[SOLVED] Ethernet Switch Upgrade Downgrades my performance?

kGius

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Once again my ignorance when it comes to hardware brings me to Tom's Hardware XD

P.s. all speeds come from Speedtest.net.

So I found out my ethernet switch (Some EDIMAX 5-port fast ethernet (10/100) switch that was already installed when I started living here...) was having some SERIOUS impact on the internet speeds I was getting in my home office / sound studio.

We recently switched providers and I thought I'd have a little before/after measure session to see how the new one holds up. We live in a super old house far from it all so I knew the promised 500Mbps down would not be real. around 50 was real. Cool. The new, much cheaper provider promised us 150 and also came trough at around 50, measured straight from the router. So, cheaper internet, same speed, all good there. But with all this measuring I found a doosey of a bottleneck.

This switch. The EDIMAX unit took that 50ish and tossed out.... 9 to my home office / sound studio and 9 to my GF's home office / design space (or whatchamacallit🐱‍🏍 ). 9 is not a lot. I decided this switch was old, crappy, and needed replacement. Got a much newer NETGEAR GS305 5 port Gigabit Switch (10/100/1000).

As I'm typing this, this new switch has been running for about 4 hours. My internet speeds in the home office are at around 3 to 4 Mbps, and up speeds rush to 9 Mbps then drop straight down to 0.5 Mbps... stability is... wonky.

So, this much newer, capable of much higher speed NETGEAR unit is proving to be a downgrade more than an upgrade. It is an unmanaged switch btw. Am I missing something? Did I do something wrong? Should I go back to my old switch? Can I get like... 20ish in my home office? That was kinda the plan... HULP! 🤣

Thanks in advance with much ❤ from The Netherlands
 

kGius

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Thanks @bill001g @jeremyj_83 and @SamirD for your help. I managed to find the item throttling the speed of the switch... My Realtek RTL8111F had died a while back when I was away for business. My GF was using my computer every now and then and bypassed the problem with an external USB Ethernet controller... Seems that was causing the problem, as it was plugged into a USB 2 instead of an USB 3 port... causing all speeds on the switch to drop drastically.

We're up to 90 Mbps in both workspaces now, which is about 3x what I was hoping to achieve.
Your responses pushed me to look harder and re-test stuff, which in the end helped me find this super obvious thing... 😂
 
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Once again my ignorance when it comes to hardware brings me to Tom's Hardware XD

P.s. all speeds come from Speedtest.net.

So I found out my ethernet switch (Some EDIMAX 5-port fast ethernet (10/100) switch that was already installed when I started living here...) was having some SERIOUS impact on the internet speeds I was getting in my home office / sound studio.

We recently switched providers and I thought I'd have a little before/after measure session to see how the new one holds up. We live in a super old house far from it all so I knew the promised 500Mbps down would not be real. around 50 was real. Cool. The new, much cheaper provider promised us 150 and also came trough at around 50, measured straight from the router. So, cheaper internet, same speed, all good there. But with all this measuring I found a doosey of a bottleneck.

This switch. The EDIMAX unit took that 50ish and tossed out.... 9 to my home office / sound studio and 9 to my GF's home office / design space (or whatchamacallit🐱‍🏍 ). 9 is not a lot. I decided this switch was old, crappy, and needed replacement. Got a much newer NETGEAR GS305 5 port Gigabit Switch (10/100/1000).

As I'm typing this, this new switch has been running for about 4 hours. My internet speeds in the home office are at around 3 to 4 Mbps, and up speeds rush to 9 Mbps then drop straight down to 0.5 Mbps... stability is... wonky.

So, this much newer, capable of much higher speed NETGEAR unit is proving to be a downgrade more than an upgrade. It is an unmanaged switch btw. Am I missing something? Did I do something wrong? Should I go back to my old switch? Can I get like... 20ish in my home office? That was kinda the plan... HULP! 🤣

Thanks in advance with much ❤ from The Netherlands
Did you change the Ethernet cables? If you are getting only 10Mbps I think your internal wiring might be Cat 3.
 

kGius

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Did you change the Ethernet cables? If you are getting only 10Mbps I think your internal wiring might be Cat 3.
All cables are CAT 5 :) yeah I should have mentioned that. Issues are purely with the switch. Couple hours later now and internet is super wonky, cuts out every now and then, tests are in the 3-5 range.... 🤦‍♂️ thinking this upgrade really was a downgrade, but don't understand why.
 

kGius

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Sounds like the wiring in your walls isn't to spec. 100Mbps is a lot less forgiving than gigabit and the netgear is probably going to keep trying to gigabit across that wire even though it's not possible.
Also @jeremyj_83

There is actually no wire in any walls 😉 it's like... a VERY old house. So the CAT5 runs along the skirting and stuff. I'm fully sure the issue is in the switch and not the wiring though. Not good at hardware, but I am at isolating issues. Tested right before the switch (50) and right after the switch using brand new CAT5 of 1m long. Old switch: 9 out. New switch: 3 to 5 out. So yeah... it's that switch.

