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Getting the most out of my cable internet connection.


Sep 14, 2006
Ok im trying to learn a bit about networking and internet connections. Here is how my system looks right now. I have a 15/2 Optimum Onnline cable connection with the latest Motorola cable modem. Im using a Belking 7231-4 router. There are two desktops and my Vonage phone box connected directly and one notebook connects wirelessly. When optimum onnline made the upgrade from 5/1 to 15/2 the tech told me to make sure my router could handle the increased speed and im not too sure if it can, there is no wan to lan spec for my router on Belkins website. The connections seem pretty fast so I have never really thought much about it until I started reading some posts on various forums. It got me thinking that maybe a better router could give me better internet speed.

So I see thier seems to be a few differant types of routers. the basic home type like I have, a business class router like the ones Cisco systems makes and then ive recently read about using an older pentium 2 or 3 system as a router.

Can anyone give me the quik and dirty explanation of the differances and benefits of each kind? I have lots of older p2 and p3 parts laying around and could easily build a system to use as a router but im not sure exactly how or if it would even benfit my system at all?? So any ideas or info would be great.


Mar 29, 2006
Give the router charts a read. It is mainly home use routers, but there is some useful benchmark data. I didn't see your box in the list.


The business class stuff will likly add more concurrent connections and VPN.
There are more options, like using Windows 2003 Server, IPCop, Clarkconnect or m0n0wall as routers. These are much faster than regular store bought routers. They use your old computer and 2 network card to work.
m0n0wall is the fastest, but it is not for beginner's.


Aug 15, 2006
Well, that's not entirely accurate for an internet connection. All "regular store bought" routers have great latency. In fact, Tom's doesn't even include a latency benchmark on these because they all register under 1ms, which is too low to measure with most software.

Since his connection has 15/2 (17 total), he will be limited in total throughput by his broadband connection, since some of the routers tested on THG have over 100 mbps throughput.

So, if the routers have the same latency as m0n0wall (or better, since I haven't seen any tests with m0n0wall and it's hard to beat <1ms), and they are not limiting the throughput, there is nothing m0n0wall can do to make it "the fastest" in this scenario.

Due to the fact that a PC running m0n0wall would suck up a lot of power, take more time to configure and take up more real-estate, I think the best option would be a small router (such as D-Link's "gaming" series router, which got good reviews on THG and has built-in QoS). Check this out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833127158

Make sense?
If you needed increased performance, using more recent standard PC hardware such as a Pentium III CPU with 128MB of RAM and good quality network cards such as 3Com or Intel is likely to yield 'wire speed' transfers approaching 90 to 95 Mb/s. This would be appropriate for using m0n0wall as an inter-departmental router/firewall on a large LAN
I consider them a tie. Both are great.