Circle by Disney vs OurPact

There are two main solutions to parental control for kids’ devices – a subscription to OurPact, or buying a Disney Circle. In a nutshell, OurPact is an app you install on each device, and lets you enable controls on all data (wifi and cellular), whereas Circle is a piece of hardware on your network that uses ARP spoofing to filter data on a single WiFi SSID. OurPact is therefore more complicated to setup (you have to install the app on every device) and Circle won’t work on cellular data. Both seem to have similar functionality however. OurPact has an annoyance that unless you jump through extra hoops and pay for the premium membership, it will scramble the order of the apps on the installed devices. I’ve decided to go the Circle route – I will just make sure all the kids devices are on my 5Ghz SSID (really just three – two phones and an iPad to worry about). If theres a performance bottleneck, it will only be on data uploads, since ARP spoofing wont affect download to the devices. I am a bit concerned about the overhead that OurPact will impose on performance since it is basically a firewall running all the time. How will I control the kids from just jumping on 4G? Easy – I only have them on 2 GB data plans, not unlimited 🙂

upgraded to ASUS RT-AC56U router – speed tests

As per my router troubles earlier, I have finally upgraded to the Asus RT-AC56U. I’ve been using an old Linksys WRT54GL as an access point for legacy 802.11g connections, so here is the baseline for comparison, using a desktop machine located two feet away, using built-in wifi antennas:

Linksys WRT54GL, 802.11g, 2.4 Ghz

here’s the result from using the new router:

ASUS RT-AC56U, 802.11n, 2.4 Ghz

here’s the result from using the new router on my main workstation PC in the basement, using a PCI wifi adapter:

Linksys WRT54GL, 802.11g, 2.4 Ghz

and using the new router, with a USB AC-1200 wifi adapter (ASUS USB-AC56):

ASUS RT-AC56U, 802.11ac, 5.0 Ghz

comparing wireless router speeds

Using the same dual-band wireless card on the same PC, I am getting surprising differences in wireless speed between two different wireless networks. See below.

Router #1 is an old single-band (2.4 Ghz) Linksys WRT54GL router configured as an access point (DHCP disabled) and plugged into Router #2, a new dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz) Netgear WNDR3700. The PC (PREFECT) has a static IP from the Netgear router.

Here’s results from various online speed tests.

Linksys WRT54GL, 2.5 Ghz 802.11b connection:

Netgear WNDR3700, 5 GHZ 802.11n connection:

(I am paying Charter for a 12 Mbps connection)

The bottom line seems to be that the older router can give me better throughput than the old one. Before I pack up the new one and send it back, some speculation as to why?

Some thoughts might be – I’m biasing the test somehow by using the Linksys as a AP rather than a full router. Also, the fact that they are on different bands might be a factor – I could try running the same test but with the Netgear’s 2.4GHz radio instead of the 5 Ghz radio. There also could be some cache in Windows that is biasing the results (I tried to do tests in different orders, but I wasn’t diligent about this). Other thoughts?

UPDATE: here’s the results for the Netgear on the 2.5 GHz radio, using 802.11g.