utorrent can cause connection to drop with ZTE W300 Router

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
16 posts Page 1 of 2
by Guest » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:30 pm
Summary
Using utorrent can cause the internet connection to drop when also using the ZTE W300 router. The cause is the ZTE W300 is unable to handle the large amount of connections that utorrent sometimes defaults to. One solution is to change utorrent settings, in particular global connections. I have mine at 50 now, with no issues. This is probably applicable to other torrent clients as well.

When changing global connections you should always change connections per torrent to be less than global. For example with 50 global do 30 per torrent. Go here for more in depth information about utorrent settings you may want to change: http://forum.utorrent.com/viewtopic.php?pid=295637

The Problem
I had just switched to Fusion and was having problems with intermittent packet loss and connection drops. I noticed one day that within minutes of starting utorrent my connection dropped. So I stopped using utorrent and it seemed my connection was now flawless.

Symptoms when the Connection Dropped
  • Someone on the network was using utorrent.
  • The DSL light on the router would remain solid.
  • Diagnostic Test (in router web interface) would show:

    Code: Select all

    >> Testing Ethernet LAN connection ...   PASS
       
    >> Testing ADSL Synchronization .   PASS
       
    >> Testing ATM OAM segment ping ...   PASS
       
    >> Testing ATM OAM end to end ping ...   PASS
       
    >> Ping Primary Domain Name Server .   FAIL
  • System Log (in router web interface) would have the following entry:

    Code: Select all

    dhcpClientARpCheck failifp = 8047f824
  • Router would need to be restarted to restore connection.
Testing and Results
I'm on windows Vista connected to the router by wire. utorrent is port forwarded. For these tests I would run the following command from a command prompt:

Code: Select all

ping -n 5000 209.204.190.64
209.204.190.64 is an IP address that Sonic.net tech support asked me to use for ping testing. The "-n 5000" sends 5000 consecutive packets. I thought this would be the best way to judge the average quality of my connection. All tests were run multiple times on two different ZTE W300s (Sonic.net sent me a loaner when we were troubleshooting my connection issues).

no utorrent
0-5 packets lost.

utorrent - 400 global connections (default for 768kbps upload speed) / 24 kBps upload limit / no downloads
Usually lose internet connection, large but inconsistent amounts of packet loss, browsing slow, websites timeout.

utorrent - 50 global connections / limit 24 kBps upload / no downloads
0-5 packets lost.

router in bridge mode | utorrent - 400 global connections (default for 768kbps upload speed) / 24 kBps upload limit / no downloads
0-5 packets lost.

About the Results
It's possible my logic is flawed somewhere - let me know! Also if anyone from Sonic.net can give a technical explanation about what was happening I'm curious. In any event:

Considering that with the router in bridge mode I had no problems regardless of utorrent settings, I think means the problem is caused by a limitation of the router and not some other issue. I don't recommend putting your router into bridge mode to fix this problem, I only did it for troubleshooting purposes.

utorrent with 400 global connections didn't always cause the connection to drop. I think possible reasons are other traffic on my network and popularity of torrents may cause more or less stress to the router. At all times however connection quality was poor during this test. I found this to be true for various global connection settings in between 50 and 400, although I tested them less rigorously. Most likely the settings you choose for utorrent should be partially determined by how many computers share the router.
by dane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:20 pm
Interesting analysis, thank you for doing such extensive testing!

We have a new CPE coming out soon for Fusion, I wonder how it will perform for you. :)
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
by Guest » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:46 pm
New CPE sounds exciting. If I may ask, what's the reason for change? The ZTE W300 has been a decent router since I got this figured out, though probably not ideal for power users.
by dane » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:01 pm
Guest wrote:
New CPE sounds exciting. If I may ask, what's the reason for change? The ZTE W300 has been a decent router since I got this figured out, though probably not ideal for power users.


The new unit supports centralized management and troubleshooting, including features like missing filter detection. A portal allows support to push firmware or settings updates to the device for performance, security or feature enhancements. It's an 802.11 N WiFi device, with up to 400mw of radio power, and 2x2 MIMO antenna for about twice the coverage and roughly 3x the speed of WiFi-G. It will also deliver native IPv6 at a future date. Overall, just a very nice upgrade.

The new Sonic.net Fusion router will be included as an integral part of the service. This means if it ever fails or requires replacement, we take care of it. An equipment fee of $6.50/mo will apply.

Existing customers can of course continue to use whatever hardware they have today, or can opt in to the new equipment. Up to you!

Expected availability is a week or two.
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
by Guest » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:39 pm
Will this $6.50/month CPE be mandatory or can new customers opt to use their own CPE? $78/year is expensive if all you need is a modem to attach to your router.
by dane » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:38 am
Guest wrote:
Will this $6.50/month CPE be mandatory or can new customers opt to use their own CPE? $78/year is expensive if all you need is a modem to attach to your router.


Yes, the new equipment will be integrated with the product, and a mandatory part of new service. This is a trend you will see with many service providers, for example AT&T's UVerse product.

