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Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by thiggins, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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  3. coxhaus

    coxhaus Very Senior Member

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    I hate lag worst than anything. I always test for response time.

    I guess I should add you need to pare it with a good modem. A bad modem can introduce lag that router can not fix.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  4. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    But does it actually work?
     
  5. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    Bandwidth management and congestion control is where a router can have an impact. Beyond that, if your connection isn't under concurrent usage, the 1-2 ms difference a high-end router could make won't be noticeable in the 50-100 ms latency you get between your home and the remote gaming server.

    And contrary to some people's belief, a high-end router, gaming mat and Killer NIC can't compensate for a bad player. ;)
     
  6. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Occasional Visitor

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    I don't see why PC games wouldn't care?

    Also, i guess the xr500 is the second device to run this, the other is the Netduma R1, which is just 802.11n?

    It would be interesting to see performance with all the fancy QoS enabled. They claim the R1 could still manage 500mbps, but reddit review indicates 120-145mbps.

    Incidentally I thought this review was interesting specifically for measuring gamer lag:

    https://www.pcgamer.com/netduma-r1-is-a-serious-router-for-gamers/
     
  7. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I am not a gamer. But this router has a few features that don't seem like the typical mumbo-jumbo that is in most gaming routers.
    - The router works with any device, unlike the Linksys/Killer approach
    - The GeoFencing features and ability to block high-lag players are interesting.

    The question raised about whether the claimed gaming traffic prioritization really works is always the tough one to answer.

    And no, we won't be reviewing it. I could not do a good job of reviewing the gaming features, nor could any of my usual reviewers. Sorry.
     
    Ric likes this.
  8. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    This is just a theory as I haven't seen their implementation, but if it's done at iptables's level through blacklists, that's something any Linux-router can do, but it does carry a fairly hefty performance penalty, as blocking a country requires multiple rules to block all that country's allocated prefixes.

    You can probably do the same thing with Tomato/DD-WRT/Asuswrt-Merlin, as long you do it manually.

    Unless the blocking is done within a proprietary engine, which might possibly be more efficient than iptable rules.

    I would be skeptical, except that I've seen Trend Micro's DPI engine used by Asuswrt accurately recognize the very few online games that I play, despite the fact it's not one of the biggest ones (i.e. it's not WoW). I assume these detect the traffic by knowing the IP addresses of those game's servers, allowing them to prioritize that traffic.

    One important thing in that case will be how frequently Netgear will issue signature updates to detect any change/additions. So far, the Qualcomm-based QoS signatures of their regular products seem to get maybe 2 updates a year on average, which isn't nearly enough. Hopefully Netduma will be more active in that area.

    Reviewing this would be tricky. I think you'd need to have one of the supported games first of all. Most online games allows the display of some form of latency meter within the game. Then you'd have to see how that meter reacts when you start a torrent, start a Youtube stream, etc...
     
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  9. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    From my use of it, it does effectively provide a 1 click solution if someone wants to get a really good score on those buffer bloat benchmarks. If it were cheaper and had an eSATA port, then I would probably get one.

    For the geo filter, it is more useful for console gamers who lack a proper server browser, as most match making systems will avoid more distant servers, though not sure how it truly goes about filtering by location.

    The only thing I don't like is that it does not have the QOS presets that you would get with the stock netgear firmware, thus if you want to do things like prioritize many different streaming services, then you have to manually select them and prioritize them through individual rules, while the streamboost would have a wide range of rules that are generally good for most users. On the other hand the stock netgear software vs the DUMA OS, will not allow for any custom QOS rules at all.
     
  10. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Very Senior Member

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    Back in my youth, I was heavy into online gaming and building/running public game servers. Going back to the dial up days, where yes some of us learned to tweak COM ports and dial up modems, and knew which models of modems performed better than others. Then came the broadband days...usually not a problem because back in those days most house holds only had 1 or maybe 2 devices connected to your home internet connection. So having to deal with controlling the network and avail bandwidth wasn't an issue for most. I remember those early days, I had co-located some game servers at a small high performance ISP in my state, about 55 miles away from me. I also used them for my DSL at my house. The advantage of that deal, I literally had just 1x hop from my gaming rig..to my game server. It was my router. I had latency of about...oh, 8 maybe 10 ms. :) Other people typically around 75-125. I'd been to LAN parties with more lag...LOL. Back then most routers were bland, boring. The first Linksys BEFSR41 models, and Netgears RT312. I always played with different routers to learn them, and just..forever on the quest for "more horsepower!" For a while I even had a pretty expensive Netopia R910.

    And then we started seeing routers come out boasting of better performance. There was a company called Nexland, they had this router touting higher performance, it was called the ISB Soho. Of course I had to get that. Was a cool looking thing, transparent case on it.

