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Solved: Ethernet Switch Issue

Discussion in 'Networking' started by JohnWill, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    I have a curious issue, so I figured I'd see if someone can fix a problem for me for a change. ;)

    I recently upgraded to a 35/35 Internet connection. When I connect my computer directly to the router, I get the full bandwidth on a test at www.speedtest.net. However, whenever I use any of my gigabit switches between the computer and the Actiontec MI424WR router, I get much more leisurely upstream connections.

    This seems to be some sort of issue with the cheap SOHO switch being throttled by the 100mbit port on the router. Obviously, the gigabit port on my computer seems to be smarter than the gigabit switch ports.

    It seems clear that I probably have to replace the switch with a better model, but I don't want to buy a more expensive switch without knowing that it's really going to solve the handshake issue.

    Any suggestions or ideas on how to beat this into submission would be appreciated. :)

    Here's the results I'm seeing.


    Using SOHO gigabit switch between computer and router (D-Link and Trendnet models tested with identical results);

    [​IMG]




    Direct connection to router.
     

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  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Guessing that the switch is having trouble auto-syncing a speed with the router. If it were your computer having the issue with the router I'd suggest setting the adapter's speed/duplex property to 100 Mbps full duplex.

    Is that one switch tested with multiple routers or two switches tested with the one router?

    P.S. Good to see you back, John! :)
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    I tried three different switches going to the FiOS router, all exhibited the same issue. Since they're all inexpensive SOHO switches, I suspect the real issue is simply that they're not smart enough to properly adjust to the 100mbit link.

    Connecting the computer directly works fine, so it's obviously possible. ;)


    Good to be back, though I won't be here quite as much for a few weeks, I suddenly have real work to do for a spell. I thought I was retired, but I got that call. :)

    I figure zx10guy may have a switch recommendation that won't break the bank and might solve my issue.
     
  4. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    John,

    Before you go out and buy another switch, check to see if you can set any of the ports on your Actiontec to 100 Mbit/Full. Discussions I've had with my Cisco rep about auto negotiation and GigE has been pretty enlightening. He said the standards for auto negotiation with respect to GigE is rather poorly implemented. The issue you will run into if the two devices don't negotiate properly is one or both devices will step down to a default port configuration. This may be 100 Mb/Half. With a mis-match in speed or duplex, you'll get all sorts of weird behaviors. Having a managed switch or some device which gives port statistics will verify this issue in the form of any fragmentations, giants, or runts.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I'll take a look at the Actiontec and see what it offers. :)

    Good idea, but all the ports are running at 100mbit/full-duplex except the VoIP adapter, which runs at 10mbit, but I verified that's where it's connected.
     
  6. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    I am looking at section 5.3a (Configuring the Ethernet Connection) in the router manual and see you can choose network type, and lots of choices for MTU, QOS, and detected link mode for each LAN port. Maybe something there.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    Well, the Link Speed and duplex settings seem to be the only ones that might affect this, but I've tried manually setting them and leaving them at auto. On Auto, they already are running 100mbit full-duplex, so that seems right anyway. MTU and QoS wouldn't have anything to do with the switch affecting the throughput, at least I can't see how. Remember, it works normally with the direct connection from the system to the router, it's just when the dumb gigabit switch is added to the configuration that the issue occurs.

    I did try manually forcing all the ports to 100mbit/full-duplex, that yielded no change.

    Still looking for a possible cause. :)
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    Well, I got yet another switch and it still didn't work! :(

    I finally decided to solve it the backdoor way. I connected the second Ethernet connection on my machine directly to the router, and removed the Default Gateway and DNS Server addresses from the primary Ethernet. Now, all external requests go to the router, and any internal network traffic through the gigabit switch.

    Not what I really wanted to do, but at least I have full speed on this machine. :D
     
  9. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Wow. Baffling for sure.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator Thread Starter

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    I don't have a clue why no switch will work properly there.

    At this point, I think it's something about the router, but there's nothing I can do, short of trying other ports, and that didn't do anything. No later firmware to run, etc...
     
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