How would you re wire a home network to improve performace

Ok I’ve been moving all my music and alrge files to a linux system (ubuntu). I notice that to move 400MB of data it is taking about 20 minutes which does not sound right.

I don’t have the budget to buy new HW and this is my current network hardware.

PC1-ECS nForce3-A with the NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller Ethernet controller
PC2-Dell SC420 -Broadcomm GigaBit Extreme Controller
PC3 -(linux box)-Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
PC4-(rarely used PC in next room)-Some Compaq with a 10/100 card built in

My internet connection is from Comast into a cable modem. That modem goes into a Linksys RT31P2 which handles my VOIP. This has 4 10/100 Ports. Connected to this is a Linksys WRT54G running Firmware: DD-WRT v23 SP2 (09/15/06) vpn. Connected to this is a Netgear 5 port 10/100/1000 Switch.

Besides the listed hardware I also have a patch cord running downstairs plugged into an Xbox and one going into a TiVo that is not active anymore

I don’t know which PC’s are plugged into which network hardware at the moment.

Based on the above what can I do to speed up internet network performance?

Back of the napkin calculations say that you’re getting ~2.5Mb/s (note that that’s megabits, not megabytes) transfer rate. The slowest rate you should see if traffic were staying local would be (I think) ~8Mb/s (that’s 10Mb/s minus overhead). But that’s only if one link in your chain is 10Mb/s; from what you’ve described that’s not the case (although what data rate does Comcast give you?).

I don’t see why data would pass out through the modem and back, but perhaps that’s what’s going on. The rate seems too slow to be due to disk write times (or anything else like that I can think of).

But yes, 20 minutes for 400MB is inordinately slow. Here’s an idea: try unplugging the modem data line; if data can’t be transferred on the LAN, something’s whack with your setup. If it can, then I’m at a loss…sorry.

If I’m understanding the OP… You have three routers/switches for four PCs, and you wonder what’s wrong?

Simplify – test what happens if you get rid of the VPN box and the modem. Disconnect those wires into the basement & Tivo. Get the whole thing down to two PCs connected to one ethernet switch, then test the speed. If it improves, add stuff back until the speed drops off a cliff again. This will tell you approximately where the problem lies.

ETA: if the speed still sucks with 2 PCs & one switch, its time to either replace ethernet ports in the PCs, or start pulling new wires.

I will try with the modem out of commission as a test tomorrow.

The VOIP router I understand. The WRT54G you might need for wireless networking. Why do you need the Netgear switch? The other two routers should be enough for four PCs.

No I know what’s wrong I don’t have the topology configured the best way. I did a little wire tracing earlier.

On the VOIP unit 3 all 3 of the back ports are used

One is going to the Belkin 10/100/1000 switch which is running 100 on all ports but one

All 4 ports are used on the back of the wireless

5 of the ports on the 10/100/1000 are used

I went to DSLREPORTS.COM and used the Flash tester and the results going to the same test server were

PC1-4748 Kb/s down 907 Kb/s up
PC2-9272 Kb/s down 1337 Kb/s up
PC3-6079 Kb/s down 1117 Kb/s up

I realized I had some network intensive software running on PC1 so I killed it then re-ran the test my result was

PC1-7630 Kb/s down 1015 Kb/s up

PC-1 is connected to the Wireless then into the main router.

The Internet speed test isn’t going to tell you much about the throughput between computers, and we aren’t going to be able to do meaningful troubleshooting without knowing what’s plugged into which ports. Can you tell us what port you are using to uplink the WRT54G to the RT31P2? If you’re using the WAN port, you’re throttling the speed down to 10Mbit. Ideally you would connect up one of the 10/100 ports on the back end, but that makes the configuration of the Wireless part a little more complex. Let us know how it’s set up.

::: Scratches head:::
Can’t you just connect the two computers directly with a cross over cable and bypass the entire network?

I’d probably find a 15 year old computer nerd, explain what you want, offer him $20 and a stack of old playboys for the job.