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Direct PC to PC communication

Discussion in 'Other LAN and WAN' started by ASC76, May 15, 2019.

  1. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    I am new to home networking but this is what I am trying to achieve:

    At the moment I have a gaming PC connected to a wireless access point via Ethernet. The wireless access point provides the PC with its internet access, and the download speed if fine for general gaming (the router is in another room of the house).

    For whatever reason, I want to use my gaming PC to stream games to a Chromebook (using Steam's own streaming solution), but I wanted to take advantage of a wired solution between the PC and Chromebook for optimal performance.

    I have tried connecting the devices directly with an Ethernet cable, but I am still only getting 30 Mbps between them, because I assume all traffic is still going back through the wireless access point to the router and back again despite the direct connection?

    Interestingly if I disconnect the wireless access point, I get the full 100 Mbps between the devices, but I need both devices to have internet connectivity!

    I have tried connecting both devices to a dumb switch which then connects to the wireless access point, but I am still only getting around 30 Mbps between them.

    Is there a way to connect both devices (PC and Chromebook) via Ethernet so they can communicate directly at 100 Mbps, whilst both utilising the wireless access point purely for their internet connection?

    Perhaps a managed switch?

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    I'm trying to follow you, but haven't helped anyone with this usage. :)

    If you disable the WiFi on the Chromebook and connect to your router via Ethernet this should work.

    You'll have both internet and a fast/stable connection between your devices.
     
  3. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Just to help clarify the setup a little bit:
    1. The router is located in the living room and is not accessible (I just have the wireless password).
    2. I have a connected wireless access point located in the dining room.
    3. The Gaming PC is plugged into the wireless access point via Ethernet, getting about 30Mbps download speed (down from 80Mbps the router is reporting - so a considerable loss over the Wi-Fi network).
    4. The Chromebook is also used in the dining room, connected to the internet using the wireless access point (over Wi-Fi this time, not Ethernet).
    5. To allow game streaming from the PC to the Chromebook i need more than 30Mbps, and I think with this setup, all communication between the PC and Chromebook goes via the router in the other room, therefore via Wi-Fi. :(
    6. I was looking for a way to connect the Chromebook to the PC without the need for traffic to be routed back through the router in the other room, allowing me to take full advantage of a 100Mbps local network.
    Unfortunately I cannot plug anything directly into the router, but I appreciate if I could do this I would get the 100Mbps I need between the devices.
     
  4. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    What is the make and model of the "wireless access point"?

    N.B. In normal terminology your "wireless access point" would be called a Repeater or Extender.
     
  5. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    Your wireless and ethernet are all bridged together to make your network. You are only as strong as your weakest link since you are crossing a wireless bridge that is your weakest link. Wireless is not a switched type connection so the only way to have a better type connection is move into a wired setup without crossing a wireless link.
     
  6. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    I am actually using a Sky Q Mini box as the access point, with the PC plugged into the box via ethernet for its internet connection.
     
  7. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    So even when there is a direct connection between PC and Chromebook via eithernet, traffic will still always go via the router? And hence in this setup, via Wi-Fi?
     
  8. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    In theory this should work provided you have disabled the wireless interfaces on both devices (you don't say whether the PC has wireless or not).
     
  9. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    The PC doesn't have wireless but I'll try that on the Chromebook. Thanks.
     
  10. Smokindog

    Smokindog Regular Contributor

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    I'm trying to follow here and have a couple thoughts. Treat them for the value commensurate to what you paid for them :)

    1. I don't see where you plugged the Chromebook directly to the main router and did a speed test all on its own. Even a speedtest isn't a definitive assessment but at least it's a start. Keep in mind that just because a NIC says it's connected at 100M or 1G it only means electrically. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest the NIC and your chromebook just aren't up to the challenge of the speeds you want but you'll need to test it and see. When 10G interfaces first came out, one of my customers told me of a "screaming deal" he got on 100 servers with 10G NICs from one of our partners. I turned my engineers loose to show him that he was only getting 40-50% of that advertised throughput for his workloads but if he had just paid 20% more for my NICs he'd get 98% of the line rate :) Never confuse throughput with line rate!
    2. It almost sounds like you've got a wireless repeater involved here which by definition cuts your available bandwidth by at least 1/2
     
  11. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for that.

    I have plugged the PC and Chromebook directly into the router via the switch and I am able to get 100Mbps between them, so I think both devices are capable.

    I have also connected the PC and Chromebook together directly (with a single ethernet cable) whilst connected to nothing else and I can get 100Mbps between them (but no internet connection doing it this way).

    It's only when they are both connected to the wireless access point (through the switch) the the streaming bandwidth between them drops to about 30Mbps. Even though they are both connected via ethernet (through the switch).

    I don't understand why the WiFi speed limitation comes into play when the devices don't need to pass through the access point to get to each other.
     
  12. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    No high speed network ever includes wireless as it is slow compared to wired. If maybe you speed up your wireless by making the 2 wireless devices use 5GHz at a wide bandwidth to where you cut the rate in half you still are about 100 meg. Wire is the best solution.
     
  13. MDM

    MDM Regular Contributor

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    Did you?
     
  14. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    I thinking more about your wireless extension which your PC is plugged into. I least that is the way I am envisioning your network now. You need the back haul on a fast 5 GHz connection from your wireless extension to your wireless router.
     
  15. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    I understand this.

    What I don't understand is why the speed between the PC and Chromebook is reduced to the limited speed of the Wi-Fi connection, when there is a direct Ethernet route between the two devices (through a switch, but not through the access point).
     
  16. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    Hopefully this diagram help explains the setup:

    setup.png

    I was expecting the PC and Chromebook to be able to communicate with each other directly through Ethernet at 100Mbps, whilst using the 30Mbps connection to the router for internet access as required.
     
  17. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    Did you try what I said in post #8?
     
  18. ASC76

    ASC76 Occasional Visitor

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    I haven't been home since your suggestion, but I will try it this evening.
     
  19. MDM

    MDM Regular Contributor

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    As @ColinTaylor said disable WiFi, or just do this on the WiFi adapter option (and put 1 on the Ethernet one):
    Annotation 2019-05-16 121718.png
    If not, this is how it works for you, because if the WiFi adapter is enabled and connected in the same time as the Ethernet, WiFi have priority and is used exclusively!
    setup.png
     
  20. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    Thanks for doing the pictures @MDM, I was too lazy to do it myself. As he is using a Chromebook I'm guessing he's using Chrome OS instead of Windows, so he'll have to find the equivalent way to alter the metrics.

    TBH I'm surprised his Chromebook has an Ethernet adaptor at all, I thought they were all wireless-only. OTOH if he's using some sort of USB Ethernet adaptor that could explain why the WiFi adaptor has a higher priority. In any case, the first step would be to disable the wireless connection completely and see if that fixes the problem.