Are all Balance One's running half speed on 8.3?

Since we’re having fun - let’s remove the middleman:

I don’t have a Balance One lying around. Ours are deployed on slower lines elsewhere, but I do have a B20X test unit, and since that was a model that came up in the conversation I might as well try a direct unit-to-unit speed test.

Test setup:

  • A B20X
  • A production-deployed MAX BR1 Pro 5G (marvellous device)
  • B20X WAN connected to BR1 LAN
  • BR1 running with WAN analysis server mode turned on
  • B20X running with WAN analysis client mode turned on

Run the WAN analysis on the B20X (keeping in mind that the BR1 is busy with a slew of other clients besides the B20X):
Upload from the B20X:

Download to the B20X:

On another occasion I have run the same test between two routers (a B20X and a B380 HW6) that were not busy with anything else, and the link was then steady at close to 1Gbps).

If possible, run a test like this, without other devices in the middle creating noise, and not being dependent on the peculiarities of the various speed-test sites (e.g. seems particularly confused about multi-WAN routers).



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WAN Analysis is excellent for establishing WAN capabilities. It does not include any LAN traffic though, so I discovered that it isn’t an appropriate test for Balance One throughput as it takes CPU to facilitate WAN to/from LAN transfers. While I hope WAN Analysis was doing Stateful Firewall checks, I can’t verify that. Thank you for running B20X tests!

On WAN Analysis between two Balance One’s (connected by 1Gbs switch), I get around 590-600Mbps. If I have a second web page up with the Dashboard to display CPU usage, this drops 10% to 540-550Mbps, once again pointing to the CPU usage on the Balance One Core being a bottleneck. This is on Balance One’s which have been factory reset running 8.3.0.

My conclusions to date are that the Balance One cannot consistently deliver more than 450Mbps on the speedtest and 300Mbps on the Ookla speedtest (everyone’s standard speedtest). It is possible to get an outlier event occasionally when the CPU isn’t running some sort of internal task. The best I’ve ever seen in weeks of testing is 530Mbps on (and that was without being logged into the Balance One).

The Surf Soho can consistently reach it’s rated 120Mbps. If you have a moment, I would appreciate if you will you please test the B20X with Ookla’s and

Establishing a proper test environment can be tricky.

With the multi-hop tests (such as Speedtest and you are subject to whatever is between the router and the test server. With a Peplink-to-Peplink connection you at least are in control of your test environment. E.g. you can load either end of the connection as you wish, such as having active clients on the WAN or LAN at either end at the same time you perform the test, and similarly you can load up either end with outbound policies and whatever else you want to test against. (E.g., the server used in my example was busy with other clients, and may have underperformed because of that).

The key thing is that you need to control all aspects of the test harness, particularly if you are claiming that the vendor is misrepresenting the specs.

FWIW., in a clean (unloadded) environment I have seen Peplink devices outperform the claimed specs w.r.t. throughput. As one loads other tasks on the router then it may perform at a lower level. The specs do not address that. Empirical data identifying contributors to a lower bandwidth (or other functionality) is helpful, but does not per se invalidate the specs as provided.



The interesting portion of my testing is with a “Balance One connected to a LAN port of a Firewalla which is getting 900Mbps+ from the modem but that didn’t help either” (done as a double check against my vanilla modem to Balance One testing). I.e., the Firewalla is getting fed at 900Mbps+ from Ookla and, and then feeding the Balance One as fast as the Balance One can ingest. Of course, there is a limit to the buffer size in the Firewalla and ACK’s from the Balance One can have some effect on the transfer rate after a certain number of ACK’s are outstanding. However, you would expect the Balance One to perform at least somewhat better if multi-hops were affecting results, but it didn’t. (Again, this testing is with nothing else going on and with the Balance One factory reset so no other tasks.)

I too have found Peplink to be conservative in their specifications which is why I checked a Surf Soho and it met spec. While I didn’t check an older B20 which I have gathering dust, I suspect it too would meet spec. My expectations for the B20X is that it too will meet spec, hence my request for B20X testing with Ookla and from you or others. If the B20X meets spec, and my testing as well as others can’t get the Balance One to consistently meet spec, it would seem to cast doubt on whether the Balance One can meet spec.

I have another Balance One in production which should be replaced if it is not capable of meeting spec, perhaps with a B20X (especially if the B20X meets spec). That is in addition to one of the three Balance One Cores which I have been testing being destined for an installation which requires 600Mbps. My double checking to make sure it could support 600Mbps before I installed it is what lead to this post. I may have to purchase a B20X instead just to get 600Mbps if I and others can’t consistently get 600Mbps from the Balance One which is why I am spending so much time and effort on this.

Hi Mark,

I suspect there’s less to it than that.

The test machine was plugged into LAN port 2 on the B20X.
The server is plugged into LAN port 1 on the B20X.

The test machine downloaded that file from the server using a browser. When the test machine is on the same VLAN, it managed 33.7MB (image1). But when the test machine was added to a new network/Access VLAN you can see the speed is really bad @ 4.1MB (image 2) Cables are factory made and proven with the Fluke to 10Gbit.

The WAN connection negotiated at 1Gbit, as do the LAN ports and can reach over 100Mbit. But this test I did I think is showing something wrong with the device ability.

Laptop ↔ B20X ↔ Server

Ok, as a starting point I understand that you have verified ethernet negotiated at 1Gbps for the WAN and LAN ports. Thus you can run a speed test like Ookla or from both your server and your test server over the WAN and get close to 400/40.

I would next check the routing of the packets. I believe you expect the test machine to download the file from the server without going over the WAN, simply transferring through the LAN ports. Can you verify that this is happening? One way would be to simply unplug the WAN when running the test. However, I believe you aren’t onsite and are remotely conducting the tests. So what happens to the WAN usage as shown by the B20X (Status->Usage Reports Real-Time)? You might also try tracert to see the hops which are occurring.

It also never hurts to run a file copy directly between the two machines to see what happens.

There is the Balance 580 and 580X, but those are a tad more expensive than the Balance One.

Or you can work with synergy mode, adding multiple routers into one composite. E.g., we have one installation where a Balance 20X (one 1Gbps WAN) is coupled with a transit duo in synergy mode (+2 WANs, in this case cellular. Substitute an HD2 for the transit and you get two additional wired WANs) and an HD2 (not new…) on a virtual WAN (+2 WANs), ending up with a 1 Gbps router (the B20X) with three WANs managed locally and additional 2 managed separately. It is klugy, but with spare equipment lying around it is quite workable :slight_smile:

Having written that, since your one WAN is at 940Gbps it really does not make too much sense to pile on the others, unless there is a redundancy factor involved. Five different modes of connection?



This is turning into a bad case of subject creep. Please open a new topic with a new subject title, and I’ll respond there (or send me a PM for a personal communication).



Finally achieved 600Mbps download on Ookla through Balance One; 767/174 Mbps was the high after multiple tests on multiple servers. The key was using the Edge browser (Win 10) instead of Chrome, configuring to Single Connection instead of Multi Connection, and I did not log into the Balance One (the Dashboard display uses CPU). Selecting Single Connection severely limits the upload speeds for some unknown reason. Upload speeds increased to a high of 567Mbps on one of the Multi Connection tests.

Thanks to @soylentgreen, @rossh_pl_beta and @zegor_mjol for your responses which helped guide me to this resolution.