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First post, by DracoNihil

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I've been stuck living with belligerent parents, my father of which is completely oblivious to the concept of bufferbloat in addition to being behind a ISP (AT&T U-Verse DSL), that is also oblivious to the concept of bufferbloat as well, constantly shipping us only two kinds of gateway that have no concept of AQM (Active Queue Management) and do not even offer any kind of advanced setup features to configure packet priorities let alone limiting the maximum throughput of individual connected clients. Windows 10 doesn't even offer any options to that regard, and a product I ended up paying for: "NetLimiter" somehow STILL triggers bufferbloat regardless of the bandwidth limits I try to set in place! (IN addition to the software relying on a "Service" that doesn't auto start even when set to auto!)

I'm in dire need of a router that I can cascade under the gateway AT&T forces us to use, I'm tired of putting up with my family being totally oblivious and inconsiderate to myself and not even caring that I have things I need to do on here that are made virtually impossible because of CONSTANT bufferbloat.

I've tried looking at the OpenWRT project page, but I haven't a single clue about local area networking hardware at all. I don't know what's considered "affordable" and what isn't. I haven't the slightest idea what's reliable and can be used with OpenWRT to it's fullest. I need something that can make use of AQM; specifically CAKE - "Common Applications Kept Enhanced" in addition to setting a hard limit of 32 kbps upload 1.45 mbps download on every device except my own PC, and also in addition to this, strictly prioritizing my packets above every single other possible connection to the router. (My traffic specifically MUST be responsive at all times, absolutely no exceptions!)

Everything I've detailed here almost feels like I'd need to have a full fledged Linux server handling the purpose of routing, and that's something I really want to avoid because nobody wants to have a big tower in the middle of the living room, right next to the NVG599 gateway that AT&T forces us to use. I also need wireless capability (both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time!) since there's stuff in this house that has no ethernet ports to connect directly to a router with.

If anybody has the slightest idea what I can try to go for I'd really appreciate it, I'm losing my mind over this.

The only other alternative I have floating around that I cannot afford under any circumstance for the forseeable future is to get my own ADSL2+ line, separate from the entire family, and have myself be the only connection on it since I can use CAKE within Linux just fine and bufferbloat does not occur under the NVG599 when my network interface locally is configured around CAKE.

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Reply 1 of 13, by cyclone3d

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What exactly are you using this for? Do you not have any better ISP options available? What about ATT fibre?

For a Linux box with multiple connections, you could use something as small as a laptop and an ExpressCard single or dual NIC card. No need for a "huge tower" to be a router box.

I've played around with a few different router distros over the years because of the state of absolute crap quality from pretty much all the mfgs back then.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
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Reply 2 of 13, by Caluser2000

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Linux can run on a Raspberry Pi so what is this "huge tower" thingy? Linux runs fine on my EeePc and K6-2 400 rig.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-07-22, 09:24. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 3 of 13, by DracoNihil

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-07-22, 02:50:

What exactly are you using this for? Do you not have any better ISP options available? What about ATT fibre?

For a Linux box with multiple connections, you could use something as small as a laptop and an ExpressCard single or dual NIC card. No need for a "huge tower" to be a router box.

I've played around with a few different router distros over the years because of the state of absolute crap quality from pretty much all the mfgs back then.

There is no better ISP option, AT&T refuses to deploy fibre in this town because it's "not profitable" or something. CableONE has severe infrastructure congestion issues in addition to charging people based on usage, which would get expensive fast for what I end up doing. Though even if I were to have actual fibre optics, bufferbloat still happens with AT&T gateways regardless of how much bandwidth the things have.

I play a lot of stuff online, I work on mods for Unreal and those have to be transferred to anyone to even actually play on the server, I frequently take it down to make adjustments based on feedback or as a result of my own observations and testing, I obviously can't do this when my family overly congests the local network with Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video at the same time from two different devices I have no control over.

Also, when I'm working on a project of my own sometimes I need to send several dozen files over to somebody for assistance with something and receive files back. Connection failures and overwhelming packet loss complicated that process to the point nobody wants to put up with it, including myself.

Plus, ontop of this: People have been wanting me to stream whatever I'm doing or playing on Twitch and I can't do this at all because of bufferbloat. By the time my sister's kids are returned back to her home my parents just immediately start watching stuff on their own accord that also congests the local network, by the time they go to bed, nobodies awake to even bother watching me. Even the act of them turning on either of their PC will cause immense bufferbloat because of whatever Windows 10 likes to do on boot, completely destroying my stream in the process too.

The bufferbloat is so bad even just trying to reply to people on forums or read documentation on stuff pertaining to what I work on becomes almost impossible, DNS time outs, connection time outs, connection failing midway, significant IRC lag, etc...

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Reply 4 of 13, by Hoping

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Try pfsense https://www.pfsense.org/
From my tests is the best option for adsl/vdsl if you only what routing features. It works with a very simple machine depending on the bandwidth you need. But it has so many features that I didn't need neither understand:)
I've run it for years on a celeron 600 with 256 mb ram when I only had adsl(8mbs download), the proxy cache is very useful when you have a bad connection.
Another option I like, I'm using it now is ipfire https://www.ipfire.org/ but it needs a more powerful hardware, not much, I'm running it on an old atom d525 with 2 gb of ram. The plus of ipfire, for me, are the samba server, the proxy and the bittorent client, all runing on the router.

