Spanning-Tree Protocol On or Off

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zenmota

Occasional Visitor
I have an ASUS RT-AC87 router with a Netgear 8 port unmanaged switch plugged into the router. The switch has 3 devices plugged into it, 2 desktop computers and a printer. My question is, should I have Spanning-Tree Protocol turned on or off?

The reason I ask is because I believe if Spanning-Tree Protocol is off the router will start to use FA (Flow Accelerator) Hardware NAT acceleration which could speedup the router a little.

I did some searching but most stuff I find about Spanning-Tree Protocol has to do with large networks, company networks, etc.... not home networks.

Thanks for any input.....
 

zenmota

Occasional Visitor
In your searches, did you come across this by Merlin?

http://www.snbforums.com/threads/asuswrt-merlin-378-50-is-out.22627/page-20#post-166482

halfway down the page.
No, I did not come across that one. Maybe I am missing something, but it says, "It should have no impact on your network unless you have an additional switch, or you have loops in your network".

By "additional switch" does that mean more than one switch? I only have one 8 port switch plugged into the RT-AC87 router. So I guess I am back to do I need Spanning-Tree Protocol or not (with just the one switch)?

Thanks for your input...
 

MarkRH

Senior Member
Might watch this video:

The way you describe your network configuration, you do not need it to be turned on as your network can't get into a loop state, if I understand how it all works.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I did some searching but most stuff I find about Spanning-Tree Protocol has to do with large networks, company networks, etc.... not home networks.
STP is something good to have on the network - esp. if you're running VLAN's and/or multiple switches - and there STP can stop loops before they happen...

It doesn't hurt to leave it on or off for most small home networks - I think Asus is just offering the option to disable it, as it can muck about with certain blackbox features within the Broadcom SDK...
 

MarkRH

Senior Member
That has to be one of the worst attempts at explaining STP that I've come across. It's really not that difficult.:rolleyes:
Just happened to be one of several that popped on a search LOL. I'm sure there are better but I have no need to watch them.

I turned it off since I only have this one router.
 

zenmota

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for all the input. I turned off Spanning-Tree Protocol and now have the hardware acceleration. Didn't seem to cause any problems turning Spanning-Tree Protocol off, but I really can't tell any difference in the performance of the router.
 

tsunami2311

Senior Member
I never messed with it All thought I could swore with earlier FW then 380.59 it was defaulted to off, but seem to be defaulted to on now
 

ozzed

Regular Contributor
I have an ASUS RT-AC87 router with a Netgear 8 port unmanaged switch plugged into the router. The switch has 3 devices plugged into it, 2 desktop computers and a printer. My question is, should I have Spanning-Tree Protocol turned on or off?

The reason I ask is because I believe if Spanning-Tree Protocol is off the router will start to use FA (Flow Accelerator) Hardware NAT acceleration which could speedup the router a little.

I did some searching but most stuff I find about Spanning-Tree Protocol has to do with large networks, company networks, etc.... not home networks.

Thanks for any input.....
In my experience, if you have it enabled, you can have CTF and FA, but FA additionally requires that uou turn off traffic statistics (second tab on traffic analyzer page). This is because those features require some software processing of packets to work, and the whole point of FA and CTF is to bypass software to increase throughput. Though they also say you don't really need to bother with it unless you have hundreds of megabits in throughput on the WAN.
 

zenmota

Occasional Visitor
In my experience, if you have it enabled, you can have CTF and FA, but FA additionally requires that uou turn off traffic statistics (second tab on traffic analyzer page). This is because those features require some software processing of packets to work, and the whole point of FA and CTF is to bypass software to increase throughput. Though they also say you don't really need to bother with it unless you have hundreds of megabits in throughput on the WAN.
I had Traffic Statistics turned off anyway. Seems I like I tried turning on Traffic Statistics and still had FA working. Thanks for the input....
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I never messed with it All thought I could swore with earlier FW then 380.59 it was defaulted to off, but seem to be defaulted to on now
Again, it shouldn't hurt things - where it can come in handy is with some devices that might support more than one access protocol - e.g. WiFi and/or ethernet and/or MoCA - where the device might have more than one configuration connected, and some of these devices have their own switches as well...

