Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

Explorer

Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

Has anyone done any objective testing, comparing bandwidth changes (if any) when connecting their mCell in 'priority' mode (modem->mcell->router) as opposed to the alternative (modem->router->mcell) ?

 

I understand priority mode isn't an option for some folks, and for others its mandatory. I'm in the happy land where I can do either and I'm wondering if there's any downside to leaving it in priority mode, more to the point, any bandwidth modulation or latency issues. 

 

There are a few anecdotal "my dl speeds/latencies are worse with the mCell in priority mode" posts here and there, but no one with actual data to back up the claims. 

 

I experimented a little this evening and found nothing significantly different between the two connections with respect to UL/DL or latency. In fact, I wouldn't expect there to be any huge difference, the device is made by folks who understand network hardware pretty well, but was just wondering if anyone had done any testing that is more systematic / systemic than my little 20 minute experiment. 

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Mentor

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

I haven't done objective testing, but I'd also disagree with it being designed by folks who understand network hardware well.  Yes, Cisco made the device, and yes Cisco should know better, but .... The device as it is has a lot of problems with it's primary function (read other threads on this forum). If it does so poorly with it's primary function, I'm really not willing to trust it for passing my internet traffic properly.

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Guru

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

The more things (whatever they may be) that you have between your computer and the Internet, the less reliable the system will be. It follows that modem -> microcell -> router -> computer is a less reliable configuration than modem -> router -> computer (with the microcell also hanging off the router).

 

But in order for the microcell to get priority access to the uplink bandwidth, you need to have a good QoS configuration if you choose the latter configuration. If the microcell doesn't have first crack at the outgoing bandwidth, you risk folks telling you that you sound bad if one of the other devices in the house, for example, is doing a big file transfer in the outward direction.

 

If you can configure QoS properly, then the increase in reliability (however slight it may be), I believe, argues in favor of not using the priority mode configuration. If your router is not capable of doing QoS properly, then priority mode is a good workaround, presuming you're not in a situation that precludes it (such as PPPoE).

 

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Anonymous

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

I could tell no difference in download speed either way, so I left it in priority mode to minimize problems (skipping issues aside).
Message 4 of 9 (1,558 Views)

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

I'm not going to answer your question because I haven't done any "objective tests".  But I will tell you that I'm 95% certain that it makes no difference, unless you have a not-very-fast Internet connection or you are maxing it out regularly with Internet traffic.  The MC isn't using all that much bandwidth, so if you have anything with upload speed of ~1Mb or more and a reasonable download speed, you really won't have an issue, even if you're not in so-called "priority configuration".  

 

I strongly suspect the reason they tell customers to configure this way is so that they won't have to deal with firewall issues in routers, which is painful/impossible for most customers to walk through their way to a solution.

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Guru

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

 


MyDogHasFleas wrote:

 The MC isn't using all that much bandwidth, so if you have anything with upload speed of ~1Mb or more and a reasonable download speed, you really won't have an issue, even if you're not in so-called "priority configuration".  

 

I strongly suspect the reason they tell customers to configure this way is so that they won't have to deal with firewall issues in routers, which is painful/impossible for most customers to walk through their way to a solution.


 

I disagree.

 

It's not that the microcell uses a lot of bandwidth. It's that if your other devices use it all, the microcell isn't going to work. Proper QoS is crucial for VoIP of any kind to function correctly. Anyone who has gotten acceptable results without it simply has not stressed their connection sufficiently to expose the problem.

 

Now, if you have a super-duper cable modem or fiber connection, then maybe it isn't either reasonably likely or possible for you to saturate the uplink. But otherwise, when the uplink is saturated, your voice quality will suffer without some sort of traffic shaping - count on it.

Message 6 of 9 (1,515 Views)
Mentor

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

Or you could do proper QOS with a good router ....

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Explorer

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

 


winterfl wrote:

Or you could do proper QOS with a good router ....


 

Yep. Of course, 'priority' mode is a sort of 'poor/lazy mans QoS'. Though, I did a little stressing w/ the device in that configuration by hammering my (reasonably good) upstream, and it suffered anyway. That was with the older firmware, haven't tried lately.

 

Mom doesn't want to mess with her router and can't.

I can, yet don't want to, and, of course, shouldn't have to.

 

But your point remains correct.

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Mentor

Re: Objective tests of 'priority' configuration over other configurations?

I tested priority mode out on mine, I have Comcast with PowerBoost, which has a 2Mbps upstream, and a burst to 7Mbps initially.  The device seems to get confused by this and think the rate is just 7Mbps, because if you just upload a large file, it will lose control of the buffering, the latency will rise, and the service will become unusable.

 

Nearly every cablemodem service these days has some sort of variable rate "PowerBoost" type service, so I'd go as far as to say that if you have a cablemodem (and not DSL), there is absolutely no benefit to "Priority Mode", other than bypassing your router/firewall, if that is causing a problem.  If it works behind your router/firewall, and you have a cablemodem, leave it that way.

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