Part 2: Maximizing LAN Bridge Data Rates
Last month I talked about LAN connectivity and data rates. I covered several ways to verify that the Internet service provider is delivering the full access rate you think you should have. I discussed using a LAN bridge to connect a remote site (such as a transmitter) to the station. It's important to remember that all the links you use for this connection are in series with one another and that ultimately the speed will be limited by the slowest link in the chain.
At your HQ you may have a T-1 to your ISP, but if your LAN bridge to the transmitter site is limited to 512kb/s (as an example) then the speed you measure will never exceed (indeed it will be somewhat lower) 512kb/s.
So let's say now that you've studied the response time of your gateway, and that the speed to an outside speed test site is consistent with what you would expect on your remote LAN. You find that connecting to the Internet seems slow. Trying various URLs yields nothing. What could be the trouble?
As you are likely aware, a big part of using the World Wide Web (does anyone call it that anymore?) is making use of DNS (Domain Name Server) to resolve a URL into an actual IP address that your host then uses as a destination IP address when it builds up packets that go out over the Internet. When you open a browser and enter a URL, a certain amount of time goes by before a response comes from whatever DNS is used by your local computer. Some DNS servers respond faster than others, and if you happen to be pointed at a slow one, then this can slow down your entire experience on the Web.
There again you can do a little research in figuring this out (unless you know it already).
In that same command window, at the prompt type in
Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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