Windows – Poor home office network performance


I have worked with small to mid size networks for quite a long time and can say I'm comfortable connecting hardware. Where you will start to lose me is with managed switches and firewalls.

To start, let me describe my network

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Few highlights.

  • The Firewall, I've used both the Cisco and D-Link with the same result. Although D-Link is a bit more reliable. If using the Cisco I have configured two VLANS 1 and 2 where both have a private Wireless subnet and SSID.
  • VLAN 2 has no issues. Works like charm.
  • On the office/VLAN 1 I'm trying to stick with a Gibabit switch. 3 of the 4 I've tried are and each has issues. Eventually the switch becomes inoperable. So basically I have to remove the switch and use wireless which don't want.
  • On the office/VLAN 1, the PE1400, one laptop and all printers are 100Mb. The PE400, one laptop and the workstation are 1Gb.
  • Had to force RV220W port to office switch to 1GB or it fails.
  • The office workstation is a VM dev box where I run multiple VM.
  • Not everything is on the domain (e.g. printers and some VM's).

The Issue
The breakdown here is at item 5. No matter what I do I cannot have a switch at 5 and have to run everything wireless regardless of router.

Issues related to using a switch on Office/VLAN 1

  • SpeedTest is good.
  • Poor throughput to other devices if can communicate at all.
  • Usually cannot ping other devices even on the same switch although, when able, ping times are good.
  • Eventual lose of connectivity and can "sometimes" be restored by unplugging everything for several days, not minutes or hours but we're talking a week if at all.
  • Directly connect to computer gives good internet connection however throughput to other devices connected to firewall is at best horrible. Yet printing doesn't seem to be an issue as long as they are connected via wireless.
  • I have to force the RV220W to 1000Mb on the respective port if using a Gig Switch

Issues related to using wireless in place of a switch on Office/VLAN 1

  • Poor throughput to other devices if can communicate.
  • SpeedTest is good.

Bottom line

  • Internet speeds are awesome. By the way, Comcast went WAY above and beyond to make sure it was not them. They rewired EVERYTHING which did solve internet drops.
  • Computer to computer connections are garbage
  • Cannot get switch at 5 to work, yet other at 4 has never had an issue. Direct connection, bypass switch, is good for DHCP and internet.
  • DNS must be on server, not firewall.

Cisco insists its my switches but as you can see I have used four and two different cables with the same result. My gut feeling is something is happening with routing. But I'm not smart enough to know that answer.

I run a lot of VM's at 5-c-3, could that cause it?

What's different compared to my previous house is I have introduced Gigabit hardware (firewall/switches/computers).

Some of my computers might have IPv6 turned on if I haven't turned it off already.

I'm truly at a loss and hope anyone has some crazy idea how to solve this. Bottom line, I need a switch in my office behind the firewall. I've changed everything. The real crux is I will find a working solution and, again, after days it will stop working. So this means I cannot isolate if its a computer since I have to use them. Oh and a solution is not throwing more money at this. I'm well into $1k already. Yah, lame.

UPDATE: Learning about Traffic Monitoring using Wireshark. Better starting point than throwing darts at a wall. Here is what I'm seeing thus far:

  • Excessive NetBIOS calls due to DNS setting oversight. I have a Domain Controller and it turns out Non-Domain computers are not updating Active Directory Integrated DNS (Zone Properties-General-Dynamic Updates: "Nonsecure and secure" (high risk, prefer DHCP update).
  • Excessive TCP Retransmissions. No answer yet.

Best Answer

You MUST check your network cables with network tester. For what you have described, you went to gigabit network which utilizes all 4 cable pairs. I have had such a problem in customer network. 1gb brand new network, and 150kbps network transfers... The problem was not well clamped rj45 plug.

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