Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

LAN & WAN Features

Introduction

Updated 11/2/2007 - Corrected info regarding UDP DF handling.

A different kind of Jumbo

In many of our reviews, we comment on a device's support for gigabit Ethernet, as well as whether it supports jumbo frames. But what are jumbo frames and why should you care about them? In basic terms, a jumbo frame is any frame larger than a standard Ethernet frame. Their main value is that they can dramatically improve network performance by raising effective bandwidth.

Jumbo frames can be a bit of a challenge, though, as there are multiple sizes, interpretations, and technologies, making it difficult to fully understand and leverage their value, as well as fully integrate jumbo frame devices into your network. The goal of this article is to explain jumbo frames and help you determine if and how you can use jumbo frames in your network.

Gigabit Ethernet

An important fact is jumbo frames are not supported at speeds less than 1000 Mbps. There are some exceptions, with larger frame sizes possible on FDDI, POS, and Fiber Channel connections, but for typical small network purposes, you're going to need equipment with gigabit Ethernet interfaces that support jumbo frames to see network gains from larger frame sizes. We've covered the details on gigabit Ethernet pretty thoroughly in our Gigabit Ethernet Need to Know a few years back; it's an excellent discussion on the facts and details regarding gigabit network speeds.

Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are now common on PCs, NAS devices, switches and routers. Not all gigabit Ethernet interfaces support jumbo frames, though, and since there isn't a standard for jumbo frames, there are different sizes.

For example, I have a laptop and desktop PCs with gigabit Ethernet NICs (Network Interface Card). The desktop gigabit Ethernet NIC allows jumbo frame configuration, whereas my laptop NIC supports gigabit Ethernet, but does not support jumbo frame configuration. Figure 1 is a screen shot of the configuration options I have for jumbo frames on my desktop PC, showing the different sizes of jumbo frames it supports.

NIC jumbo properties

Figure 1: Properties of a NIC supporting jumbo frames

As you can see, my desktop PC NIC supports jumbo frame sizes of 16128, 4088, and 9014 bytes. Based on the 9014 byte supported size, it appears my desktop PC is one of those interpretations that doesn't consider the 4 byte CRC header as part of the countable frame size, a detail I'll cover in the "What is a Jumbo Frame?" section.

More LAN & WAN

Win This!

Win WD Red drives

You could win two pairs of 10 TB WD Red drives!

Learn How!
Giveaway sponsored by WD.

Top Ranked Routers

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

RT-AC88U went dead after ASUS firmware update "RT-AC88U_3.0.0.4_380_7743-g2cf84e9 ". I have read all the threads telling how to get into discovery mo...
Please see my rather crude drawing.http://imgur.com/a/AU8msSo I have a bunch of machines in each room in the house. All are gigabit routers, and all m...
Is there anyway to prevent LAN and Wi-Fi connected devices (i.e., IoT) from probing the local network ?
Looking to add a NAS to my network. Noob to NAS. First priority is for backup. Lots of large image files.I also would like for folks to be able to int...
I'd be grateful for some help, please.I have an Asus RT-AC5300 router, working with a Virgin Media Superhub 3 (in modem mode) on a DOCSIS3.0 cable sup...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Get Backblaze Now!