Reply 5 of 13, by RandomStranger

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-07-22, 06:11:

There is no better ISP option, AT&T refuses to deploy fibre in this town because it's "not profitable" or something.

So it's it's copper wire? Then probably slightly older routers are good too. I'm using an ASUS RT-N18U, it's decent on stock firmware, but it works with Advanced Tomato, OpenWRT and DD-WRT. My backup router is a really old TP-Link TL-WR841N with DD-WRT.

How I generally choose a router is, check what I like regarding hw specs and check if it works with Tomato/Open/DD-WRT.

Generally Linksys, ASUS, TP-Link and Mikrotik routers above ~50-70$ are alright.

Like the ASUS RT-AC57U is less than $60 where I live and it seems it can run OpenWRT. No personal experience though.
The TP-Link Archer C6 is less than $50 and it's also supported, just pay attention which revision do you buy. No personal experience either.
There are also some cheaper ones, but those are only fast ethernet.

sreq.png

Reply 6 of 13, by DracoNihil

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-07-22, 12:56:

So it's it's copper wire? Then probably slightly older routers are good too. I'm using an ASUS RT-N18U, it's decent on stock firmware, but it works with Advanced Tomato, OpenWRT and DD-WRT. My backup router is a really old TP-Link TL-WR841N with DD-WRT.

Yeah, to make things even more insulting AT&T doesn't offer people to use their own ADSL2+ capable modem+router combinations. The only way you could conceivably think to use your own modem+router combo is to somehow acquire the certs they load these things with, and then carefully setup your modem+router to masquerade as AT&T's hardware. Not a fun task, especially since I've heard people that got their service eventually cancelled when AT&T somehow figured out something was amiss.

Everytime I read support pages about bufferbloat on AT&T the only solution is to cascade another router and effectively deactivate everything on the AT&T gateway to the point it's nothing more than a "dumb bridge" to the replacement router.

Thanks for the suggestions, I just hope I can have luck finding some of these actually in stock.

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Reply 7 of 13, by cyclone3d

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What about Starlink? Is that available where you are yet?

Really sounds like you mainly need a better connection to me.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 8 of 13, by DracoNihil

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-07-22, 14:54:

What about Starlink? Is that available where you are yet?

Really sounds like you mainly need a better connection to me.

If anything I need better living conditions, but I'm trapped here with my "parents" and the COVID19 pandemic isn't helping.

I'm not even sure if satellite internet can even remotely be a better connection to begin with. I live in the mid-west US, unless they figured out a way to have satellite communications cut a swath through severe storm clouds, I will end up with days I have absolutely zero signal. I'm also hesitant to even try to bring that subject up with my father because nearly anything I say to him just results in passive-aggressive verbal abuse.

I know two people who have no choice but to resort to satellite internet, and they often have serious problems with it. I don't know if it's with Starlink specifically though.

If I start hearing credibly good things about Starlink I'll muster up the courage to try to point my father in that general direction.

For my purposes this rinky-dink ADSL2+ works just fine, I just need literally every device connected to actually do some sort of sensible AQM of their own accord to not bufferbloat the NVG599 into oblivion. But, again: This is something that apparently escapes the mind of every ISP and every "video streaming service provider" as well.

Is there even a solid reason why AT&T would hide every actually useful option in their gateways they force us to use? A few years ago when someone published a hack to root a earlier model of Arris NVGxxx gateway, I was able to configure QUITE A LOT and even ended up noticing the entire system is literally a BSD variant, and could theoretically run whatever I wanted if I were to compile stuff under BSD's source code and userspace.

EDIT: Once again, today I'm plagued by bufferbloat in the extremes and it appears my attempts at setting "Bandwidth Saver" settings under the Roku and Amazon FireStick did absolutely nothing, what even is the point of even listing such settings if they do absolutely nothing? Why is this such a impossible to grasp concept for these people that bandwidth is not infinite?

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Reply 9 of 13, by RandomStranger

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-07-22, 13:14:

Yeah, to make things even more insulting AT&T doesn't offer people to use their own ADSL2+ capable modem+router combinations.

I think that's the standard everywhere both on fiber and copper. Where I live it's the same for over 10 years by now. Though here it's not a problem to switch it into bridge mode, use it as a modem and log in with your own router through PPPoE. With some ISPs you can do it yourself, with others they do it themselves for free if you ask. Same with NAT.

I couldn't leave my home network to be handled by a device that is or can be managed by complete strangers. I think it's a security and privacy nightmare.