If I understand what you are saying correctly the gigabit switch tries to push 1000, even though it's only getting 50 in at max, and that makes it give terrible speeds out?

Tested again today and the speeds continue to be horrible. Last night (saturday night) I got only 30 in in stead of 50 (busy I guess), output of the switch stayed the same at around 3 to 5. Same used to happen with the old switch, if the in went down a bit didn;t matter, it would always give out around 9Mbps.

Any tips on how to actually get this 50 ish we are getting in to this old house to our various workplaces in the house? Think I'm sending back the Netgear Switch...
 
Also @jeremyj_83

There is actually no wire in any walls 😉 it's like... a VERY old house. So the CAT5 runs along the skirting and stuff. I'm fully sure the issue is in the switch and not the wiring though. Not good at hardware, but I am at isolating issues. Tested right before the switch (50) and right after the switch using brand new CAT5 of 1m long. Old switch: 9 out. New switch: 3 to 5 out. So yeah... it's that switch.

If I understand what you are saying correctly the gigabit switch tries to push 1000, even though it's only getting 50 in at max, and that makes it give terrible speeds out?

Tested again today and the speeds continue to be horrible. Last night (saturday night) I got only 30 in in stead of 50 (busy I guess), output of the switch stayed the same at around 3 to 5. Same used to happen with the old switch, if the in went down a bit didn;t matter, it would always give out around 9Mbps.

Any tips on how to actually get this 50 ish we are getting in to this old house to our various workplaces in the house? Think I'm sending back the Netgear Switch...
Are you connecting the switch directly to the modem?
 
Yes from the modem there is one line to the TV in the livingroom and one line to the switch. That switch then goes to the two workspaces.
First from a security perspective that is a poor design. You don't want direct connections from your modem to your computer. The modem should be connected to a router first. Even consumer grade WiFi routers have a firewall in place to protect your internal network.

Secondly your connection will only run at the slowest speed of the two connections. Since you are using a dumb L2 switch, it will go st the slowest connection between your computer and modem. If your case that is the modem connection itself. If you get a WiFi router the internal LAN and any connection to the router will run at wire speeds. Only the WAN will be slower.
 
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kGius

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First from a security perspective that is a poor design. You don't want direct connections from your modem to your computer. The modem should be connected to a router first. Even consumer grade WiFi routers have a firewall in place to protect your internal network.

Secondly your connection will only run at the slowest speed of the two connections. Since you are using a dumb L2 switch, it will go st the slowest connection between your computer and modem. If your case that is the modem connection itself. If you get a WiFi router the internal LAN and any connection to the router will run at wire speeds. Only the WAN will be slower.
Thanks for your reply. I'm quite a noob when it comes to home networks 🤣

My modem (a ZYXEL VMG8825-T50) also sends out the WiFi, so I guess it is a modem + router? The connection from there to the TV runs at 50Mbps. That's about the max we can get here, and that's fine with me. It also sends 50Mbps to the switch (I plugged a laptop in place of the Switch, it read 50 Mbps), then after the switch it drops to 10% or less... 3 to 5 Mbps with the giganet switch. Used to be 9 Mbps with the fast ethernet switch. I also tried another fast ethernet switch and that did the same.

So to me that just screams: It's the switch that is messing up your speeds!

Is it possible these switches are not getting enough power? That is the only common factor at this point I can think of... again, I'm a network noob...

Secondly your connection will only run at the slowest speed of the two connections. Since you are using a dumb L2 switch, it will go st the slowest connection between your computer and modem. If your case that is the modem connection itself. If you get a WiFi router the internal LAN and any connection to the router will run at wire speeds. Only the WAN will be slower.
Is this still the case if the modem acts as a router too?



I would just be happy to get around 20 or 30 Mbps in my home offices, should be possible when the modem sends out 50 Mbps, right? Also, I would love to understand why the "better / faster" giganet switch gives poorer results (3-5 Mbps) compared to the fast ethernet switches (all around 9 Mbps).
 
Thanks for your reply. I'm quite a noob when it comes to home networks 🤣

My modem (a ZYXEL VMG8825-T50) also sends out the WiFi, so I guess it is a modem + router? The connection from there to the TV runs at 50Mbps. That's about the max we can get here, and that's fine with me. It also sends 50Mbps to the switch (I plugged a laptop in place of the Switch, it read 50 Mbps), then after the switch it drops to 10% or less... 3 to 5 Mbps with the giganet switch. Used to be 9 Mbps with the fast ethernet switch. I also tried another fast ethernet switch and that did the same.

So to me that just screams: It's the switch that is messing up your speeds!

Is it possible these switches are not getting enough power? That is the only common factor at this point I can think of... again, I'm a network noob...



Is this still the case if the modem acts as a router too?



