Problem with home network slowing down to a crawl...


Jan 3, 2011
Hey guys, I've been experiencing some really odd issues on my home network that tend to bring it down to a crawl for a few minutes then traffic gets relieved.

So what I have setup:

E4200v1 with DDWRT on it.

2.4ghz/5ghz bands as one SSID.

Devices that I constantly have on and connected to my LAN are:

  • HP Ex490 media smart server with WHS OS, right now just used for storage and that's it. No streaming off it, nothing.
  • Raspberry Pi B2 running xbian for my XBMC box.
  • Two android powered phones as my network sometimes isn't reliable.
  • Nest thermostat

Most devices listed above are just being used once at a time. If we are watching Xbian, the phones are sitting there idle and nothing else on the network is being used.

My XBMC has 68% signal quality as it sits right above on the main floor with my TV, while my E4200 is in the basement just right underneath.

My desktop is mainly on sleep mode and once again, if I'm on my desktop, nothing else is really being used.

About an hour or so, my network went to a crawl.

Facebook struggled to open. I was not downloading anything or updating. I also had difficulty accessing, my router IP/Default Gateway.

As I sit here, I am unsure how I can use the extra feature in DDWRT to identify what saturates my network to such an extent.

Does anybody have a suggestion on how I can start trying to understand what is causing this?

Any suggestions/tips would be appreciated.

Thank you :D


[H]F Junkie
Aug 16, 2004
Sounds like something is flooding the router with packets.

Could be a bad network card. I have seen that quite a few times. Card freaks out and just starts flooding the network with broadcast packets. Could even be the router itself.

Is there any specific device that is being used when this happens?

I would try disconnecting one device at a time and leave it off for quite a while. If the problem goes away you have found your culprit.


Limp Gawd
Jan 8, 2016
Disconnecting a device at a time would be the easiest way to diagnose. The phones and Nest shouldn't be able to saturate anything.

However, is the issue the wifi bandwidth? Do you have the issue when hardwired? Does th eproblem happen at a certain tine of day? Someone turning on the microwave or another device?


Oct 11, 2007
Throw the router into the garbage, and build a pfsense box.

For the sake of testing speed/performance/stability, just use normal PC components you already have and install it. If everything tests out well, then work on building a low power, quiet, unit.

For wireless... either throw in a UniFi, or use that old router in bridge mode maybe. Pfsense can even use a wireless card to generate an AP too, but I haven't tested the performance of that.

I came from a WRT54G w/DD-WRT and pfsense knocks the socks off the old setup. Paid for 30/5 internet, with the stock firmware I was getting like 20/1, with DD-WRT I was getting like 15/1 (albeit a little more stable with more simultaneous torrent connections, not much though), to getting 37/6 now with pfsense (and rock solid stable).