Did uTorrent break my router?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by KinGamer7, Jun 12, 2010.

Jun 12, 2010
  1. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    Hey guys, I've had my Belkin router (F5D7230-4) for a few years now with plenty of minor issues. For one, my DS has never been able to maintain a connection to the router because it automatically drops the connection to the DS for being too slow (the router wasn't listed as compatible anyway). I had a workaround solution by using Fping, which somehow fixed the problem altogether (I followed someone's advice on a forum after loads of searching).

    My main issue is to do with torrents. Basically, my download and upload speeds are a-ok. With torrents that are well-seeded, I get speeds of up to 1mb/s download, with my upload speed often sitting at a consistent 20~kb/s. I should mention that when torrents have finished downloading, my uTorrent is set to change the upload rate to unlimited when seeding, which I THINK is probably the problem here. The torrents finish downloading with no issues and everything works fine, UNTIL I turn the computer off (and disconnect the plugs for the cable modem, router etc.). Usually, after some torrenting and a restart, my internet just doesn't work. No slow-downs, just completely disconnected. Most of the time, this is corrected by turning the router & internet modem off, and then back on (power cycling). If the internet still does not connect, I just have to repeat this a couple of times, and everything works fine again. However, for the past 2 days my router has been odd. When I turn everything back on, the router either has the incorrect lights showing (some are orange, others are off entirely, etc.) or, like it is now, it just does not have any lights on at all. Yet I KNOW that it is receiving power because, after more power cycling, there's a random chance for the router to come back on again, but remain dysfunctional. It's been like this since yesterday at least, and it seems unlikely that it will just 'fix itself' like it always has before.

    Right now, the only way I'm using the internet is by connecting my modem straight into the computer. It connects fine, but my internet is pretty damn slow right now! I've had slow-downs after torrenting before, and it just seems to recover it's speed if given time (how does that work exactly? Is it to do with bandwidth?). Yet right now, It takes a good 5 minutes to buffer a 2.5 minute video! I just hope that it recovers by Tuesday; there's no way I can miss Nintendo's live E3 broadcast, and my internet needs to be back on form by then! [​IMG]

    If it does seem to be broken, would anyone mind recommending any good routers / brands? I've heard bad things about Belkin, and while my experience with my router hasn't exactly been a nightmare, it has been inconvenient (such as their official firmware upgrades refusing to work). Would Linksys or Netgear be top dogs?

    I use my router for Nintendo Wi-Fi, XBOX Live and as wireless access for the laptop, if that helps.

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

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    I'd recommend a Linksys WRT54GL. Stick a 3rd party firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT on it if you're doing torrenting. From the rest of your post it does sound like your router has been slowly dying... Nothing to do with utorrent.
     
  3. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    I've heard good things about the WRT54G series, I'll try and pick that up tomorrow. It's strange that my router only died if I was torrenting. If it's direct download there's no problems. Must be the way I've got uTorrent setup, aside from my router just being crap.

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  4. Forstride

    Member Forstride The rudder moves when I turn the wheel

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    I have a WRT54G2 and it's been working great. No problems yet, and I've had it for about a year or so.
     
  5. Leamonde.Halcyon

    Member Leamonde.Halcyon 6x9=42

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    Linksys WRT54G series is great. I use mine with WEP encryption and haven't had a problem yet...well at least not one that stemmed from the router. More like issues with the modem. >_
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Belkin does have problems with many of their routers, but so just every other company. Finding a router that always works in every situation is increasingly hard. And they tend to only do WiFi-g or 10/100Mbps ethernet.

    Chances are the cause behind the original problem lay in one of three areas. Firstly, overheating. Every router I've ever bought for myself has run somewhat warm, but only the Belkin N1 Vision (that I currently use) has ever suffered overheating (and even then only when a careless parent had covered it with a pile of clothes). When a router runs hot, bad things happen. At first it's easy to fix with a power cycle, but eventually the parts wear down and it breaks. Secondly, firmware. Belkin, for whatever reason, do not seem to be able to release firmware fixes to known problems across many of their routers (like the timer bug in the N1 Vision), despite the fact that they do release new firmware and it usually is supposed to fix the problems. The timer bug is still around. Thirdly, hardware. Many (and I mean many) routers do not handle torrents very well. This is simply due to the fact that p2p involves creating a lot of individual connections, and it has to handle the dataflow and direction of every one of those connections. Many routers cannot handle that (since they're designed for only a few connections at once, going at high speeds, such as streaming video) and crash out. Some routers (like the N1 Vision) automatically reconnect whenever this happens, but that only works if the actual OS hasn't crashed itself (needing a power cycle).

    Whenever people ask me why their internet keeps cutting out, the first thing I ask about is torrents. Half the time, they are torrenting and their routers just can't handle it (or, in more rare cases, the ISPs are interfering). Another quarter of the time, it's Windows Live Messenger's video and/or voice chats... the N1 Vision is the first router I've ever had that doesn't lose connection within seconds of starting that up. The rest of the times tends to be minor hardware problems like faulty WiFi cards (stupid BroadCom), damaged ethernet cables, mischievous pets, or accident prone legs of relatives (pulling out the cables).

