#1 Edited by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

I live with 3 roommates and we all share a single router - my router. It's connected to everything including 2 PS3's, 2 360's, 5 PC's, and a half dozen phones/handhelds. 
  
Now, I have no problem sharing the router and it has been working pretty good for half a year, but recently my net has been painfully slow (I'm talking 0.32mbps) even though I'm using an ethernet cable running directly to the router. I finally got fed up (couldn't even check my email) so I plugged my PC directly into the modem and got a substantial speed boost of about 3.5mbps.  
 
So here's the thing. I can't live with my net being so slow but I also can't afford a second router since I just spent all the remaining money in my bank account on ridiculously expensive texbooks yesterday (also I really don't want to own a second router). All my roommates have modems in their rooms, but no wifi (and most of us use wifi). Also they're not very keen on buying a second router.
 
So here's my dilemma. Should I put my foot down and say that I want the use of my router exclusively for myself and probably start a big argument  (we just came out of a pretty significant fight and I'd rather not deal with that again) or avoid any confrontation and just change the router name/pass then say the router is broken. I realize it my property and I should be able to do whatever I want with it, but I can't help feeling guilty about the whole situation since I'm leaning towards option B. 
 
Edit: Crap, this was supposed to be in Off-Topic. If one of the mods could be so kind to move it...

#2 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

Between the four of you I'm sure you could all pitch in and pay for an additional router or something?

#3 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

Explain the situation and offer to split on a router?

#4 Posted by Nikral (288 posts) -

Sounds like someone is hogging all the bandwidth. You sure one of your roomies doesn't just have some torrents going?

#5 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

Oh, please. I don't download stuff and my 15Mbps high speed broadband is running at a meager .23Mbps. I am actually burning my AT&T data plan as I post solely because my standard broadband is far too slow. They're allegedly dispatching technicians, but they'll probably never come.
 
I don't think you have a router problem. Your internet's probably just clogged by an insane amount of data transfer. Perhaps you should either:
1. Tell your roommates (and yourself) to stop downloading so much
2. Get a faster ISP

#6 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

Have everyone chip in for another. 
#7 Edited by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@Hamz: That was the original plan after we all moved in, but a month later and nothing happening (and me being tired of asking) I just got fed up and bought one.  
 
@Nikral said:

" Sounds like someone is hogging all the bandwidth. You sure one of your roomies doesn't just have some torrents going? "

That was actually my first thought but they all said no. 
  
@Aus_azn:  The only thing I download is podcasts, and my roommates aren't exactly tech-savvy. We do stream Netflix a lot though... Also my ISP it tied directly to my rent so even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to change it or upgrade. 
#8 Edited by Nikral (288 posts) -

@Enigma777 Next time your internet is slow put a password on the router, check to see if your speeds have increased, if it does......someone is downloading 
if it's still the same....move onto figuring out what to do about a new router.  Then just simply put it back to normal and if anyone asks you were testing something or you don't know.
 
Are your other roomies saying it's slow?  
Also depending on your router firmware you might be able to check where all your bandwidth is going.   
 
You said you plugged in directly to the modem, I assume you had to disconnect the router and you only got 3.5mbps boost....thats not that much for 4 people. I'd be considering upgrading your internet speed if the router isn't broken.

#9 Posted by Helushune (215 posts) -

A second router's not going to change anything.  Something to keep in mind: wireless bandwidth is cut in half (exponentially) every time there's a new wireless device.  This isn't the case for wired connections.  So, if you have a ton of wireless connections, the amount of bandwidth each device gets becomes smaller and smaller. 

#10 Posted by CrazedMaverick (214 posts) -

First try to figure out if it's your roommates slowing the down the internet, in that case try and and get them to help pitch in for a new router. If your internet is just acting up call your ISP and bitch and whine, my dad did that for a few months and then they sent down a technician and they found a problem with their system and it helped a lot. Or you could pitch in for a better plan, between 4 guys it shouldn't be too bad.

#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (8000 posts) -

It has nothing to do with your router, I'd suggest looking in to getting a sort of bandwidth limiter for your network or some such.
 
And yeah, talk to them and figure out who's using the most bandwidth.  Tell them to stop DLing so much pr0n and you'll be fine.  Also apparently the word "pr0n" does not register as a grammatical mistake.