I would just be happy to get around 20 or 30 Mbps in my home offices, should be possible when the modem sends out 50 Mbps, right? Also, I would love to understand why the "better / faster" giganet switch gives poorer results (3-5 Mbps) compared to the fast ethernet switches (all around 9 Mbps).
Your current router will also act as a switch. If you don't need the extra ports on the other switch you can just use the router. Otherwise it might be your cable from the switch is bad. Oftentimes if the cable is bad it will keep working just at reduced speed.
 

kGius

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Your current router will also act as a switch. If you don't need the extra ports on the other switch you can just use the router. Otherwise it might be your cable from the switch is bad. Oftentimes if the cable is bad it will keep working just at reduced speed.
Unfortunately I do need the switch... or at least would very much prefer to solve the issue with it. It is almost impossible to re-wire everything straight to the router... it's a big old house and the wiring now has just one wire that goes to the part where the workspaces are. There we need to split the signal to the different workspaces. Ofcourse I could spend a lot of effort making direct lines to the router, but that means a LOT of cable trough the whole house in stead of one. I would really prefer not to do that.

The cable itself is not causing the drop in speed, the measurements have clearly shown it is the switch where it goes wrong, so I just want to get that working...

So my issue is really just: Why is this switch not working right?
The router and wiring is all not the issue. So really simple, the problem is just what's in this box...

----------------------------------------------------
| 50 Mbps ----> Switch -----> 6 Mbps (x2) |
----------------------------------------------------

Why? This is not normal for a switch, right?

Would a PoE switch work better, like, does the signal need boosting?

I really hope to get some help with this part :)
 
That switch like almost all these small switch now days can run at what is called full wire speed. It means every port can run 1gbit up and 1gbit down all at the same time. The switch can be passing 10gbit of data at any one time....although there is no realistic design that could actually use that much.

Assuming the switch is not defective it is not the cause of your problem.

It is much more common that you have a bad ethernet cable. Be nice if a ethernet cable would just not work at all when it goes bad but what is must more common is that is works on some devices at full speed and get errors on others.

Make sure your ethernet cable is certified cat5e or better. The cable must be pure copper with wire size 22-24. There is a lot of fake ethernet cable that is CCA and/or is that flat/thin cable. Fake cable work on some device but not others.

I would try testing with 1 device at a time hooked to the switch with the only other connection being the router. Using different cable combinations see if you find any cases that work and do not work. You can also hook 2 end device to the switch without the router and attempt to transfer files. It would likely be best to hook 2 devices up and the router test copy files. Then disconnect the router and copy again. It avoids the issue of having to manually set ip addresses. You should be able to see the rate you copy files in the resource monitor network tab.

It is all a matter of finding out what works and what does not. If every test condition still fails then I would suspect a defective switch but that is very very rare since internally the switch is very simple with 1 chip doing almost all the work.
 
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kGius

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Thank you @bill001g 👍

I'm just hoping to pick your brain a bit and take you into this tunnel I'm in with me.

As far as I can think I've eliminated all other sources systematically:

- Tested every points along the wire before the switch: all 50 Mbps (or very close to it)
including just measuring the wire that connects the router to the switch at the switch end. 50 Mbps.

So everything before that can be dropped from the equation. Leaves us with:

50Mbps ---> Switch - Right?

Then, coming out of the switch (or really ANY switch as I've now tried 4 different fast ethernet switches) I've tested, trough different CAT5 wires, including super short ones (< 0.5m) , different ports, multiple ports connected, just one port connected, all give me the same result after the switch:

50 Mbps ---> Switch -----> measurement directly after switch

= 9 Mbps on all fast ethernet switches (regardless of wire, what switch I use, the laptops to measure with, the number of active ports, same speed on all ports out)

= 3 - 5 Mbps on the one giganet switch I have (regardless of wire, the laptops to measure with, the number of active ports, same speed on all ports out)

So what I'm left with is... all switches mess me up? I don't know what's happening here and am very curious to hear what you make of it 😊 There is always, of course, the chance that I'm overlooking something incredibly obvious....

Tomorrow I will try a file transfer test as you suggested, and update. Maybe you'll have some nuggets of wisdom for me before I update, that would be awesome.
 
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The best network test is a program called IPERF. It is a simple line mode command that you run one end as a server and the other as the client. You generally see 900+mbps in both directions on properly functioning network. It eliminates the internet and pretty much anything but network so it is a good test of your hardware and the device drivers.
 
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kGius

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Thanks @bill001g @jeremyj_83 and @SamirD for your help. I managed to find the item throttling the speed of the switch... My Realtek RTL8111F had died a while back when I was away for business. My GF was using my computer every now and then and bypassed the problem with an external USB Ethernet controller... Seems that was causing the problem, as it was plugged into a USB 2 instead of an USB 3 port... causing all speeds on the switch to drop drastically.

We're up to 90 Mbps in both workspaces now, which is about 3x what I was hoping to achieve.
Your responses pushed me to look harder and re-test stuff, which in the end helped me find this super obvious thing... 😂
 
Last edited:
Reactions: jeremyj_83

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