    Before you get a new router, always check all the reviews on them. People always find problems, and their problems could easily become your problems. Then again, if so many 'tempers like the WRT54G series, then that's a good bet that you'll be happy with it. Personally I don't like WiFi-g routers since everything in my house has built in WiFi-n, and my last router was an old LinkSys one (forgot the name). The WiFi worked like a dream (albeit slow), but it could only take 2 hours of torrents at a time before needing a power cycle.
     
  7. Maverick Lunar X

    Member Maverick Lunar X GBAtemp Fan

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    Can't stand Belkin networking devices. They should stick with surge protectors.

    Much emphasis on the third-party firmware. I'm currently on a WRT54G running DD-WRT, and the amount of control is fantastic. When this thing finally dies (its lasted me about 6 or so years by now) I'm gonna make sure the next router I buy is compatible with this firmware.
     
  8. Leamonde.Halcyon

    Member Leamonde.Halcyon 6x9=42

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    Ive never actually had any problems running torrents through my WRT54G. I rarely, if ever have to power cycle it and I torrent all the time.
     
  9. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

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    Do note most of the WRT54Gs have reduced flash and ram size now. Meaning you can't run custom firmware on these. Some can run a micro version of DD-WRT. The butchered WRT54Gs run VxWorks instead of Linux, and have reported problems if there are too many connections open, such as due to p2p apps.

    The WRT54GL has its ram and flash intact. The L at the end stands for Linux.
     
  10. hunnymonster

    Member hunnymonster GBAtemp Regular

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    I see the OP is in the UK - many shitcan ISPs here throttle your connection, the whole thing if you start up a torrent prog and either don't release the throttle for 24 hours or until the connection is dropped and a new one made...

    Name the ISP and lets see if you have that "joy".
     
  11. Am0s

    Member Am0s Mojo Risin

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    think I may have an answer for you but its hard to say because you would need to contact your ISP for an intrusive woosh test, ( i know it sounds funny, but its an actual tool) I just read your on cable thats gotta be Virgin media ISP well they must have a tool for this too

    ok from what I gather after each session day or whatever, when you finish surfing you switch everything off and unplug stuff, well this could be your issue, for one thing the router has firmware on it and unplugging stuff while the modem/router is on could cause the router's firmware to crash.

    the other thing from what you say about torrenting, if you download alot and the router gets hot, that could cause the router to crash and drop the connection.

    lastly you say you switch everything off, I assume this is the cable modem well fro ADSL and I assume this would be the same for cable, so if you turn off your router and modem by the power switch that could cause a stale session I will explain if you turn your router off on an active session without logging in and clicking disconnect, you run the risk of stunting the internet routing from the modem/router to the ISP, also the ISP authentication servers still think the connection is active, from your end you wont get any web pages, from the ISP side it will look as if you are logged in still, the only way to remove your session from the computers inside your ISP network, they would have to run an intrusive woosh test and do a suspend and resume on your connection, meaning they would cease your internet and resume it.

    Although this is cable and mainly I have ADSL experience they should be pretty similar, at the end of the cable modem could be knackered, when you get your internet working again just leave it on and dont unplug anything fromt eh router modem etc see how that works.

    if you do however call Virgin if your on virgin that is then googd luck speaking to the helpdesk they are all pretty much incompetent

    and yes switching the internet equipment off without clicking disconnect can cause a stale session to anybody
     
  12. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    My internet has been down since my last post and has only just come back on. My ISP is indeed Virgin, and my dad called them up and told them about our situation. They told us to switch off the internet for 10-15 minutes, then turn it back on. I don't know the details, but apparently Virgin "did something on their end" that established our connection, and it is in fact completely back to normal (speeds have also returned).

    Apparently our connection to them has a 'low signal'; I have no idea what that means, but they're sending over someone on wednesday to fix up our modem, apparently. I've bought a new router, a Linksys WRT120N (54G Series wasn't in the shop, and my dad wasn't willing to look for a specific version). It installed seamlessly, no issues whatsoever (unlike Belkin, which was a nightmare to get up and working).

    I don't think that overheating was the problem; my old router was always warm, but never did it feel like it was hot enough to become a problem.

    Am0s: From what I'm reading about these stale sessions, it sounds like that's the issue. I never actually knew that you could disconnect the router through it's firmware, but to be honest I don't see any options like that in the router settings.

    Originality: Would lowering my max. number of global connections and limiting my upload rate solve the problem? I always had a hunch that my problems were either down to connecting to too many peers or sending too much data and choking my connection.

    The one thing that worries me is if this low signal business causes our internet to cop out tomorrow by the time E3 rolls around! [​IMG]

    Thanks for all your help, much appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  13. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    The reduces RAM size of newer routers also means they can't handle a high number of connections, either. When I torrent I usually limit my global connections too, and per torrent to 60, to avoid straining the router. That still lets me get ~600KB on a single torrent, though.

    Most often it's the number of connections that choke it, not how much data is flowing through them.
     
