-Webpages refuse to load periodically. (Youtube videos also seem to stop loading/buffering at times) HIGHLY unstable internet connectivity
-Other services/file transfer services take a while to establish, but work fine with normal speeds after establishing (xdcc, torrent, etc)
-University blocks most services/ports (cannot change DNS server to test DNS, such as OpenDNS, as port 53 and any form of ping is blocked)
-WRT54G-TM with Tomato 1.28 worked more consistently than current RT-N16
-Plugging directly into the university network via wall-plug (cat5 cable) alleviates most issues — makes having a wireless router useless.
-University does condone and support routers, WRT54G worked fine.
-Top reports normal/low CPU and memory usage.
-Plenty of nvram left.
-Have tried multiple reinstalls, reboots, clearing nvram, etc.
-RT-N16 worked fine at home with 4 clients.
-Doesn't work so well with 7-16 clients at the university.
-Conntrack reports only a few hundred connections at any given time.
BACKGROUND (feel free to skip)
I have had nothing but trouble ever since I replaced my WRT54G-TM with an RT-N16 at my university dorm — most notably, webpages simply refuse to load and bandwidth just goes down to a crawl of sub-10kB/s. Other services seem to be unaffected — my xdcc download speeds and my torrents are unaffected, although I will have trouble establishing new peers and establishing new xdcc transfers (takes over a minute as opposed to an instant transfer). Yet, I won't be able to load wolframalpha.com to help me with calculations for my homework. It seems like getting the connection established is very difficult for the RT-N16. The worse part? Plugging in directly to the wall alleviates all connectivity issues — my friends who have relied on my wireless are now simply camping their rooms with 25ft ethernet cables, because my wireless has become that unreliable ever since upgrading to the RT-N16 :(.
I thought it might be a DNS problem, so I tried using a different DNS resolver like OpenDNS — but our university appears to block connections even on port 53 — everything breaks once I change the static DNS server on Tomato.
However, I did add the following script just in case it would help:
# OpenDNS server=22.214.171.124 server=126.96.36.199 # UltraDNS server=188.8.131.52 server=184.108.40.206 # DNSResolvers server=220.127.116.11 server=18.104.22.168 # Google server=22.214.171.124 server=126.96.36.199 # BT server=188.8.131.52 server=184.108.40.206 # Hopkins server=220.127.116.11 server=18.104.22.168 cache-size=10000 log-async=5
It didn't. Sometimes it gave the illusion of working (the internet would miraculously jumpstart, and then promptly die again), but it didn't change much.
Another interesting phenomenon of our university network is that www.pingtest.net gives our school a horrible rating: our average ping usually goes from 150-1200ms during the day, making most online games unplayable. No packet loss though. However, speedtest.net gives us a very low latency and very high bandwidth, so it seems there's some selective filtering and firewalling going on at the server level, considering the lack of packet loss and the consistency of the high latencies. However, this still doesn't change the fact that the wrt54g-TM (running tomato 1.28) worked pretty consistently, while my RT-N16 dies constantly. CPU usages are low, RAM usage is low, reboots, reinstalls, clearing NVRAM, altering wireless settings, nothing seems to help.
This is a university-only problem. I have once taken my RT-N16 back home and used it fine with our 25mbit comcast connection, with 4 clients (100mbit cable, 802.11g and n, along with a TV using N). However, the RT-N16 has trouble with the 7-16 clients we have here at the dorm. But conntrack reports so few connections (~hundreds) that I don't think it's the number of clients that's the issue.
I've been doing a lot of research and googling, but the internet has been so unstable as of late that I just can't do this anymore. I've only recently began to mess with routers and linux-based systems, but I just have a few questions:
1) So I tried a dmesg, after reading a few more threads, and I'm just wondering — what does it mean when a port enters a disabled state? Forwarding state? Is this good/bad/normal and is it related to my connectivity issues?
2) Also, is ipv6 disabled in tomatoUSB, or is there a clean way to disable it? It might be related to my problems — I see that on dnsmasq there's some flag related to ipv6, and my university might not like IPv6 so much.
3) I've read somewhere that packet interpretation goes on at the kernel level, and thus doesn't show up on "top" for CPU usage. Is there a way to find out if there is a CPU bottleneck occurring due to kernel-level operations?
4) Also, "top" gives memory usage in full integer percentages only — is there a way to get a more accurate memory usage value? Such as in actual bytes/kB or in percentages to the decimal?
5) In my logs, I see this everywhere:
Feb 8 00:27:38 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPACK(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 GoogleLaptop Feb 8 00:28:50 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPINFORM(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 Feb 8 00:28:50 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPACK(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 GoogleLaptop Feb 8 00:30:01 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPINFORM(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 Feb 8 00:30:01 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPACK(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 GoogleLaptop Feb 8 00:31:12 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPINFORM(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 Feb 8 00:31:12 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPACK(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 GoogleLaptop Feb 8 00:32:23 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPINFORM(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 Feb 8 00:32:23 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp: DHCPACK(br0) 192.168.1.149 0c:60:76:9b:c1:59 GoogleLaptop
What is this? Why is it happening? Somewhere on my google-travels I read that it was related to a system looking for a proxy server, but I checked that person's laptop and there seems to be no such thing — autoconfigured networks settings only. This issue may or may not be related to my internet connectivity issues…. Gotta explore every potential problem.
6) I have a dockstar running plugapps (variant of arch linux, the dockstar is an embedded system with a 1.2ghz arm processor and 128 MB of RAM) — is there any way to use the dockstar in conjunction with the RT-N16 to run a captive portal/hot spot system? I just want to have a login system (with RADIUS?) so that I can keep track of the people who are using my router. It's not a matter of restricting access — MAC filtering would be enough for the people here — but I think certain people connecting affect the router's stability more than others. Plus, I have all these powerful toys at my hands, I want to do something with them — the RT-N16 and the dockstar both have beautiful hardware specs:power consumption ratios. The dockstar handles torrenting, IRC xdcc file transfering and Samba filesharing very well ^^.
If someone manages to read through all of this — God bless you.
I am willing to spend a LOT of time on this if it will fix the issues. If you tell me to re-download and re-install Tomato and do an NVRAM clear and everything, I will do it despite having done it several times already. So… PLEASE HELP ME. I've dumped dozens of hours into this already and it's clear that by myself I'm not going to get anywhere :<.