In our case, the tightly integrated equipment will bring some benefits for customers:

Integration with our troubleshooting tools, so support staff can see issues deeper into the network, and help solve them quickly. For example, the new modem offers missing DSL filter detection. It also detects on-site wireless interference - and it displays this data in our support portal so we can assist.

The new equipment also allows for integration with our provisioning systems, which will enable us to develop seamless setup of Fusion features like static IP addresses, Annex M "upstream turbo mode" and IPv6.

This also means end-to-end Sonic.net responsibility for delivery of the complete broadband service - in other words, we can't blame the modem, we can replace the modem! We can advance ship a replacement modem the same day, or swap equipment if we dispatch a technician on site.

The modem also features Wi-Fi N 2x2 at up to 400mw, and will offer support for IPv6. It's got the fastest ADSL2+ performance that we've seen to date. Firewalling is also included. There's a lot to like in this equipment.
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
by wa2ibm » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:24 pm
The new CPE sounds interesting. Does it provide:

1. VPN capability? In my case, I use Linksys routers at other locations, so VPN tunneling needs to be compatible with those.

2. Multiple static IP management - be able to attach other routers to the public IP space ahead of the routing functions of the CPE. This has been the primary reason I use modems in bridge mode. I can put a switch after the modem, then feed multiple routers, each with their own public IP, to take advantage of the different capabilities of different routers. If one could keep the CPE in normal modem/router mode, and still be able to tap into other public IPs via a specific physical port on the CPE, that would give us the best of both worlds.

3. Is this for single line use only, or will there be a bonded version of the same CPE?

Just askin'
by dane » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:38 pm
wa2ibm wrote:
The new CPE sounds interesting. Does it provide:

1. VPN capability? In my case, I use Linksys routers at other locations, so VPN tunneling needs to be compatible with those.

You mean, does it block or preclude connecting to a VPN? No, that wouldn't be an issue.

2. Multiple static IP management - be able to attach other routers to the public IP space ahead of the routing functions of the CPE. This has been the primary reason I use modems in bridge mode. I can put a switch after the modem, then feed multiple routers, each with their own public IP, to take advantage of the different capabilities of different routers. If one could keep the CPE in normal modem/router mode, and still be able to tap into other public IPs via a specific physical port on the CPE, that would give us the best of both worlds.


There are a wide range of options with this CPE for static IP setup. With a single static IP of course it can simply be on that IP, and support PAT toward local servers. But it can also be put into a number of other modes.

Here is an overview. Please note that these advanced features are UNSUPPORTED. Questions regarding these configurations should be posted to the forum.

DMZplus

Explanation of DMZplus:
From the modem's interface: All inbound traffic, except traffic which has been specifically assigned to another computer using the "Allow individual applications" feature, will automatically be directed to this computer. The DMZplus-enabled computer is not firewalled - all unassigned ports are opened for that computer.

LAN Subports

Explanation of LAN Subports:
LAN Subports allow you to essentially bridge any number of ethernet ports on the modem and allow them to grab a WAN IP directly from us as opposed to being assigned a private "192" address. For example, you can set ethernet port one as a LAN Subport, then put a router behind it, and that router will either obtain an IP via DHCP from us, or can be assigned one of a customer's static IPs. This will allow us to continue to manage the modem remotely while at the same time a customer can use their own equipment behind it without any of the funky stuff that can happen with multiple routers.

Broadband IPs on LAN

Explanation of Broadband IPs on LAN:
The "Use Broadband IPs on LAN" feature allows you to configure a customer's static WAN IP to be assigned to a computer or device set to DHCP connected via ethernet. This will ONLY work on a static circuit since dynamic circuits don't often get assigned consecutive IP's and often are assigned from different subnets completely. When using this feature, the computer will have the WAN IP, but our MAC table will show the MAC address of the modem, not the device itself.

3. Is this for single line use only, or will there be a bonded version of the same CPE?

Just askin'


At this time the new equipment is for our residential single line Fusion service only.
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
by wa2ibm » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:53 pm
Dane, thanks for the quick reply. The LAN subport feature sounds very interesting.

As for VPN, what I meant was is there built-in VPN functions? I currently use a Linksys RV016 router which supports multiple VPN end points within the router. I can thus define tunnels to multiple other locations and have clients on my local LAN connect directly to clients/servers at other private locations simply by addressing the proper subnet and, vice-versa, have clients on those other subnets address devices on my local LAN subnet.

For right now though, I guess this is a moot point for me. My home is too far for Fusion (connected to Sonic via AT&T/RT line shared DSL), and my remote network is on bonded Fusion. My RV016 router, with multiple WAN ports, is also connected to Comcast that most of my VPN's are directed through. Oh well.
by dane » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:29 pm
wa2ibm wrote:
As for VPN, what I meant was is there built-in VPN functions? I currently use a Linksys RV016 router which supports multiple VPN end points within the router. I can thus define tunnels to multiple other locations and have clients on my local LAN connect directly to clients/servers at other private locations simply by addressing the proper subnet and, vice-versa, have clients on those other subnets address devices on my local LAN subnet.


For a configuration like this, you'd want to use the Linksys behind the Pace CPE, with our equipment in a mode like DMZ plus or one of the other advanced LAN modes.
Dane Jasper
CEO
Sonic
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