Wireless bridge with ASUS RT-10 B1

Hello everyone,

I have set up my router ASUS RT-10 B1 (https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/asus/asus_rt-n10plus_b1) as a wireless bridge according to the guide: https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/relay_configuration (section “Setup with LuCI Web Interface”, I only skipped the paragraph “Configure static IP address on wwan interface”, as it was recommended, not strictly mandatory).
I have connected a streaming device with an ethernet cable to one of the LAN ports of the ASUS RT, and the ASUS RT is connected to the modem router via wifi.

I would like to understand:

  1. If the streaming device can “see” the rest of the network = other clients that could be connected to the modem router wirelessly. Ideally, the streaming device would only need internet connection (download/upload)
  2. If the network speed (download bandwidth at streaming device) can be optimized

Thank you in advance for your help and support

PS: some background for those who might have the time to read some further details.
I am a newbie, not at all familiar with the IT stuff like flashing a ROM / configuring a device with command line interface (therefore, please forgive me if I ask obvious questions).
I have tried to set up the above because I wanted to reuse an old device instead of dumping (I agree that the ASUS RT-10 B1 is not the fastest in these days … nevertheless I thought that the theoretical wireless speed of 150 Mbits advertised on the packaging was more than enough for the use I had in mind… )

The plus: I was able to install, and set up :slightly_smiling_face: (well perhaps it was only thanks to the good information that I found in the website, not my skills :slight_smile: )
The minus: the network speed is not exactly what I expected :slight_smile: .

What I thought (please correct me if I am wrong here): if the ASUS RT was advertised as 150 Mbits (theoretical), I could expect 75 Mbits download and 75 Mbits upload (theoretical. Since it is configured as a wireless bridge = no other clients are connected wirelessly, all the bandwidth is used for the communication between the modem router and the ASUS RT). Then you should add a gap (reduction of performances) for theory vs real life, and the VPN configured on the streaming device. If I try to compare the network speed (based on tests always using the same online service):
Down [Mbits] 10
Up [Mbits] 14
Ping [ms] 50

If I compare with the values for a PC connected to another LAN port of the ASUS RT via ethernet cable, with the same VPN activated on the PC, it seems it is slightly better in download (why?):
Down [Mbits] 13
Up [Mbits] 10
Ping [ms] 50

If I repeat with the PC connected as above, but disconnecting the VPN, it seems that there is slight improvement in the download speed:
Down [Mbits] 15
Up [Mbits] 19
Ping [ms] 20

When I had a different internet provider and a different set up (modem router close to the streaming box, linked directly with an ethernet cable) I was able to obtain (streaming device connected with the VPN):
Down [Mbits] 50
Up [Mbits] 23
Ping [ms] 52

50 Mbits download looked good enough for I what I needed (even much more than what I needed), therefore I was considering that 25 Mbits should be a great target value for the new setup. Unfortunately, at 10 Mbits I am afraid it is not good enough … and this is the reason why I am wondering if there is any optimization in the parameters that could help. Otherwise, I will have to dispose of the ASUS RT, and buy a better device (please suggest one. Knowing that the modem router has wifi AC, and with a last generation smartphone, it is possible to obtain more than 150 Mbits in a spot close to the streaming device, without connecting to the VPN).

The modem router is providing about 300 Mbits (that is the theoretical value, really close to the actual one, always above 290 Mbits, measured with a PC connected with an ethernet cable, and using the same online service as above without VPN).

Thank you for your patience and support

PS2: please move the topic to another category, if I selected the wrong one. Apologies

Hi,
I tried to test as well with the VPN on the smartphone, and values were overall good, between 100 and 200 Mbits (although with a lot of variability within this range). Just to prove that there is enough bandwith in the spot for the purpose I need, and the question is how to get it out of the ASUS RT-10 B1, if that is possible.

Thank you in advance to anybody who could help

fwiw, I don't own a RT-N10 b1, but the significant drop in perceived performance may be due to a number of factors.

The Ralink SoC is Very old and only clocked at 320 MHz with single band radio and dates back to 2010 for your Asus. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but OpenWrt unlikely to use any hardware acceleration at all with this old chipset.

It is not strictly speaking a 'true' wireless bridge compared to other implementations used in ddwrt, Padavan, Tomato. Relayd involves routing - ie. there will be a drop in performance in my experience.

Vaguely recall my old AC1300 HH5a with 500 MHz MIPS SoC, barely achieved 50 mbps using relayd over 5 GHz link with LEDE 17.

