[SOLVED] Expected performance from wired connection (router vs. direct modem connection)?

glcaan99

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I see a significant reduction in download speed with a wired Ethernet connection to my router as compared to plugging directly into my modem.

I have two PCs (Dell laptop and Dell XPS) connected directly to the router. Download speed (measured on speedtest.net) is almost identical for both (93.2 Mbps and 92.3 Mbps).

If I plug either directly into the cable modem, the download speed is ~236 Mbps. I would expect some reduction when using the router, but is this large of a download speed impact (2.5x) expected? (I am trying to determine if I need a new router, or whether to use the new one recently provided by Spectrum. I am currently use my own router and their modem).

Router details: Linksys EA7500 V2
Devices connected to router- wired
  • PC (Dell XPS)- wired
  • Laptop (Dell Precision 7510)- wired
  • Network drive- WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra- wired
Other devices connected via WiFi
  • 3 mobile phones
  • 1 WiFi printer (Canon MG7720)
  • 1 Apple watch
  • 1 Samsung TV
  • 1 Sony DVD
Cable modem recently provided by Spectrum to replace older Arris modem (note there seems to be little/no change in performance with new vs. old modem).

Appreciate any suggestions!
 

kanewolf

Titan
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I tried the factory reset for the router as instructed. Same result- speedtest.net pegs at about 93Mbps. Also located in Troubleshooting page for the router the report that shows port connection speed- here's what it shows (essentially all connected ports are at 1Gbps except for the internet).

10/100Mbps1Gbps
InternetX

10/100Mbps1Gbps
1X
2
3X
4X

Another observation- this issues predates existing modem from Spectrum (I was also topping out at 90ish Mbps w/ my previous modem; at the time I didn't realize the router was limiting it and thought it was Spectrum download speed; but now confirmed I can get >200 w/ direct modem connection).

Appreciate other suggestions....also tried powering down both modem and router...same result...
THen you either have a bad cable, or a damaged port on the router. Get a brand new cable for between the router and modem.
 
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For some reason, your new cable modem seems to not be negotiating at gigabit with your router. I would reboot both (completely power off and unplug) and see if that fixes the issue. I would also try replacing the cable between the modem and router.
 
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glcaan99

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Thanks for the reply. I have powered down both and not seen any difference previously. The cable I used was provided with the new modem (which shipped just a few weeks ago), but I could try replacing it. Is there a specific type of ethernet cable that is recommended?
 
Any ethernet cable should do. You might have a rare incompatibility between the port on your router and the cable modem, and if that's the case see if you can manually set your router wan port to 1Gbps and see if that fixes the issue. If not, you'll need to either replace the modem, router, or put an unmanaged switch in between the two to fix the negotiation issue.
 
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You need 4 pair ethernet TP cables (8 leads all working) to get gigabit ethernet Cat 5e or better are recommended so don't reuse any really old 2 pair cables (4 leads), throw those away.
You can briefly (for a short test) test a cable by putting it between 2 ports in the same switch (as in the router - it shouldn't hurt anything) to see if you get gigabit speed indicated by the leds but it might make it impossible to see in a router GUI if gigagbit is reported while a cable is "looped" between 2 ports. You might be able to see in the computer network settings if you have gigagbit indicated for a connection.
 
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glcaan99

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Thanks all for the feedback- a few observations.

  • I was able to confirm from the router troubleshooting report that it is indeed only connecting at 100Mbps to the modem. Connections to laptop and PC are at 1Gb.
  • Resetting router to factory settings (then powering off and on router and modem) didn't fix the issue.
  • The current cable connecting router is Cat5e (it's a new cable that came with the new modem). I can certainly try replacing it but it seems to be the correct type.
To the earlier comment from SamirD- it's not obvious from the Linksys setup page how to set the WAN to 1Gb. Any suggestions on how to modify that setting?
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Are the ports even gigabit capable? On the modem and/or the router? I think you have to rely on auto setting (is there even an indication of what speed is used?). With CLI access (other firmware?) you might be able to see/set port speed but if disabling AUTO you probably need to set both sides to a fixed setting as one side probably can't adapt to a fixed one at the other end without chosing the lowest common denominator? You might try what port speed is available by putting a switch between modem and router for test purposes (try by using the same router putting a cable from wan to LAN briefly on the same router - also connect a LAN port to the modem and observe what speed you get by watching the LEDs - shouldn't hurt anyting, you can also use you computer to test /observe speed - safer?) Using a computer in the modem might disrupt Internet temporarily if the DHCP server on the other end (if connected) temporarily locks the connecting/IP to an other macaddress.
 

