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hookbill
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: More Confusion...Please help me to understand...bit torrent Reply with quote Back to top

This came up in another thread and I thought it was off topic so I'll ask over here. First I did read about bandwith usage and such so I upgraded to premium internet service specifically for these issues. Still I don't fully understand.

Bit Torrent. Yes, I understand Vonage will affect it but how? If your on the phone and downloading? Or is it just that your bandwith is being used by Vonage?

Also, does Vonage constantly use bandwith or is it only making/receiving calls?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

All I know is if you have a QoS enabled router bittorrent will not affect your telephone call quality. When you make a call the router will throttle all your other traffic down so your call gets priority. If you dont have QoS enabled on your router, when using bittorrent your phone calls would more then likely be garbled.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: More Confusion...Please help me to understand...bit torr Reply with quote Back to top

hookbill wrote:
Bit Torrent. Yes, I understand Vonage will affect it but how?


Think of bandwidth as a water pipe. Both bit torrent and Vonage as water. If you have more water than the pipe can handle then you have a wet floor. The water on the floor is bits of conversation that didn't get heard on the other end of the connection.

hookbill wrote:
If your on the phone and downloading? Or is it just that your bandwith is being used by Vonage?


Also, does Vonage constantly use bandwith or is it only making/receiving calls?


While Vonage constantly uses a trickle, the faucet is only truly opened during a phone call.

Most recent version of BitTorrent have controls that allow you to cap the amount of bandwidth BitTorrent is allowed to use. This can be used when QoS features aren't available to automatically shape the traffic. Imagine that you are slightly closing the BitTorrent faucet to allow all of the Vonage water to use the pipe.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: More Confusion...Please help me to understand...bit torr Reply with quote Back to top

hookbill wrote:

Bit Torrent. Yes, I understand Vonage will affect it but how? If your on the phone and downloading? Or is it just that your bandwith is being used by Vonage?

Also, does Vonage constantly use bandwith or is it only making/receiving calls?


BitTorrent/P2P affects Vonage in possibly two ways, depending on your configuration.

1. (for everyone): Vonage wants to consume 30-90 kbps each way for every line that is currently active. BitTorrent, depending on how many connections are active, how many leeches are hanging off you at any one time, etc, may consume any amount of bandwidth up to your entire Internet connection.

Without some way of "shaping" your traffic, basically traffic gets blocked up at your router. Some of your BitTorrent data gets delayed, and that just slows down BitTorrent, so that's OK. Some of your Vonage traffic gets delayed, and by the time the data arrives at its destination, it's already too late to incorporate it into the voice others hear, so it becomes a "discarded packet". That's not OK.

Since the Vonage routers lack the ability to tune their QoS to your connection speed (unlike many other routers), the QoS is basically useless unless you get really lucky and it somehow manages to guess at your true upstream speed, so your only real options are to get a router that DOES support QoS properly, or throttle your BitTorrents to always reserve enough bandwidth for Vonage.

2. (for users of Vonage routers, and some other routers). Certain consumer router have poorly-chosen Networking defaults. BitTorrent makes LOTS AND LOTS of connections, constantly. Some of these routers overload for various reasons, and crash under the load.

Specific example is Vonage/Linksys routers, which attempt to retain information about all "idle but not cleanly disconnected" TCP/IP connections for FIVE DAYS. Since the router table in these units is generally about 2,000 connections, and BitTorrent is constantly generating "idle but not cleanly disconnected" connections, the table gets filled up in about a day - sometimes less, sometimes more - depending on how active your Torrents are. When the router table fills up, the router does not allow any new connections to be made. Result: basically, you have to restart the router in order to make any new connections.


As to Vonage's consumption of bandwidth - the Vonage router sends a quick "chirp" out to Vonage about once every 30 seconds or so to let Vonage know it's still there, from what I've seen on my activity lights. So it consumes very little bandwidth.

Outgoing: When you pick up the phone, it is still not consuming much bandwidth, as dial tone is locally generated. As you dial the phone, no bandwidth. As soon as you dial the last number, Vonage starts ringing the remote side. Once the other end picks up, the Vonage router makes a SIP connection to Vonage, is issued a random port, and starts firing data back and forth at whatever your speed is. Delays in this session creation can cause delays in the other end hearing you start to talk.

Incoming: Vonage sends a SIP packet to your router, which then rings your phones. When you pick up the line, the router and Vonage negotiate a port and start connecting (like above).

So, unless you are in a call or accepting a new firmware update or something, Vonage should be consuming VERY little bandwidth.

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daphaze
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the info, you touched on some good things, but detail please!

1. Is there a way to stop this 5 day log of idle connection?

2. Using QOS is good, but shoould I QOS a certain port? A Vonage advanced tech told me that the service uses port 10,000, UDP or TCP I don't know, but should I QOS those specific ports?

Why the heck is a 54G linksys with two phone ports not capable of throttling the bandwidth automatically?

Bit torrent, I am impressed to say will crash or sabotage any connection.


Actually, interestingly, I dropped our connection speed to 768k from a 5 mb line, seems as though everything is a little more easy to handle, at 5mb, i was getting massive amounts of connections and it froze the router one night. Now, yes things are slower, but i'm able to web surf while BTing, which is kinda funny

less is more hehehehe?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

daphaze wrote:

Why the heck is a 54G linksys with two phone ports not capable of throttling the bandwidth automatically?


Very simply -- cost. It's not cheap to make a device capable of doing true QoS. I'm using a $2500 Baystack 460 switch to do QoS at my place, and you better believe it handles everything perfectly. Even hooked up 3 computers, each running BitTorrent, and the phone calls remained clear. That said, most people aren't interested in paying THIS much for proper QoS, so sacrafices were made. The QoS in that router might be suitable for normal internet usage...but BitTorrent is anything but usual.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

daphaze wrote:
Thanks for the info, you touched on some good things, but detail please!