    Fast forward a few years, family time, wife and kids in the home, kids getting old enough to know how to put demanding traffic on the connection. Especially a son into torrenting, a wife eagerly shopping online, and a young daughter watching videos. Here I was trying to game...competing with that traffic. By this time however I was bored with typical "boxed" retail routers, and into building firewalls of various *nix distros. This was back in the Pentium II and III days, I'd take old small form factor PCs and stick a second NIC in 'em and install distros and play with them. PFSense had just come out, like beta version 0.8 or something, and I used this to keep my online playing usable. The big one for me was the penalty box. I'd have the boys PCs IP in there..throttled like crazy! Not really "QoS'..just..give him a straw to sip from and he can't overwhelm your garden hose! PFSense had many other settings to help manage the other traffic and keep mine tip top shape. I used to run it on a IBM Thinkpad...for a while some T20 something model, and later a little X30 or something like that. Perfect platforms for a home *nix router...has a built in KVM and battery backup! I'd just slam in a PCMCIA NIC.

    Years later towards the end of my part time gaming career, I enjoyed Tomato firmware on a Cisco e3000 router. It did a good job and keeping online gaming responsive while the rest of the family was busy. Build custom rules for QoS to certain traffic types for your games. Takes a bit of research and experimentation.

    I can definitely testify that these "tweaks" worked. I'd have the features turned off...play my game, and have a horrible experience. I'd log in and turn them on, play my game, and it was good. Turn the features off...got lag, turn the features on...no lag. I could repeat that all day all night, 100% reproducible results.

    I see the same thing in business networks...large networks, all the time, every day. Good biz grade firewalls have very rich QoS settings to prioritize certain types of traffic. I remember one client, all they could get was dedicated symmetrical T's...no broadband available where their office is. About 20 users, an accounting firm. Early years had a single T-1, more recently doubled...a bonded T...so about 3 megs. Still horrible for about 20 users, right? A while ago I replaced their Adtran router with a linux based UTM firewall..and flipped on the QoS..and the "seat of the pants" usage of the computer felt like the internet speed doubled. I'm talking basic response times for bringing up banking sites, to log into those, and other things. So the QoS prioritized important things for business use (due to a really cool QoS profile feature), services like DNS and HTTPS were prioritized, and services like windows updates, streaming, POP/SMTP/etc..stuff like that is DEprioritized..moves to the back of the line. QoS is like having a good traffic cop at a really busy 4x way intersection...so when an ambulance or fire truck has to get through, the traffic cop holds up other traffic and lets them through!

    I never had one of these more current generation routers that focused on gaming, guessing they have a lot of preconfigured rules for common games. Todays homes are certainly filled with tons of devices that hit the internet. Granted most of todays broadband connections are much faster too, but you still can get traffic jams that will overwhelm many routers. ISP provided "all in one gateways" are notoriously horrible for good performance. However simply adding a high performance gaming router behind them (which is what I seem to see >75% of most users do) will not gain performance due to double NAT, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link so the ISP supplied gateway still still bog down doing its NAT. However doing some homework one can bridge model models and have your own router pull the public IP and be in the only NAT.

    What I'm not clear about on this unit in the article is how the geoblocking ..well, more specifically...blocking high ping players..helps. The job of allowing, or not allowing, players on a server is...the servers job. Unless they have this feature for people who run game servers. But having people run servers from their homes is less and less popular, with so many games now managed under some umbrella. Maybe it's aimed at console gamers...I'm not sure, not into consoles. I'm certainly aware of low pings and distance of your game server that you play on, generally the closer the server the less distance and less hops your packets have to travel back 'n forth. So maybe it helps filter those out so you only select close servers without having to think about it. back in the old days when I was gaming most people named their Quake and Unreal Tourny (and others) servers with some hint of the geographic area in the name. Or we'd just sort our game server list by ping and select the low ones.
     
  11. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    I think you're on the right track - much of what this device does can be done with AsusWRT-Merlin and definitely with OpenWRT.

    DumaOS is based on OpenWRT with some special sauce and a lot of tuning based on traffic models that NetaDuma feels is essential. While this product might be focused towards gamers, there's benefit to others.

    I don't think there's any special engine stuff - that's all in the SoC vendor's BSP/SDK, and as we all know, that's tightly held with the chipset OEM's.
     
  12. majortom1981

    majortom1981 New Around Here

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    This reads like an ad for netgear. What about Asus gaming router?
     
  13. Killhippie

    Killhippie Senior Member

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    I have to say it has really helped with my console experience. I have the unit set to kick in when it notices gaming traffic only, you can have it set to be on all the time or not at all. The DPI engine seems to work well at recognising gaming traffic and a speed test shows the bandwidth prioritisation kicking in very quickly, also there is a set of games with defined rules that you select for what you are playing which is updated time to time or you can define your own for the Geo Filter. I don't really need QoS on 24/7 so the setting I have chosen works well for myself.

    Setting a Geo Filter to block players with high pings is great, it really helps cut down on lag in games and thats a god send, also blocking servers that are to far away is another useful feature. All of this helps a lot, and the guys that developed DumaOS are gamers themselves so they have got the focus on what's needed and are going to be adding new features as time goes on too.