  14. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I think it's trial and error to find out how limiting connection settings in your torrent client affects the stability of your internet connection. I'm sure that if you have a weaker router, it will definitely help, but how much is the right number?

    By default, the typical number of global connections is 200 (or so it seems from several clients I've used). The two things that affect this number is the strength of your router and your connection speed (usually determined by the upload speed, not the download speed). To give an example, I know my router can easily handle 500 connections, but I always set it to the lower band of my upload speed (250k instead of the true 750k) so I don't overload it with my other internet activities. Based on this, uTorrent sets my global connections to 230, 80 per torrent. It would probably jump up to 500 if I ever got round to talking my dad into upgrading our ISP plan to ADSL2+ speeds.

    I've not had any problems with my Belkin N1 Vision ADSL2+ Modem when it comes to torrenting, but I forked out £90 for it (usual price, £150). It's powerful, it's nice to look at, and it only has one problem with it - a tiny bug in the firmware that apparantly only got fixed in the v2000 hardware/firmware (and I have the v1000) that makes it drop connection every 2 hours for a few seconds when it tries to sync its time to the internet. So annoying in online gaming...
     
  15. Am0s

    Member Am0s Mojo Risin

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    ok first things first do you have the TV package too, because if you do that lowers your signal, and that would cause you to drop your connection, I remember when I was on telewest which was before virgin took over, so twat reversed his car into the cable box exposing the bottom of it, I called telewest it took them 3 months to fix it, and did it on the day there was 1 foot of snow on the floor, anyway the whole thing was rusted to hell haha, they fixed the box, and then the next week some twat did the same thing again.

    what you can do about the router, is just leave it on, only switch it off after about a week or so perhaps, if I remember correctly I had a webstar modem after my surfboard copped out on me and that did have a restart modem button, but you have to watch the technician for the IP addy, or google it. If you have to turn everything off at night and no way round it, log onto your cable modem and click reset router then switch it off that may work, not being racist here but the indian helpdesk IS completely useless, word of advice to you, if you still have issues kick up enough fuss and complain and the reading or welsh helpdesk will call you I know its somewhere round there, as I complained left right and center after the helpdesk failed me.

    the torrents thing work out how much upload you have and then limit your connection to upload well below what your connection is, you see if you overload your connection with too much upload you will DOS yourself and cause issues for your self
     
  16. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Needless to say, my internet has made a full recovery. The guy was only around for less than 5 minutes, he said there was no problem whatsoever anymore, and that seems to be the case. We ended up talking about Final Fantasy more than anything. On a side note: Nintendo dominated E3. The amount of things to look forward to is insane!

    I've just tried uTorrent's speed guide, and these are the settings it has automatically set:

    [​IMG]

    Surprisingly, my upload speed is higher than I expected; I thought my max was about 60kb/s!

    It's obvious that uTorrent has picked these settings with a lower upload rate in mind, which is a good thing as avoiding overload is my main priority (as Am0s mentioned it would).

    However, what do you think of uTorrent's settings in comparison to this chart? In reference to that, I should lower my connections per torrent as well as my max. global connections. Any thoughts?
     
  17. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    well done getting this router, i have the same one and it's a great router, no disconnects, no timeouts no dropouts or anything, i've had mine for 3 months now, it works with the ps3 and wii and never signs out either.
     
  18. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

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    I'd follow the settings more in line with the chart. Your global connection limit is very high. I'd set that to 100, and the connection per torrent to around 50 or 60. Too many open connections can cause your internet to feel sluggish.

    On my own connection I have my number of connections limited to similar, on top of QoS been activated for uploads. With those settings my uploading doesn't effect my web browsing, or online gaming experience at all. When my connections were higher it tended to cause my ping to spike, even with QoS on. One thing to note, QoS is really only effective for uploading (outgoing connections).
     
  19. Am0s

    Member Am0s Mojo Risin

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    I know its virgin so their upload is crap 768k?

    anyway best thing to do is really limit your uploading when seeding mainly because too much traffic outgoing ( uploading) will result in dropped connections, or internet browsing slowed to a crawl, if you limit your uploads to say 70% of your upload bandwidth in general you should be ok, thats what I used to do when I used torrents, if you want faster speeds, give your pc and static IP and forward the port utorrent is saying its using that will give some more speed if you have not done that already.

    off topic
    on a side not you should find out whether virgin still do their free usenet accounts, if they do I would recommend using them opposed to torrents, and also be aware that ofcom are now taking names of filesharers down for eductaion by mail some time next year

    on topic
    I am glad its working again, if you on 20mb or even 50mb connection you should check your connection by downloading 2 files off virgin's ftp server, preferbly something quite large, what you do is if you dont know this is, you download say 2 1gb files off their site and then calculate your overall bandwidth over the 2 downloads, when I was on virgin when they first brought out 20mb I got about 13mb before they brought in this QoS BS

    the upload slots put it to 2 or somthing and upload speed say at 20KB that would end up with 20KB free for your own use as 2 uploads at at 20KB and 20 KB for your yourself or you could lower that aswell if you wanted, its not so much how much your download its about how much you upload, as UK ISP are rather tight fisted with upload
     

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