In the last few months I noticed that if I needed to download a file the best speed I could manage was about 7 MB/s. I had a new cable modem, and a gigabit switch, so I figured my old router was to blame. The old router has a 100 MB port, and is kind of ancient, so it probably just couldn’t keep up if I’m downloading a file, while someone else is streaming something, playing video games, etc.
Enter the Edgerouter Lite.
This is a one-task type of device. It’s doesn’t provide wireless, it’s too small to be your main switch, it’s only for routing internet traffic.
The first thing I noticed when I powered it up is that it was running a firmware that was way behind what was currently available. The GUI did not provide a way to update the firmware, it had to be done at the command line. This entailed setting up a small web server on my laptop so the firmware could be downloaded to the router. Kind of a pain, but once I had the latest and greatest I could update through the gui from now on.
The initial setup was not as easy as a consumer-type of router. There is a wizard you go through that will get you most of the way there, but of course my home network is different than most so I had to make some adjustments.
First off, the wizard forces you to use 192.168.1.1/24 as your gateway for LAN. That would be fine, except every device in my home is on 192.168.2.x. Changing the router to use the correct subnet should be easy, but there was some confusion. The 3rd ethernet port was for some reason set to my preferred subnet by default, and so the router complained when I tried to make the change. Took me a while to figure that out and simply disable the 3rd port, which I won’t end up using anyway.
I run a few services on my home server that need to be accessible from the internet, hence I forward ports. Setting up the port forwarding was mostly straightforward.
Once I had it all configured, I unplugged my old router from the home network, plugged the new one in. Right away my server could see the new router, but I had no internet access. I figure the firewall is probably setup wrong, or DNS. So I spent about 20 minutes checking this and that, restarting services on the router, etc. Turns out the fix was simply rebooting my cable modem. 🙂
After that it was all good. My download speeds jumped to over 12 MB/s, and even while that was going on I could browse the internet, send email, use youtube, etc, with no slow down.
I only have about 12 hours in, but if you are an advanced user and need the throughput, I can recommend the EdgeRouter Lite. It has many features I haven’t gotten around to yet, such as QOS, VPN tunneling, etc.
See below for some GUI screenshots.