Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a LinkSys BEFSR41 wired cable-router (version 1) that I purchased back in 1998. Yes, its about 12 years old.

It works, there is nothing physically wrong with it but I got to wondering - could I be getting better performance with a new router? I am supposed to get 20M download speeds and if I am lucky, sometimes I get 14M. Most of the time I get 7M to 9M and once the evening comes and a lot of people get online around my area - I notice a severe degradation in service down to 2M to 3M. I dont know if that is my cable router not really being able to handle the bandwidth since back in 1998 I was ecstatic to get 1M!

So, does it matter? Should I replace the BEFSR41 with a newer model? (I do not want wireless). I have read this and while it makes sense because of older/less secure protocols, it doesnt apply to my question here.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am a bit confused when you are comparing Lan speed against Internet speed as Megabits (Mb) are different from MegaBytes (MB).

However, it is very common for ISPs to lie about internet speed and this could be the problem.

I checked and it is a 10/100Mb device. If you are able to get copy speeds of about 12MB across your Lan, that is 96 Megabits and slightly more than I get sometimes when on 100Mb lan.... In this case, it really is your ISP that is the weakest link.

As for upgrading wires, If you are getting near 100Meg speed over the lan, there will be no improvement. I would personally wait for Cat6 cable to become cheap before you upgrade as there is no point investing in Cat5e whilst the demand is degrading and Cat6 is becoming mainstream.

Linksys are good and their devices are built well. Upgrading may get you a better physical device, however, it doesn't seem like you are pushing it to the limits, and I think it is coping well.

share|improve this answer
I guess I should clarify... it does sound confusing. I am looking to find out if a cable modem can get too "old" and should it be replaced OR - does it not matter what age it is? I will reword the question... – SmartMethod Jan 9 '10 at 0:13
I removed a chunk of the question that you made me aware of.. It was really unrelated, but thank you for your answer and time regarding the wiring inside. I am going to double check my transfer speeds before posting a second question (and check to see if someone else didnt already ask about internal wiring affecting speeds). – SmartMethod Jan 9 '10 at 0:21
Said I'd get back with you regarding my LAN transfer speed. I am seeing an average of 4.25 MB/sec going from my NAS (Linksys NAS200 to my PC). – SmartMethod Jan 9 '10 at 21:11

Since your switch supports up to 100 Mbit, the issue has to be with the ISP, as usual it's all in the small print. 'up to' 20 Mbit doesn't mean they guarantee that speed.

several factors have an impact on your line speed, most important are distance to the exchange, line quality and indeed contention ratio (the number of users that may be trying to use the actual bandwidth provided by the ISP at any one time).

share|improve this answer
Do you have a suggestion as to a brand/model? I would definitely love to get to use the full amount as I have been paying for that and wish I had realized this sooner! – SmartMethod Jan 9 '10 at 0:23
@Molly - Read the spec sheet - Four: 10/100 RJ-45 Switched Ports – William Hilsum Jan 9 '10 at 0:25
always been a great fan of Linksys ... until Cisco bought the company and turned it into their 'consumer' branch. and no, i'm afraid i don't really have a recommendation, looking up such devices would only make me cry since the highest speed i can get out here is currently 7.6 Mbit (and that only in theory :). – Molly7244 Jan 9 '10 at 0:28
@Wil - the four LAN ports are 10/100 alright but the WAN port (and that's relevant for the DSL speed) is 10 Mbit only. – Molly7244 Jan 9 '10 at 0:30
@Molly - Read again- Ports: One 10/100 RJ-45 Port for Broadband Modem – William Hilsum Jan 9 '10 at 0:45

I too have found that my 10Mb wired router does not significantly change my throughput although I now have a secured wireless 100mb router which I also use for my cell and land phones. I would love to add a point to Molly's answer since it was dead on, but I'm a newbie. Consider the point added.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .