffer a bit longer or else it can't keep up with the streaming and the video starts to stutter.

I also tried TCP Vegas (without QoS) and it didn't seem to help pings at all. So I'm leaving tcp vegas off and QoS on. . This is more due to the fact the video stream bitrate is higher than 5mbps and with QoS I'm limiting it to 4.8mbps.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=28816

UPDATE: 8/5/08
v24 sp1 has been released. I power cycled the router, installed v24 sp1 through the web interface, and let it reboot. It seems to work fine.

UPDATE: 10/10/08
I did something really stupid and fried my poor buffalo router. I've since replaced it with a Linksys WRT301N with dd-wrt on it.

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