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NAS access over WiFi - Not Great but to be Expected

joeschmuck

Old Man
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So I moved from a nice house where I could easily run Ethernet cable (any hard line) into a new nice house where I have very few possibilities to run hard lines. This left me in a pickle as the the location I wanted to place my servers and printer and what not had no prewired Ethernet cable. I do have a coax cable so I will look into some sort of converter (one must exist) but it's not a high priority for me as my server is mainly just backup data. Anyway from my main computer to the Router is Cat 5E, from my Router to my computer room is WiFi (Asus RT-AC68W) now as an AP (Media Bridge) and the two are separated by about 20' and two walls made of drywall material (so they are physically very close together) and I have a very good connection in my opinion.

The purpose of this posting is to clearly state that WiFi is NEVER as fast as most people think it is. While I was maxing out my Ethernet throughput on my 1Gbit connection, now I am lucky to get 55MiB/s during a backup operation using SMB protocol (did not test any other). Attached are two tests I performed just to show the comparison between the two and the WiFi connection screen.

WiFi Connection
AP_Connection.JPG


Ethernet Throughput
wiredThrouput.JPG



WiFi Throughput
WifiTestBedroom.JPG
 

jgreco

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So I moved from a nice house where I could easily run Ethernet cable (any hard line) into a new nice house where I have very few possibilities to run hard lines. This left me in a pickle as the the location I wanted to place my servers and printer and what not had no prewired Ethernet cable.
Easily fixed: Set fire to the new house and use the insurance to build a better house.
 

HoneyBadger

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I do have a coax cable so I will look into some sort of converter (one must exist)
Your power words for searching are "MoCA 2.0 Bonded" - check for the Motorola MM1002 as it comes in a nifty two-pack. I've used this on rare occasions.

However the solution proposed by @jgreco would result in better bandwidth, although the delay on initial setup might be too much to bear. ;)
 

joeschmuck

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Easily fixed: Set fire to the new house and use the insurance to build a better house.
I love that answer and it would save me the headache of moving all my old stuff into the rebuilt house :wink:

Your power words for searching are "MoCA 2.0 Bonded" - check for the Motorola MM1002 as it comes in a nifty two-pack. I've used this on rare occasions.
I've used a lot of media convertors at work but they were always 10/100 speed (military applications), but I'll look into the MoCA 2.0 and 2.5 adapters.
 

HoneyBadger

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I've used a lot of media convertors at work but they were always 10/100 speed (military applications), but I'll look into the MoCA 2.0 and 2.5 adapters.
Just bear in mind that cable is a half-duplex medium (like wireless, powerline, etc) so don't expect miracles.

Each channel on MoCA 2.0 can handle up to 500Mbps - vanilla is a single channel, "Bonded" is two, and 2.5 allows up to five. Theoretically you could use a pair of 2.5 adapters to handle a full-duplex gigabit link with only a few added ms of latency.

I say "theoretically" because you'd have to ensure that all five channels are free. If your in-home coax is completely separate from outside (eg: your WAN link is DSL/fibre) then you might be able to pull this off.

Some light reading (PDF warning)

 

joeschmuck

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From my voice of experience - trust me - you'd REALLY HATE not having all that old stuff to move after a fire!
Sorry to hear that you have felt that pain.
 

joeschmuck

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Read that earlier when I was investigating MoCA. From what I can tell it all looks very well developed. So now to pull the trigger and buy a pair of devices, and I've just purchased the GoCoax 2.5 MoCA at $60 each. I only need one pair for now and maybe a third one if I ever need to place the wired network upstairs. I'll have to test it all out once I install it but it won't arrive until Monday 26 October, so I guess I have time to locate my Coax new connectors and tool and put good terminations on the Cat 6 cable on both ends. It will really tick me off if someone drive a drywall screw through the coax cable, it happened in my previous house and I ran a new cable from the basement to the attic of the 2nd floor and then down inside the bedroom wall. It was not a fun thing to do.
 

joeschmuck

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The GoCoax adapters came in a week early, now I need to put connectors on the coax, thought I had the weekend to locate the tools and ends but this is a good change of plans. With any luck I will have some test results by Sunday. My youngest boy turns 35 tomorrow (Saturday) so it's time to celebrate another year. I'm more of a tequila man but I'll drink whatever he has at his house. Free is good!
 

joeschmuck

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First I'd like to say that the intent of my original posting was to let those many new users know that WiFi is not as fast as they think it is and I tested it out to prove it. I had no idea this would turn into an option for me to use my coax connection to facilitate my network connection, but I'm glad it did.

The results of the throughput test are very good, as good as Ethernet for my use. I'm sure there are some minor latency added in (about 2 to 3 ms according to other folks) but that has no bearing on a home use system.