    The Anti-bufferbloat feature is there to limit the total bandwidth devices can have while you are gaming, so stopping certain devices on your network taking a huge chunk of it. I have mine set to 70%. This is where the bandwidth allocation feature comes in so you can fine tune what's left for other devices or share it equally on both upload and download. You do have a lot of control here. Bandwidth allocation will vary for each network and the fact you have such granular control makes it all very easy to set it how you want it. so for instance you can always make sure a connected device like a Smart TV has enough for streaming for instance or a tablet etc.

    Yes maybe other routers can do this I am sure, but these guys started with the R1 and have learnt a lot it seems on what's needed and what isn't and how to make it more user friendly too. The R1 will be getting the same DumaOS update this month I believe. To be honest but there is a great video on YouTube from a guy who I think has a really annoying voice, but he explains the features well and how the dashboard works and can be personalised. Be aware since he released this video patches have come out to sort a few issues out. Its worth watching to the end to hear all the features explained. Its a shame its not going to get reviewed, but I can understand why.

     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    Ric likes this.
  14. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    just saw this, netduma really does a good job making a gaming orientated OS but the best gaming router is actually an enterprise router as it gives you so much control that actually helps to reduce lag. For instance on my own game server, minecraft NPC lag was reduced by half after configuring SFQ QoS and bufferbloat test on speed test sites went from B to A+ even on wifi. with quality also being A.

    Congestion control is complicated, some traffic you can buffer some cant. If your prioritise ICMP and some internet services, it actually improves a lot of applications as some games automatically tune based on latency as well or things like DNS being put first despite web browsing taking a back seat works better overall. So a good QoS actually splits up quite a lot of priorities and control.

    Most importantly, you must leave a little bit of bandwidth to be unused. On a wired reliable connection this is easy to do but on wireless like mobile internet tends to be difficult.

    In the case of videos, adding a delay and a buffer allows for smoother playback in uncertain conditions either on mobile internet or if the internet pipe is full. Video delay is something a QoS cant really do because it would vary. For instance you could delay video streams by a large margin since it is only bandwidth sensitive and not latency sensitive.
     
  15. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    The article is clearly identified as a "Sponsored Post". It is a form of advertising commonly found today.
     
  16. Ric

    Ric New Around Here

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    Tim, I think you should review from a non-gamers perspective and obviously skip the gaming features. Yes, I realize it’s reviewing half the routers feature set – however, some of us are more interested in your in-depth testing of the hardware. It would be very useful for us who are on the fence about this router.
     
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  17. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    It's an R7800, except for twice the flash memory. R7800 has already been reviewed.
     
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  18. MrCrowley

    MrCrowley New Around Here

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    I've had the original R1 for a few years now. The QOS service and feature set isn't like any other routers I've used, including other fancy gaming routers. In my experience, gaming routers all seem to be just marketing/branding/fit and finish on the outside of the router. Feature wise the QOS services always seemed to be copies of what every other router that particular company had in other high end routers they sold. The beautiful thing about the "geo-fencing" or any of the other features is that they work very well with a simple GUI. Lets say I want to play only players in Canada on the west side of the country and on a specific dedicated server. You put your location in the middle of the place you want that to be, expand your circle out the radius you desire and viola it filters. I obviously do not know the way it works under the hood, but in practical use, it works. In games with "matchmaking", while the automated selection process from the game company is running it blocks you from connecting to certain players out of the zone you selected and then you end up in games filled with players near enough to you that they are 'almost' lag free.

    The congestion control and device priority work as expected too. I have never noticed the impact of my wife streaming Netflix and my two basement dwellers YouTubing while playing games. Other routers QOS never really seemed to help much and I could always tell when we had traffic on the network (It's subtle, but a noticeable change when things start bogging in FPS games). With the Netduma R1, it doesn't make a difference what else is going on, on my network, gaming never really falters.

    I suppose if you don't game a bunch, most of this doesn't matter. In another example, I had a renter who's Apple TV made my Chromecast/Plex Server performance start studdering whenever it came online. I could see this through the very simple network monitor GUI which looks like a realtime scrolling graph. It's nice to look at, easy to use, and helped me quickly identify the device hogging bandwidth. With the "device prioritization" pie chart GUI you just turn the Apple TV priority down a notch and no more issues.

    I know 'some' of these features are in other software (OpenWRT, Merlin, Tomato, etc) but I don't know of any that face the user with such a simple interface and just 'work' without loads of tweaking/experience. I also think it's worth testing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  19. Ric

    Ric New Around Here

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    Interesting. Thank you Tim.
     
  20. WiFiNemesis

    WiFiNemesis Occasional Visitor

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    But with a different OS?

    Curious, with DumaOS do you expect a more stable/bug-free environment or will it just complicate Netgear's support situaton?
     
  21. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    Same underlying OS and firmware as the R7800 with Duma additions overlaid on top plus removal of Streamboost from UI, (though still available in the firmware according to Voxel). It looks starkly different upon logging in but as soon as you click “Netgear Settings” in the Duma part of the software you are back to pretty much the same old Netgear layout & options.
     
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