Routing Capacity - 740,741
January 1, 2019 1:13 EST PM
The topic of routers came up again in the last few episodes, but the topic was a bit different and focused somewhat on the routers ability to "route" vs bandwidth.
Late last year I was trying to troubleshoot some local networking issues and though it was a bad device gone rogue and what I found out was this: my router was getting overwhelmed and wasn't able to keep up with the basic routing tasks.
Now, I do have somewhat of a non-typical setup ~45 devices, but in today's home the number can add up quickly and people may start to encounter similar ceilings on off the shelf routers.
I originally had a Nighthawk AC3200 and this just kept getting hung up. What I experienced was after a period of time, the ability to get out to the internet would just stop. Reboot the router and I was good for a while, then same problem. I chalked this up to a bad or not-so-cheap router and upgraded to the RT2500AC from Synology. This too began to suffer from the same issues except it took longer, but after many rounds with Synology support the conclusion was "it's some other device on your network causing the issue".
Thus began my search for the rogue device. I then took several weeks troubleshooting one device after another and in the end, everything seemed to be in fine working order. All had the latest software, firmware, etc.
it was then while doing this 1-1 troubleshooting I noticed the pattern: everything worked great as long as I didn't plug in more than 30 devices, after that, things started to go haywire then stop as before.
So I played around with the devices and concluded that it didn't really matter "which" devices, but at or about 30, the router just couldn't handle the load.
I then figure out that the AC3200 and the RT2600AC just didn't have the processing power to handle the number of devices I have across my local networks.
It gets kind of crazy, but here is a short list:
3xAppleTV, 1xRoku, 1x Firestick, XBox360, 4xSmartTV, DVD Player, Fingerpick Box, Synology NAS, Garage home automation, Irrigation System, Security System, including 8xHD PoE Cameras (saving to NAS), etc, etc. and then a bunch of wireless devices like iPads, iPhones, laptops, etc.
I have 2x24 port switches and 1 PoE 8 port switch
With our family, things added up quickly.
I ended up with a Netgear X10 and haven't had a single issue since.
Well, since Netgear sabotaged their own router with a firmware patch that disabled the built in Plex server (fist shake level Thanos).
I do think that there are classes of routers that should be considered based on your routing needs that have to include routing abilities not just bandwidth, antennas, and radios.