So installing and configuring was a snap, actually there was absolutely no need to configure them at all but I did change the default IP address from 192.168.254.254 to 192.168.0.253 and 192.168.0.254 so I can log in on my network without re-configuring my Windows Ethernet port to access the device. I plan to monitor it for a few months to see how it's doing, if it's dropping packets or anything. So far over the past 3 hours it has not dropped a single packet.

My throughput testing was just something very simple and my goal here was to check the network speed, not my FreeNAS pool speed so I used the minimum file size in Crystal DiskMark to check it out.

Sorry, I wanted Apples to Apples testing but the FreeNAS server ended up getting a new version update and actually a new VM rebuild so things are not exactly perfect and I'm running through a Router vice a nice fast network switch (need to locate one hiding in a box), and I'm using a newer version of the benchmark software as well.

GoCoax (New Windows Machine Test)
Test via GoCoax.PNG


I'm very pleased with the results, with one exception, it was too easy, I didn't have to troubleshoot anything, no bugs, it had no climax. So if you have Coax cable in your home and you would rather not run some good Ethernet Cat 6 cable around, this is a very viable option and as of right now, I highly recommend it. One day I could buy another unit (many if I needed) and put it upstairs but I don't have a need for it right now.

The one thing I also looked into was another product that was also MoCA 2.5 but it had two 1Gbit Ethernet ports and a review showed that both ports could be fully saturated at the same time. I was impressed but the price of those devices was $180 USD for a pair (not sold in singles yet), the GoCoax devices were $60 USD each ($120 USD pair), so a fairly large difference and where I placed the devices, I didn't need two full speed ports. The good thing here is I could add a device like (the two port unit) that to my coax and still use the two ports at full speed, the backbone supports it.

EDIT: I did run iperf (never ran it before) to just have another point of view for throughput, iperf3 running as server on FreeNAS shell, iperf3 client running on Windows 10 machine, had to run at least 4 streams to get these results, and the results are:
Code:
[SUM]   0.00-15.00  sec  1.61 GBytes   924 Mbits/sec                  sender
[SUM]   0.00-15.00  sec  1.61 GBytes   924 Mbits/sec                  receiver
 
Last edited:

HoneyBadger

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First I'd like to say that the intent of my original posting was to let those many new users know that WiFi is not as fast as they think it is and I tested it out to prove it. I had no idea this would turn into an option for me to use my coax connection to facilitate my network connection, but I'm glad it did.
And we're glad to have it not only work out in your favor, but that you've reported the detailed results of the implementation here.

Future searchers and home-networkers will no doubt appreciate the details when they find out that WiFi doesn't give them what they want and running Ethernet isn't an option.
 

Constantin

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Future searchers and home-networkers will no doubt appreciate the details when they find out that WiFi doesn't give them what they want and running Ethernet isn't an option.
Hear hear. I just took two days off to run NVR lines from the outside to the inside of the house and second the pain associated with retrofits. For those still intent on delivering Cat6 goodness to their home, consider three additions to your tool box:
  • Magnepull (an excellent way to pull cables / mice without killing the drywall) - many different varieties available - covering many price points and capabilities in each kit.
  • Dryer-vent cleaning kit like the linteater - perhaps with an extension set (sold separately). The way those rods can be added and subtracted is very handy and the ability to later use it as a genuine lint cleaner is a big plus also.
  • Borescope to see whats not going through and why. Do not go for a Wifi model - they are very fiddly. This fixed screen option is a much better way to guide your wires as needed. It was an absolute godsend to "catch" wires inside an enclosed space from above and below to allow a wire to be pulled (think porch post).
 

joeschmuck

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Hear hear. I just took two days off to run NVR lines from the outside to the inside of the house and second the pain associated with retrofits. For those still intent on delivering Cat6 goodness to their home, consider three additions to your tool box:
  • Magnepull (an excellent way to pull cables / mice without killing the drywall) - many different varieties available - covering many price points and capabilities in each kit.
  • Dryer-vent cleaning kit like the linteater - perhaps with an extension set (sold separately). The way those rods can be added and subtracted is very handy and the ability to later use it as a genuine lint cleaner is a big plus also.
  • Borescope to see whats not going through and why. Do not go for a Wifi model - they are very fiddly. This fixed screen option is a much better way to guide your wires as needed. It was an absolute godsend to "catch" wires inside an enclosed space from above and below to allow a wire to be pulled (think porch post).
That Magnepull tool looks like a life saver, I could have used it in my last house. There has been times where I really wanted to just cut open a strip of drywall and then just patch it, my wife actually likes to paint the house interior every year or so. Not all the rooms, just one or two.
 