#12 Posted by Aleryn (704 posts) -

They have modems in their rooms?  They should just use a wired connection then, and be grateful of the free router usage for so long.  Worsecase they should just pool their money together for another router or whatever they need.  Geez, a good router can be had for around $60.

#13 Posted by Grilledcheez (3943 posts) -

Tell them to fuck off and throw things at them

#14 Posted by notsonic (212 posts) -

You can get a router for like $30-40. Get a job? What is your living arrangement that you have multiple modems?

#15 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -
@notsonic said:
" You can get a router for like $30-40. Get a job? What is your living arrangement that you have multiple modems? "
that's right op! Get a fucking job! Oh no wait, you like, qualified that already or something.
#17 Posted by LiquidPenguins (181 posts) -

What router do you have? With custom firmware or on some stock firmwares you can configure "Quality of Service" settings (sometimes just QoS). My firmware lets me assign bandwidth dynamically to keep things fair for both my roommate and I.

#18 Posted by Mittt (45 posts) -

Can't you set up a router to log all the different connections and what they are accessing? I'm not sure if you can or not but I swear I've heard a story of someone doing this to catch a roommate they suspected of downloading unsavory videos starring children(if ya get my drift). Might be at least worth looking into.

#19 Posted by Levio (1783 posts) -

That previous fight didn't have anything to do with drinking excessive water did it?

#20 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@LiquidPenguins said:
" What router do you have? With custom firmware or on some stock firmwares you can configure "Quality of Service" settings (sometimes just QoS). My firmware lets me assign bandwidth dynamically to keep things fair for both my roommate and I. "
It's a Lynksys WRTG54G2. I was actually looking at the Router setting and I saw QoS but I didn't know what it was. I will certainly give it a shot!
#21 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

There shouldn't be an argument if they have their own modems and refuse to buy a router. It's their problem, not yours. So, I would say to tell them to get their own router, but if you want to avoid the argument then change the ID and password and tell them that the router was slowly going to crap and that it finally did. If they're not tech savvy then you practically got away with murder.

#22 Posted by LiquidPenguins (181 posts) -
It might take you a while to figure everything out, and you'll most likely need to figure out which mac address goes to what, but I think that will fix (or help) your problems.
#23 Posted by LiquidPenguins (181 posts) -
@ch13696:  Clearly you have not lived with an actual roommate if you think that lying to the people you live with is a good idea.
#24 Posted by robot4me (193 posts) -

someone must be looking at porn and screwed up the router connection or they download too many movies games music apps ect. explain to them that slow internet isn't cool in a nice calm voice. tell them if they are on questionable sites with the chance of viruses they will be another discussion. my house guest for the holidays looked at bad sites and my brother who specializes in fixing computers said a sick computer unchecked can effect a router.

#25 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:

" @LiquidPenguins said:

" What router do you have? With custom firmware or on some stock firmwares you can configure "Quality of Service" settings (sometimes just QoS). My firmware lets me assign bandwidth dynamically to keep things fair for both my roommate and I. "
It's a Lynksys WRTG54G2. I was actually looking at the Router setting and I saw QoS but I didn't know what it was. I will certainly give it a shot! "
WRT's are awesome and certainly can do what LiquidPenquins suggest which the answer here. If the OFW doesn't do it check out: 
 http://openwrt.org/
#26 Posted by Fallen189 (4941 posts) -

Get bandwidth throttling software. You're good.

#27 Posted by Doctorchimp (4069 posts) -
@Enigma777: Do you have an actual idea what sort of internet you're getting and what's the max bandwidth usually? Also what ISP are you using? They might have capped your bandwidth if you have AT&T, Comcast or something like that.
 
Getting a second router will not solve your problems by the way, think of the router as a bottle and the bandwidth your place is receiving as a river...the river is drying up no matter how many bottles you want to use... 
 