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Reply 10 of 13, by BitWrangler

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"Upgrade" the family to an old wrt54g with it locked to 801.11b, put the previous SSID on it, then give yourself a new hidden SSID on the fast router. 🤣

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 11 of 13, by cyclone3d

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-22, 19:59:

"Upgrade" the family to an old wrt54g with it locked to 801.11b, put the previous SSID on it, then give yourself a new hidden SSID on the fast router. 🤣

Ewww... I had multiple of those and ran OpenWRT on them. Even with OpenWRT I would have to power cycle them every few days. If I was lucky I might get a whole 1-2 weeks before they would freak out. Wireless would no longer connect or they would just drop the WAN connection for no apparent reason.

I guess that would limit their speed though.

Oh yeah, the range also sucks even with the available power adjustment in OpenWRT.

As for ATT fiber, I switched from WoW 500/50 cable to ATT 300/300 fiber. Of course you have to use the ATT router, which to my surprise is a Wifi 6 router.

Even with multiple people streaming and/or doing other stuff on the network it still works great even if I am downloading large files such as game updates or installs from Steam, torrenting, etc.

(TV, iPad, laptops, a couple desktops, phones)

Everything just works like it should. Seems to have pretty good built-in QOS to me.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 12 of 13, by darry

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I use DD-WRT on a Netgear R8000 and it is both fast and stable . OpenWRT will work on it but has limitations due to this

Broadcom wireless
People often wonder why DD-WRT supports stuff that OpenWrt doesn't. It is often as easy as that: access to drivers.

Broadcom has not released any FOSS drivers. Broadcom doesn’t support open-source much at all.
DD-WRT has a license agreement and NDA in place with Broadcom that allow usage of better, proprietary, closed source wireless drivers (binary blobs) which they are not allowed to redistribute freely.
OpenWrt use only FOSS drivers. Fully open-source support for Broadcom wifi chips is very limited.
Consequences
Now what does limited support mean? What is working with open-source drivers and what not?

Limited means: 2.4GHz only b/g available, and 5GHz doesn't work at all. There might be some exceptions, but the general rule is as written before. For details see Unsupported features

With that in mind (no or only limited open source support of Broadcom devices), it's up to you whether to buy Broadcom devices or not.

source : https://openwrt.org/meta/infobox/broadcom_wifi

EDIT :

But, according to https://openwrt.org/toh/netgear/r8000

Status
Second data partition (79 MiB) not available in OpenWrt
For a proper performance use:
radio0 for the higher 5 GHz band (channel 149 or something else, depending on country)
radio2 for the lower 5 GHz band (channel 48, or something like that and lower)

So, nice contradictory information on https://openwrt.org/

Reply 13 of 13, by DracoNihil

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-07-22, 19:51:

I think that's the standard everywhere both on fiber and copper. Where I live it's the same for over 10 years by now. Though here it's not a problem to switch it into bridge mode, use it as a modem and log in with your own router through PPPoE. With some ISPs you can do it yourself, with others they do it themselves for free if you ask. Same with NAT.

I couldn't leave my home network to be handled by a device that is or can be managed by complete strangers. I think it's a security and privacy nightmare.

I remember several times my dad would call up AT&T for tech support, when we kept having link retrains and the guy on the phone says "Sir, I'm going to try restarting your gateway" and literally nothing restarted remotely at all. I didn't even see a single thing happen in the logs either (and the logs would of been cleared on reboot anyways!)

The only time I ever see AT&T gateways restart out of the blue is if they're flashing themselves with a new OS image automatically.

BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-22, 19:59:

"Upgrade" the family to an old wrt54g with it locked to 801.11b, put the previous SSID on it, then give yourself a new hidden SSID on the fast router. 🤣

As amusing as that would be, I'd get yelled at for it.

darry wrote on 2021-07-23, 01:28:
I use DD-WRT on a Netgear R8000 and it is both fast and stable . OpenWRT will work on it but has limitations due to this […]
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I use DD-WRT on a Netgear R8000 and it is both fast and stable . OpenWRT will work on it but has limitations due to this

Broadcom wireless
People often wonder why DD-WRT supports stuff that OpenWrt doesn't. It is often as easy as that: access to drivers.

Broadcom has not released any FOSS drivers. Broadcom doesn’t support open-source much at all.
DD-WRT has a license agreement and NDA in place with Broadcom that allow usage of better, proprietary, closed source wireless drivers (binary blobs) which they are not allowed to redistribute freely.
OpenWrt use only FOSS drivers. Fully open-source support for Broadcom wifi chips is very limited.
Consequences
Now what does limited support mean? What is working with open-source drivers and what not?

Limited means: 2.4GHz only b/g available, and 5GHz doesn't work at all. There might be some exceptions, but the general rule is as written before. For details see Unsupported features

With that in mind (no or only limited open source support of Broadcom devices), it's up to you whether to buy Broadcom devices or not.

This really frustrates me to no end, I don't understand the logic behind hardware vendors not wanting open source drivers. What even is there to hide? If someone was really hellbent on copying you they could just decap your chips and start analyzing the die or something.

If it turns out I can't get some wireless stuff working as a 2-in-1 package, I might end up having to just get a dedicated wireless router, and just cascade that onto the already cascaded router (further complicating the LAN process but if I get everything that I think will fix everything going it still wont result in bufferbloat happening even with that daisy-chain mess)

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