Arwen

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One other option is PowerLine. My current and prior home were very close to other homes. My current is an apartment with 4 units downstairs and 4 upstairs, plus other buildings close enough that I can see their WiFi broadcast SIDs. I just checked and I can see 42 other WiFi SIDs, (across both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands)

My biggest need was to get some traffic off WiFi. At present, only my media server is currently on the PowerLine network. Works fine for video watching, music listening and CUPS printing. It does take a bit of time to SCP over new movies and T.V. shows, but that's okay. If I remember correctly, I tend to get 25MBytes per second throughput, so better than Fast Ethernet speeds.

A nice thing about PowerLine is that it's fully portable. Used same units in my prior home. And when I moved, simply unplugged them and brought them to my current home.

I did splurge for the fancier models with dual 1Gbps ports. That allowed me to have my media server and it's remote console device attached without an Ethernet switch.
 

jgreco

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<runs the vacuum cleaner in the unit downstairs to be annoying>
 

Arwen

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@jgreco In my opinion, PowerLine can still be faster than WiFi with 42 neighbors.

Besides, my vacuum cleaner is battery powered AND WiFi connected! (I got a Shark robot cheap last Thanksgiving...) So mine does not interfere with my PowerLine, but does add yet another WiFi device.
 

joeschmuck

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You know those robot vacuums never really worked for me. Bought a decent once (about $450) and it was noisy and barely cleaned much before it became full and needed to be emptied. We have 2 dogs and 1 cat, pet fur is the Robot Vacuum Nemesis. I returned the unit and the real vacuum (actually a Shark as well) does a fantastic job while I'm pushing it around.

In my opinion, PowerLine can still be faster than WiFi with 42 neighbor WiFi's, Rivendell must be a populated place :wink:.
Thanks for posting the PowerLine vs WiFi, it's something other folks can look into if they need something like that.
 

Constantin

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Depends also in part on your building / apartment and where / how the power is distributed. Naughty power loads can easily stomp out transmissions, more so if the distance between the meter and your load is great. When we had to run some microwave tests for work, we ended up testing them right next to the meter in my home to keep the voltage to within the required 5VAC of nominal. That's with a 400VA panel service and a 12AWG connection from the panel to the duplex outlet (all 36" of wire).

Big inductive loads (compressors in AC systems, microwave ovens, powerful motors) can really wreak havoc on those power lines. The code is supposed to deal with all that but in practice it is perfectly usual to see power sag on a duplex outlet down to 90V when a powerful Microwave goes to work. Not all microwaves have power line filters either (not to keep interference out, but rather to keep interference inside the microwave). AC units with variable-speed drives will also feature some very impressive dual-mode chokes, reactors, and other passives to keep the line pollution to a minimum.

But if your microwave doesn't have a power line filter (and mine is one of them), expect a lot of noise in the affected branch circuits. Thankfully, my microwave has a dedicated circuit, so its ability to induce / share interference is limited.
 

Arwen

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@jgreco In my opinion, PowerLine can still be faster than WiFi with 42 neighbors, Rivendell must be a populated place :wink:.
You know those robot vacuums never really worked for me. Bought a decent once (about $450) and it was noisy and barely cleaned much before it became full and needed to be emptied. We have 2 dogs and 1 cat, pet fur is the Robot Vacuum Nemesis. I returned the unit and the real vacuum (actually a Shark as well) does a fantastic job while I'm pushing it around.


Thanks for posting the PowerLine vs WiFi, it's something other folks can look into if they need something like that.
Yes, Rivendell is over-populated with all the refugees from the battles in Rohan, Gondor and Mordor. They have high density housing because we can't build fast enough...

I do agree that most of the little robotic vacuums are not that great for the only vacuuming. But, as a in-between regular vacuuming, they can work okay, (but probably not with lots of pet hair).

You can get, (and I did because, well, on-sale cheap), ones with auto-emptying bins. Supposed to last 30 days before having to manually empty the docking station's bin. My place is small enough it might last 60 to 90 days.

Now all I need is a robot to empty the trash & robotic vacuum bin.

Edit: Oh, one other note that people may have over-looked. That was 42 WiFi SIDs, (aka BASE Stations). So if an average of 4 WiFi devices per BASE Station, that's 168 WiFi DEVICES. Pretty congested.
 

joeschmuck

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Just an update on my MoCA adapters... It's only been 6 weeks since they were installed but No dropped packets, no issues at all. These devices remain cool but I don't have them in a confined space either. I think I can recommend these little devices. The only thing I can't say is how long they will last but they seem to be build well, although I have not taken one apart yet. I plan to move my server upstairs in late December (I'm presently blowing out the dust from inside it, replacing suspect fans, and rethinking the ESXi datastore drives) so I'll be using a different coax cable and hopefully it works just as well. I have no reason to think otherwise.
 
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