My DirectTV setup is like this, where the primary IP network is injected into MoCA, and the STB has WiFi/MoCA/Ethernet - and they warn you explicitly to pick one - and use that one, not two or three - just for this reason, as it can cause port flapping on the other switches if Spanning Tree Protocol isn't enabled.

(DirecTV uses internet for program guide updates and On-Demand programming)
 

System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
From my experience spanning tree protocol is extremely important. When you have the option enable it.

STP is done by the switch chip, it doesnt bother the CPU. But even in routers like the CCR that can bridge at wirespeed STP makes no difference in the performance.

STP also works with LACP as i have tested, with traffic going through both ports.

Not using STP, performance can be lower and crawl to a halt when a loop forms and this can even happen internally like in the case of the CRS.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
From my experience spanning tree protocol is extremely important. When you have the option enable it.

STP is done by the switch chip, it doesnt bother the CPU. But even in routers like the CCR that can bridge at wirespeed STP makes no difference in the performance.

STP also works with LACP as i have tested, with traffic going through both ports.

Not using STP, performance can be lower and crawl to a halt when a loop forms and this can even happen internally like in the case of the CRS.
On the Broadcom based devices that use "Router in a Box" e.g. the ODM SDK - ctf.ko is pretty specific in it's configurations supported - with CTF in place, the router is more like a multilayer switch - operating at Layer's 3 thru 7, rather than just at layer 2 (switches operate at Layer 2, the MAC layer, Routers typically do Layer 3, the IP layer, with addon's for Layer's 4 thru 7).

Had a chance recently to sit down and start playing around with CTF on a stretch (dev board), and CTF is reduced functionality, but basically runs everything at switch speed - which is pretty cool, if you're within the constraints of what CTF can do - otherwise, things fall over the the software Bridge Interface, where WAN and LAN have to do thru the Linux kernel interfaces...

What it looks like is that STP is outside of the CTF.ko's capability in certain SoC's (maybe all BRCM SoC's perhaps?), which forces the SoC back into software routing...
 

Vexira

Part of the Furniture
doesnt your switch have to support spanning tree protocol, in oder for it to be effective, other wise it only delays connecions by 60 seconds? I have an 8 port switch connected to my 88u does that mean i need spanning tree protocol enabled or is it only for managed switches.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
doesnt your switch have to support spanning tree protocol, in oder for it to be effective, other wise it only delays connecions by 60 seconds? I have an 8 port switch connected to my 88u does that mean i need spanning tree protocol enabled or is it only for managed switches.
:confused::confused::confused: I think you misunderstand what STP is. There's no requirement to use STP at all. In fact unless you've got multiple switches wired together in a potential loop configuration there is no point in enabling it (although you might want to "just to be safe").
 
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Vexira

Part of the Furniture
:confused::confused::confused: I think you misunderstand what STP is. There's no requirement to use STP at all. In fact unless you've got multiple routers wired together in a potential loop configuration there is no point in enabling it (although you might want to "just to be safe").
yes i read that, its to prevent loops with multipe switches, but i read a guide and other snb posts, that you need to enbale it if you have a "switch under the router" confusing as.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
yes i read that, its to prevent loops with multipe switches, but i read a guide and other snb posts, that you need to enbale it if you have a "switch under the router" confusing as.
Hmm. I can only think that maybe if the "switch under the router" is designed so that it only works in a STP environment??? But that seems like a badly designed switch to me :rolleyes:.

Whether it's set on the router or not I think it's a moot point. Unless you're constantly unplugging and re-plugging your routers/switches it's of no concern. Once the routers/switches have sorted out their "topology" it's not going to effect anything else.
 

Vexira

Part of the Furniture
Hmm. I can only think that maybe if the "switch under the router" is designed so that it only works in a STP environment??? But that seems like a badly designed switch to me :rolleyes:.

Whether it's set on the router or not I think it's a moot point. Unless you're constantly unplugging and re-plugging your routers/switches it's of no concern. Once the routers/switches have sorted out their "topology" it's not going to effect anything else.
Yes well I'm confused since I was under the impression that it was only needed if you have, switches that loop back or form a tree, or two switches that connect to each other in parallel.
Other wise it wasn't needed, still confust if I should leave it enable cause it's that way by default or disable it because it's not needed.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I think you're worrying over a problem that doesn't exist. :D
 

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