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I have a fairly old (maybe ~8 years) Linksys Etherfast BEFSR81 V3 10/100 wired 8-port router. Under my old cable internet plan, I would get about 15Mbps on any device using the router, which I figured was pretty good for a 20Mbps plan (I figured Time Warner Cable was advertising the peak speeds or something like that). However, I just upgraded to a 50Mbps internet plan and devices connected to the router usually only are getting Mbps speeds in the low 20s (though a couple times I got in the high 20s, and in one outlying instance I got 37 Mbps -- I should clarify that these speeds are all download speeds from This seemed a bit outrageous, so I retested with the computer directly wired to the modem, and I got a fabulous 51Mbps connection.

That meant to me that the problem was with the router. Here are some of the things I've done trying to boost the speed:

  • I disconnected every device from the router except the computer I was testing with (and of course the cable modem)
  • Per some Linksys instruction guide I found, I had the router clone the MAC address of my PC, then release and renew its public IP (this made my public IP change at last, and it seemed to help the speed test numbers a little, but not much)
  • I manually set the MTU to 1500.
  • I verified that all the cables I'm using are CAT5 cables with all the pins included.
  • I verified that QoS was disabled.
  • I noticed that the router didn't support IPv6 like the modem did, so I only had IPv4 using the router. This didn't seem like it would matter but perhaps it would??

So, is there anything else I should be doing to make my router faster? Or is it time to get a replacement? (and if so, what should I look for in a new router?) Thanks a ton in advance.

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Cat5 with all the pins makes no difference on a 100Mbit connection, which only uses 4 wires (two pairs.) In the old days when gigabit was just a dream, we used to run two 100Mbit connections on one chunk of Cat5. If you have an old computer sitting around you might try one of the freebsd or linux router packages from a LiveCD on it. – Ecnerwal Oct 23 '13 at 0:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, likely your router is slowing you down. many of the older routers weren't intended on running at those WAN speeds and hence can't keep up with the traffic load. I have a few old Netgears in a box in the garage that have the same problem. And they cap out at 6-7Mbps, anything faster and they simply can't keep up... So you are lucky at least in that regard that you are getting in the 20s..

Most current routers on the market can keep up without too much trouble. Resist the urge to be cheap and likely you'll be fine.

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Thanks Mike! I'm looking for a new router now, though it seems impossible to get an wired router meant for home use rather than for businesses (especially one with 8 ports). I guess I'll have to get a little wireless router or something and move my 8 port gigabit switch to it. – oxguy3 Oct 23 '13 at 0:59
My netgear WNDR3700 has 4 ports, yeah, 8 ports is going to be a tough find. I ended up putting in a standalone switch and plugging everything into that rather than relying on the switch in the router. Of course I was assuming the switch in the router wasn't as good as the Netgear 16port 1Gb SmartSwitch I was using. – MikeAWood Oct 23 '13 at 1:07
Yeah, I think I'm gonna have to do something similar with my 8-port SmartSwitch unless I can find a reasonable gigabit wired router (Netgear's only wired router isn't gigabit, Linksys doesn't even have a section on their store for wired routers :P). Thanks again for the help! – oxguy3 Oct 23 '13 at 1:17
Netgear's wired routers are really intended to be used in place of the modem (DSL or DOCSIS2/3). The wireless units do allow you to disable the WiFi if you so choose by disabling the radios. I can't comment on Linksys as it has been a while since I used any of their products. (We use Sonicwall here at work).. – MikeAWood Oct 23 '13 at 1:47

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