1. Is there a way to stop this 5 day log of idle connection?

2. Using QOS is good, but shoould I QOS a certain port? A Vonage advanced tech told me that the service uses port 10,000, UDP or TCP I don't know, but should I QOS those specific ports?

Why the heck is a 54G linksys with two phone ports not capable of throttling the bandwidth automatically?

Bit torrent, I am impressed to say will crash or sabotage any connection.


Actually, interestingly, I dropped our connection speed to 768k from a 5 mb line, seems as though everything is a little more easy to handle, at 5mb, i was getting massive amounts of connections and it froze the router one night. Now, yes things are slower, but i'm able to web surf while BTing, which is kinda funny

less is more hehehehe?


BitTorrent has been running with NO throttling on my 3000 down / 256 up connection, using a WRT54G (with aftermarket firmware) on an old DOCSIS 1.0 modem. My router has been up with zero defects for 10 days, 4.5 hours. It only went down 10 days ago because a newer version of the aftermarket firmware came out and I wanted to experiment with it. Before that, it was up on the previous version of the firmware, BitTorrent running unthrottled the entire time, for 35+ days.

My Vonage calls are crystal clear. I make multiple VPN connections that stay up for days or weeks. I connect to about 10 instant messenger servers, including two encrypted SameTime connections, one over a single VPN and one over a double-chained VPN connection, and I rarely if ever get reconnects on those (more often than not, the actual servers are down, and not my connection, but it generally happens less than once a week).

So, yes, it IS possible.

Here's a little information on QoS for you:

http://vonage.nmhoy.net/qos.html


Your first priority is to get QoS in general working. It is doubtful that you will be able to do that on a Vonage-supplied router. Sorry. That's the breaks.

I fought that concept for a month, with the router crashing daily with BitTorrent and at least every 4-5 days without it. I bought a WRT54G (now known as the "WRT54GL"), loaded up the aftermarket firmware, learned a LOT about QoS and network configuration in a few days, and got it all dialed in. Now it Just Works.

Rather sad, actually. With just a couple of very minor tweaks, the WRTP54G and RTP300 could be SOLID routers. They are good Linux based units, and have the hardware and memory to be darned fine routers. All it takes is an adjustment to /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_conntrack_tcp_timeouts and the ability to manually specify the upstream bandwidth.

But since you can't get in to a command line due to them being locked down, and "unlocking" them renders them unuseable on the Vonage network, well, I took some of the money I was saving and bought myself a router that *I* control. No hard feelings toward Vonage - I understand why they are locking this stuff down. But, frustratingly enough, if they made a single UI change and a single network configuration change, I think they'd have a VERY nice router on their hands, even for BitTorrent, and with solid working QoS.

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daphaze
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the infos,

So moral is, ya just have to keep it "semi-junk", I'm experimenting with giving a Qos to port 10000 which I assume will give precidence to TCP and UDP. Might get BT running through that port, though, for TCP listening or whatever...

This lack of configuration is not exactly satisfactory, as one of the first questions I asked Vonage before I signed up,

1. I can use my existing phone wiring in the wall? "Yes, or course, just wait until your number has been ported and there is no dialtone"

- answer to this is we live in an apartment building where there is an inter-apartment intercom and ability to control the front door by pressing "6", this was giving a lot of static and making us lose dialtone after about 30 min. Had to put some $$ on an expandable phone system.

2. What about Downloading? If my "kids" are using the computer, won't that interfere with the phone calls? "No, as long as you are using a Vonage router, the phone conversations always have precedence."

-NOT SO, as we know!
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hookbill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Last night my DVR only recorded part of CSI. So I am at this moment downloading it via bit torrent.

I ran a test call to Boston while this was going on and I got my lowest overall score ever, a 3.3. 4.2 was my previous low.

However while I was downloading my wife called in from work. Call was crystal clear on both sides.

My conclusion is that so long as I'm not downloading more then one bit torrent file at a time I'm probably fine.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

hookbill wrote:
Last night my DVR only recorded part of CSI. So I am at this moment downloading it via bit torrent.

I ran a test call to Boston while this was going on and I got my lowest overall score ever, a 3.3. 4.2 was my previous low.

However while I was downloading my wife called in from work. Call was crystal clear on both sides.

My conclusion is that so long as I'm not downloading more then one bit torrent file at a time I'm probably fine.


Understand that QoS will probably not help out with test calls from the same computer as the BitTorrent.

1. The computer is already opening and closing a lot of ports, and that means overhead, so even if the Voip packets got priority, it means little because the computer's NIC is already busy as heck.

2. If you prioritized your Vonage device, but did not set TCP/IP port priority of port "5060" (SIP) to higher than your BitTorrent port, then QoS doesn't prioritize 5060, therefore QoS isn't doing anything for the testyourvoip calll. Your Vonage device, however, *is* set up to highest, so it will work fine.

You can:

1. Ignore this. Vonage is working fine. You don't need testyourvoip any more anyway. Stop worrying and start calling. Wink
2. Set port 5060 to HIGHEST, which will help your tests a little.
3. Try testyourvoip from a computer hooked into the LAN of your Vonage device (assuming it's a router). Those packets will enjoy the same priority on your main router as your Vonage router itself.

Whatever you do, DO NOT hook up a BitTorrent client to the Vonage router. This would have the effect of making BitTorrent run at the same priority as Vonage, and guess what? Things aren't going to be pretty any more. Wink

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