What is the 'Network accelerator engine' component in Keenetic routers?
The network accelerator is designed to increase the routing speed on the device. The packet processing mechanism ensures maximum performance: maximum routing speeds and the ability to route many streams in parallel. It is enabled by default.
NOTE: The network accelerator does not replace the standard network address translation (NAT) function in the device but is a separate additional function.
Let's explain more about what Network Accelerator Engine is in Keenetic routers.
There are two types of accelerators: hardware and software.
HWNAT — hardware accelerator. Not present on all devices (usually missing on junior models and present on advanced ones).
The CPU has an additional hardware module (co-processor), designed directly for the packet processing of IP headers in Ethernet (IPoE) and PPPoE frames. Network packets to be translated are stacked directly in the device's RAM, and this hardware module is given the command: 'Replace the address X.X.X.X with Y.Y.Y.Y in all packets'. A separate hardware module performs address translation many times faster than the CPU. The co-processor also recalculates checksums on its own. Enabling HWNAT affects the data rate of L2TP over IPSec, IKEv2, IPsec and IPSec Xauth PSK VPN connections, which allows you to increase performance with any encryption type with little or no CPU load on the device.
Important! The Sprinter (KN-3710), Hopper (KN-3810), Peak (KN-2710) and Titan (KN-1811) models have a unique feature - the hardware accelerator is also used to accelerate data transmission between wired and wireless clients of the same segment (aka WHNAT; wireless hardware accelerator). Therefore, disabling the hardware accelerator may result in a speed drop in LAN -> Wi-Fi direction. When disabling HWNAT on these models, it is recommended to disable WHNAT as well. This can be done with the commands no interface WifiMaster1 whnat and no ppe hardware.
WHNAT is a wireless hardware accelerator. Present currently in Sprinter (KN-3710), Hopper (KN-3810), Peak (KN-2710) and Titan (KN-1811) models. It was added in KeeneticOS 3.7. The WHNAT wireless hardware accelerator offloads the router's CPU for transit traffic between the wired and wireless interface (LAN -> