Okay, I'm a bit puzzled here, and since there are a few folks out there playing with these, maybe you'll have some advice.

I just put up a pair of RouterBoard 532s for a heavily-trafficked backhaul link. It's about as simple a setup as you can get - just Ethernet up to one Atheros, running as an AP, across a 1/2 mile link to a client, back down the Ethernet. Simple enough, eh? Since it's just one radio hop, I haven't set up WDS or anything fancy, just a few simple routing statements to direct traffic from one end to the other.

Using the RouterOS built-in tests, this link claims to be capable of almost 40Mbps one-way. I know the tests are somewhat idealized, and probably a bit optimistic, but I'm having trouble getting speeds even a third of that.

I don't believe it's an RF issue, because it's a short link with good antennas. Signal strength is around -58, noise is in the mid-90s. Also, when there's no other traffic on the link, I can get the same "test" performance there that I was getting on my workbench, where the built-in bandwidth tests report 35+ Mbps.

It's just that the darn boards seem to choke in the face of real-world traffic. (My real traffic load is around 10Mbps aggregate, balanced about 80-20 between upload and download.)

I've tried hopping around to different frequencies, which I didn't expect to help. I've tried both enabling and disabling their proprietary NStreme protocol, and enabling/disabling radio compression. I haven't yet experimented with M3P (the "packet packer protocol" option), but I'm a bit skeptical on it as well.

The (informal) testing I've done thus far shows the link not really handling traffic beyond about 15Mbps or so. (The "informal" testing was done with a few Web-based speed tests. More formal testing, with tools like nuttcp or qcheck, will be coming soon, but I'm really skeptical at this point.)

Any suggestions on how to further tune the performance on these boards would be welcome.

Thanks!

David Smith
MVN.net


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