kanewolf

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Moderator
Are the ports even gigabit capable? On the modem and/or the router? I think you have to rely on auto setting (is there even an indication of what speed is used?). With CLI access (other firmware?) you might be able to see/set port speed but if disabling AUTO you probably need to set both sides to a fixed setting as one side probably can't adapt to a fixed one at the other end without chosing the lowest common denominator? You might try what port speed is available by putting a switch between modem and router for test purposes (try by using the same router putting a cable from wan to LAN briefly on the same router - also connect a LAN port to the modem and observe what speed you get by watching the LEDs - shouldn't hurt anyting, you can also use you computer to test /observe speed - safer?) Using a computer in the modem might disrupt Internet temporarily if the DHCP server on the other end (if connected) temporarily locks the connecting/IP to an other macaddress.
If the OP is getting 200+ Mbit when connected to the modem, then it is obviously gigabit capable. All versions of the EA7500 are WAN and LAN gigabit ports.
I would start with a factory reset of the EA7500. Set JUST the admin password, the SSIDs and the WIFI passwords. Then retest.
 
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glcaan99

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I tried the factory reset for the router as instructed. Same result- speedtest.net pegs at about 93Mbps. Also located in Troubleshooting page for the router the report that shows port connection speed- here's what it shows (essentially all connected ports are at 1Gbps except for the internet).

10/100Mbps1Gbps
InternetX
10/100Mbps1Gbps
1X
2
3X
4X

Another observation- this issues predates existing modem from Spectrum (I was also topping out at 90ish Mbps w/ my previous modem; at the time I didn't realize the router was limiting it and thought it was Spectrum download speed; but now confirmed I can get >200 w/ direct modem connection).

Appreciate other suggestions....also tried powering down both modem and router...same result...
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I tried the factory reset for the router as instructed. Same result- speedtest.net pegs at about 93Mbps. Also located in Troubleshooting page for the router the report that shows port connection speed- here's what it shows (essentially all connected ports are at 1Gbps except for the internet).

10/100Mbps1Gbps
InternetX

10/100Mbps1Gbps
1X
2
3X
4X

Another observation- this issues predates existing modem from Spectrum (I was also topping out at 90ish Mbps w/ my previous modem; at the time I didn't realize the router was limiting it and thought it was Spectrum download speed; but now confirmed I can get >200 w/ direct modem connection).

Appreciate other suggestions....also tried powering down both modem and router...same result...
THen you either have a bad cable, or a damaged port on the router. Get a brand new cable for between the router and modem.
 
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glcaan99

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I will replace the cable and try it. One other question- Spectrum is my internet provider and they highlight that they don't provide customer support for routers other than the one they provide (actually rent to you). Is there any possibility they limit the throughput to other routers than theirs to 100Mbps? (I'm not even sure it's even feasible for them to do that- I know a direct connection to the modem is faster- but I thought I would ask the question. I would prefer to use my own router than theirs and upgrade on my schedule).
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I will replace the cable and try it. One other question- Spectrum is my internet provider and they highlight that they don't provide customer support for routers other than the one they provide (actually rent to you). Is there any possibility they limit the throughput to other routers than theirs to 100Mbps? (I'm not even sure it's even feasible for them to do that- I know a direct connection to the modem is faster- but I thought I would ask the question. I would prefer to use my own router than theirs and upgrade on my schedule).
No. I have Spectrum with a personally provided router. 400Mbit service and 420Mbit performance.
 
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glcaan99

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An update- replaced the cable between router and modem with new Cat6 patch cable. Same issue. Did another factory reset of the router with new cable; still see same speed (<100 Mbps) and same troubleshooting report as shown above. Beginning to think I should get a new router, but appreciate any other suggestions.
 

glcaan99

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Problem solved. Replaced router with new Asus router (RT-AX85U). Now getting > 230Mbps from wired connection and improved connection speed from wireless connections as well. (Router also supports WiFi 6, so future-proofed as well). Thanks to all who responded for your valuable inputs!
 
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That is great but unfortantly wifi6 is already obsolete. You could have spent the big bucks and got a asus axe11000 the first wifi6e router on the market. I am sure we will see more affordable models in the months to come.
 
Problem solved. Replaced router with new Asus router (RT-AX85U). Now getting > 230Mbps from wired connection and improved connection speed from wireless connections as well. (Router also supports WiFi 6, so future-proofed as well). Thanks to all who responded for your valuable inputs!
Very odd issue indeed that I bet a $10 unmanaged switch between the linksys and modem would have solved. I've seen this once or twice where for some reason the speed negotiation isn't right between devices. Usually putting a switch in between them is a quick and cheap solution, but glad you found a solution.
 

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