Have you tried simple wireless client to see if performance is any better?
https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/connect_client_wifi

I personally don't use OpenWrt relayd because performance is inferior to Padavan and Tomato with newer devices.

Consider getting a faster/newer router for wireless bridging.

Off top of my head, Asus RT-AC57U v1/Xiaomi 4A Gigabit AC1200 routers which use dual core 880MHz MT7621 SoC running relayd on openwrt offered less than 200 mbps on 5 GHz wifi. Same routers running Padavan AP client (wireless bridge) capable of over 300 mbps easily. I also get good results from wireless ethernet bridge on FreshTomato running on venerable ARM powered Netgear R6250v1 and similar R6300 v2.

Hi @bill888 , thank you for taking the time to reply, I have appreciated it.

If I understand correctly, low performances can come from:

  • low spec hardware ( :slight_smile: as I tried to explain in my initial post, target was to reuse old hardware laying around, thinking that it should have been anyway enough for the purpose ... perhaps I was wrong here... )
  • inefficient set up. Perhaps I misunderstood and thought that the instructions I followed were what I needed ... I had not seen the page you mentioned, I can try and see if there is any improvement
  • wrong choice of firmware? The others you mentioned are not compatible with my router, I have seen that only DD-wrt may be installed... do you think it could be a better solution?

Thank you in advance

I wouldn't say the set up was 'inefficient'. I just suggested you test simple wireless client to see if if there is any difference.

Sorry, I don't use DD-wrt so I can't comment on its wireless bridging functionality.

1 Like

I understand. Let me test and I will post here some feedback

Thank you

I resetted the router and set up according to https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/connect_client_wifi as you suggested.
First test with PC connected via ethernet to the ASUS RT, VPN actived on the PC:
Down [Mbits] 13
Up [Mbits] 16
Ping [ms] 36
to be compared with

Therefore some improvements, but not in download.
Then test from the streaming device (VPN on):
Down [Mbits] 18
Up [Mbits] 18
Ping [ms] 40
to be compared with

And here improvements are visible :fireworks:
I will keep these settings if there are no drawbacks @bill888 , and test more.

Thank you for pointing to that page, actually I would never find out without your help, since I was searching for "bridge", which is not mentioned there ... so basically that is another way to create a wireless bridge without using relayd, and it seems to perform better since it does not involve routing like relayd, which might affect performances, if I understood correctly what you wrote above.

If there is not anything else to do with the current configuration, I will tick the "Solution" box next to your post above, if you agree. Thank you again for your support

what speeds do you get when you don't use VPN on PC ?

Hi,
I have not checked the gap this time, but with the previous configuration, the difference (in terms of download speed) was smaller than I expected:
with VPN:

Without VPN:

But I can test it again

I was forgetting one of the questions I raised at the beginnig:

With this new configuration, is the router preventing the streaming device to "see" the rest of the network, or can I make it possible (without bothering the internet connection of the streaming device)?

Thank you in advance

Hi,
PC / VPN ON:
Down [Mbits] 13
Up [Mbits] 13
Ping [ms] 40

PC / VPN OFF:

Down [Mbits] 16
Up [Mbits] 21
Ping [ms] 12

A 'true' wireless bridge would allow devices on both sides of the wireless bridge to see each other as they are supposed to be on the same LAN/subnet.

However, there have been posts on this forum where this does not always work when using relayd - cause unknown. I've not encountered this issue myself. Reminder that relayd is not a true wireless bridge implementation imho.

A simple wireless client behaves as a 'router'. ie. devices on WAN and LAN are Not on the same subnet.

ok, my understanding is that my case now is as described here, so the streaming device does not "see" the other devices connected wirelessly to the router modem. Which is good. Out of curiosity, is there a simple way to see it?

Thank you again

Edit: I have read again in the page you suggested, where it is written "the Wi-Fi network we are connecting to is using 192.168.1.x addresses, so we will need to change the IP address of the LAN interface first to 192.168.2.1" . So it means that since the streaming device is connected to a LAN interface 192.168.2.1, and on the other side the rest of the network (wifi devices) is on 192.168.1.x that is enough to hide the rest of the network ... I like it :slightly_smiling_face: , it seems I start understanding something, well, I hope :thinking:...

Do you think that the performances are limited by the ASUS RT? So the only option to improve that would be to change the device?

yes it is when using openwrt, imho

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