Comcast download speed fix for Linksys eSeries

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[Culled from DD-WRT Forum thread Critical DSCP bug Affecting WiFi Download Speeds on Comcast]

Unlike other service providers, IPv4 packets from the Comcast network are configured with DSCP 8, Priority higher than Default/Routine (0).

There is an edge case interaction between this Comcast DSCP value and improper condition handling in the WMM driver in certain Linksys/Cisco eSeries routers (and possibly others as well) which results in very low download speeds. This issue can appear in both stock and third-party (DD-WRT) firmware, although Cisco appears to have at some point released new WMM drivers that largely resolve the issue in current stock firmware.


Download speeds are normal with current stock firmware, and on wired connections with DD-WRT firmware, but are very low (less than 1 Mbps) on wireless connections with DD-WRT firmware.

Because DSCP pertains to QoS, it's possible this problem might only exist when QoS is enabled (and go away when QoS is disabled), but this has not been confirmed.


To see if you are getting the bad DSCP, take a look at your downloaded IPv4 packets with Wireshark, preferably directly connected to WAN, but you should see them even on Wi-Fi. (See Add DSCP Column in Wireshark)

If you see the problem, open a Telnet or SSH connection to DD-WRT, and run the following commands:

insmod xt_DSCP.ko
iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i vlan2 -j DSCP --set-dscp 0

Assuming there are no errors, check download speed on wireless.

You may need to change vlan2 depending on your particular setup.


To save the fix so it survives reboots, first navigate to Administration > Commands

In Command Shell, enter Commands:

insmod xt_DSCP.ko

and click Save Startup.

In Command Shell, enter Commands:

iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i vlan2 -j DSCP --set-dscp 0

and click Save Firewall.


This fix changes DSCP header information as soon as a packet hits the WAN interface on a router.

DSCP as received from Comcast's network is 8. This is actually higher than default priority, which the WMM driver interprets incorrectly.

The fix changes DSCP on all packets to 0 (Default priority), which the WMM driver handles properly. (This is how other ISPs set DSCP and is why the issue is specific to Comcast.)