How to make your broadband connection faster

How to work-around the problem of router-induced high latency, using a Linux home router.

Modern internet routers contain so much buffering of packets they defeat TCP’s congestion algorithms. The end result is high latency on your broadband connection.

If your home router runs linux, you can mitigate this latency using QOS (i.e., traffic shaping).

My home broadband connection is rated at 12Mbps down, 1Mbps up. Using the CBQ script from the Linux QOS howto (linked above), I set the upload speed parameter to 3/4 of my available bandwidth, and the download speed parameter to 13/16. Suddenly I could surf the web while bittorrenting! This was impossible before.


so debian etch is totally rocking.

It was a fun experience just reading the installation manual. The manual was impressive, I’ve not seen a work which conveyed so much information in so little words. Let me explain what I mean by that; I, as an expert Linux user, found the directions extremely helpful, easy to follow, with just the right amount of hints along the way. However, a Linux newb would be hopelessly lost. almost every phrase in the manual evoked whole volumes of knowledge, which it was assumed, nay, required, that the reader already possessed. :) No wonder Debian has the reputation of being elitist!

At the end of the directions, the manual stated I now had a running Debian system, albeit somewhat lean. I’ll say! upon first boot, and logging in, I noticed the kernel was using about 5mb of ram for itself, and all running applications were taking up about 10mb! yep, only 15mb of ram for a full blown, non-embedded linux system. that was with a system logger and cron daemon running.

Then I installed the things I planned to actually use the computer for: a caching DNS server (bind9), ssh daemon, and typical stuff like zsh, screen, and darcs. The darcs install went ahead and pulled in exim, an SMTP server.

after I got screen going, with a couple zshs, and those other servers, ram usage ballooned all the way up to 22mb. 😀 Boy do I feel silly now, with the 1gb swap partition I created for this setup!