I feel for you man, I live with 2 roommates myself and luckily we got FiOS for about 50 bucks a month we get 25 up and 25 down.
#28 Posted by StaticFalconar (4849 posts) -
@Enigma777: The problem isn't with the router, but the bandwidth being shared being all the devices. As long as everybody in the house pays the monthly internet bill, you are not entitled to any more bandwidth then the rest of the house. 
#29 Posted by ZimboDK (848 posts) -

You have a supported DD-WRT router, so it's not really an issue. Get DD-WRT, install it, and set up a bandwith limit based on the MAC address. Just make sure to divide your total bandwith in 3, or they'll probably get mad.

#30 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@Doctorchimp said:
" @Enigma777: Do you have an actual idea what sort of internet you're getting and what's the max bandwidth usually? Also what ISP are you using? They might have capped your bandwidth if you have AT&T, Comcast or something like that. Getting a second router will not solve your problems by the way, think of the router as a bottle and the bandwidth your place is receiving as a river...the river is drying up no matter how many bottles you want to use...  I feel for you man, I live with 2 roommates myself and luckily we got FiOS for about 50 bucks a month we get 25 up and 25 down. "
My provider is COX. I'd switch it in a heartbeat, but the internet is tied to my rent, so there's just no way to do it.  
 
Anyways I've been running speed tests for the last few days at various times and the average speed seems to be around 4.3mbps. Also since each of us has a router in each room, I'm led to believe that each router has it's own bandwidth since I've tested a few at the same time and they all show different speeds. Also when I had a COX technician come by a few months ago, he mentioned something like that.
#31 Posted by Doctorchimp (4069 posts) -
@Enigma777: Wait each room has a modem or a router? 
 
If each room has a modem then why are they taking all your bandwidth? 
 
Let them know you can't do anything on your connection and they should pitch in for a new router or something.
 
 are you with strangers or what? Why the mouse voice?
#32 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@Doctorchimp: I'm not with strangers (I've known them for about 2 years), but we're kinda roommates by necessity rather than choice since my roommate-to-be bailed out on me at the last second.  
 
Also we just came out of a pretty big fight so I'm really trying to avoid anything that could start another one. I've suggested that they split the cost for a second router once or twice but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
#33 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@Enigma777: This is going to eventually be an issue, so I'd deal with it now. Just tell them straight-up that your router can't handle all that traffic, and that they need to find a way to get access for themselves, because you're not willing to sacrifice your internet simply for their convenience, when they have access themselves through their own modems. It's just not going to work.
#34 Posted by Burzmali (452 posts) -

Newegg has wireless routers on sale for $20 all the time, and they usually have free shipping on them. Maybe I'm out of touch, but that seems like a fairly cheap solution to your problem. Tell everyone to save their beer money for a week or two and each get a router for themselves. Or, if you're dead set on avoiding a fight, just buy one as a gift for them. Then tell them to use it and set yours up so only you can use it. Either way, this problem doesn't seem like it's as hard to solve as you're making it out to be.

#35 Posted by Jethuty (1023 posts) -

tell those bitches to get their own goddamn router/internet. 

#36 Posted by countinhallways (632 posts) -
COX technician. 
  
That is all.
#37 Posted by notsonic (212 posts) -
@beej said:
" @notsonic said:
" You can get a router for like $30-40. Get a job? What is your living arrangement that you have multiple modems? "
that's right op! Get a fucking job! Oh no wait, you like, qualified that already or something. "

i dont see any mention of not being able to work.

how long could it take 3-4 people to save up $40 to buy another router?

#38 Posted by CharkeeFarlee (896 posts) -

All pitch in for a second router!

#39 Posted by dudeglove (7688 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:
" I live with 3 roommates and we all share a single router - my router. It's connected to everything including 2 PS3's, 2 360's, 5 PC's, and a half dozen phones/handhelds.   "
That's a lot of shit to have hooked up. Which one's the asshole with two PCs?
#40 Posted by Gamer_152 (14051 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:

" @Hamz: That was the original plan after we all moved in, but a month later and nothing happening (and me being tired of asking) I just got fed up and bought one. " 


Talk to them about it again. If they still refuse to do anything then the way I see it you're perfectly within your rights to say it's your router and they can't just mooch off of it. Of course your roommates may be rather upset by this and only you can really know how they'll react, so if they still refuse to chip in for a router I suppose you have to weigh up whether you value your bandwidth or you being on the terms you are with them more.
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