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XR700 vs R9000 and Multiple SX10 vs GS728TX

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Several times a year my friends, our kids, our kids’ friends, and others from our community gather to game at my place. The main problem I have is that all of the ports on our router and switch are full.

Our current network topology:

Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 modem -> Netgear R9000 router -> Netgear GS728TX switch

The modem is connected to the router via a CAT6 cable, and the switch is connected to the router via an AXC761 (SFP+ passive DAC). All of the LAN ports on the router and switch connect directly to a gaming console, PC, or an access point.

We do not want to add any unmanaged switches. We do not want to introduce ANY latency, lag, jitter, extra hops, etc of any kind.

The kids want to replace the R9000 with an XR700 and replace the GS728TX with a bunch of daisy chained SX10’s lol. I’m all for trying new stuff but not just cause it looks cool. Besides, I don’t think the SX10 supports stacking.

Personally, I don’t want to introduce SX10’s to our network as I’m not familiar with the inner workings of DumaOS (the secret sauce). Same goes for replacing the R9000 with an XR700. I’d rather stack another GS728TX and call it a day.

Unfortunately, I’ve been tasked with researching DumaOS and ROG to determine if their gaming solutions can add any value to our gaming experience.

We take our gaming seriously. There can be no down time. The network has to work. I realize gaming uses very little bandwidth, but the truth of the matter is that gaming doesn’t occur in a vacuum. When 30+ gaming PCs and consoles are hooked up to the network, our 300/30 cable Internet connection becomes a bottleneck. Simply due to random console, Windows, game, anti-virus, etc updates/downloads that inevitably occur. All the while matches are taking place.

What can your hardware and software do for us? What changes to our network topology would you recommend? I’m a Netgear Beta tester. Although I don’t mind doing that on the side, it would be unacceptable to Beta test your gear on Game Night. I hope you catch my drift.

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Hi there,

Welcome to the forum! First off - makes sense to grab another switch given your expanding LAN party, so I'd be making that purchase if I was in your shoes.

As for XR700 & DumaOS - it depends how much of your gaming will be online. Assuming it's a decent amount, then we have several big features that will make a difference. I recommend you scroll through this page to get an understanding of each feature: https://netduma.com/features/

But for you, I think the three main features you will like are:

  1. QoS. I know every router has QoS, but none come close to ours. You can see a demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzPWRTMgZM0
  2. Geo-Filter - it depends on the games being played. But you can guarantee servers near your home for the best possible ping. Demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IZ09fTwrzs
  3. Network Monitor - on such a busy connection you will want to know who is online and who is using the bandwidth. Demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A828T-j7Fks

DumaOS is also very simply laid out, it's easy to setup and there's guides throughout to help first time users.

As for it 'just working' I completely understand. This is more a question for NETGEAR on hardware reliability - I would say that if you're happy with your R9000 performance then you can be as confident with the XR700.

Hope that gives you a good overview. Let us know if we can help with anything else.

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I'm sorry for the delay in response. I have been trying to do my due diligence in researching the XR700.

Our cable modem has AQM (Active Queue Management) built in. As I'm sure you already know, this is QoS (PIE) on the download side. It cannot be turned off (impossible for any DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem as it's a requirement for DOCSIS 3.1 itself). As a matter of fact, there are no user configurable settings in the MB8600 other than enabling LAG for connecting the modem to a router that supports WAN aggregation. The R9000 and XR700 do NOT have dual WAN ports, let along WAN aggregation capabilities. Otherwise we would definitely turn on LAG. We now have 1000/50 Internet, and our ISP over-provisions to 1.2 Gbps. Right now our R9000 achieves ~940 Mbps down and ~53 Mbps up in our environment.

The way QoS is implemented on the R9000 does not work in our case. It does NOT have the capability to only turn on QoS for Upload only. It's all or nothing. What we need is Upload QoS only.

Does the XR700 allow you to turn on QoS for Upload only? QoS has to be completely turned off on the download side. No consumer router (that I am aware of) has the juice required to perform deep packet inspection, etc. at gigabit speeds.

I've read there is the capability to "slide" the download percentage to 100. Our fear is this is NOT the same as turning QoS off, and thus our download speeds would suffer on the XR700 as well.

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We have loaded Voxel's firmware on our R9000 for three reasons:

1. He uses stock source code (no loss of optimizations available only in stock firmware).

2. He optimizes the firmware to take advantage of the hardware (CPU usage is drastically reduced).

3. He has included dnscrypt-proxy2 in the firmware image (no need to install entware, etc.).

I read that Netduma has recently added client VPN capabilities to the XR700, but is there DoH/DoT/OpenNIC/dnscrypt-proxy functionality?

Also, is DumaOS built on top of Netgear source code? Is it an extension of Netgear's firmware? Is DumaOS compiled with any hardware optimizations compared to Netgear's R9000 firmware? Does DumaOS compile with updated packages (openssl, etc.), again compared to Netgear's R9000 firmware?

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With the XR700 you can achieve just utilising QoS for upload. As you mentioned already leaving the download slider at 100% would in fact disable QoS for the download direction and therefore your download speeds should not suffer at all. 

For your other questions I think it would be best to get a developer to comment so I'll reach out for one for a response. I would not want to mislead you in case what I think (I'm not a developer) is incorrect. 

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That is great news regarding DumaOS's implementation of QoS.

FYI, I found out some of my comments regarding AQM were wrong after speaking with a senior line technician today.

First, DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems are required to "support" AQM (commonly referred to as DOCSIS-PIE). It's in the ISP's court to implement AQM in order for it work on the download side. It can be implemented regardless if DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 is at play. Our ISP doesn't currently have AQM turned on, but they are currently testing it in house.

Secondly, AQM IS implemented in the Motorola MB8600 on the upload side. It is also always active regardless of AQM being used on the download side. It is also true whether or not the ISP has implemented DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. In our case the modem is using DOCSIS 3.0 as our ISP hasn't implemented 3.1 in our area.

My take away from all this is that folks with DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems already have a form of QoS at play (at least at the upload level). Many have DOCSIS 3.1 modems that don't have ~300+ Mbps download speeds.

All this said, are there any adverse affects of using DumaOS's QoS if AQM is turned on? Have you guys and/or Netgear tested this particular scenario? The Netgear CM1000 and CM1100 are DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems and are marketed as having AQM functionality. Everyone would benefit to know if DumaOS's QoS (or any QoS really) and AQM do or don't play well together

FYI, I was told that many ISPs have only been handing out customers with DOCSIS 3.1 modems for over a year... regardless of their speed tier. One ISP only has two modems, one that's DOCSIS 3.1 and one that's a DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo. That means a lot of your customers (in the USA anyway) could have AQM. Have you had any issues with QoS that can't be explained?

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That's really interesting, thanks for the information!

We haven't really had any issues regarding QoS that can't be explained. We haven't to my knowledge tested specifically with modems that have AQM though I imagine Netgear have. The only thing I think that it could affect would maybe be the amount of bandwidth reaching the router, other than that as long as all devices are connected to the router then QoS should be just as effective. Obviously it's not ideal to have AQM enabled upstream but I don't foresee any major issues coming from it. 

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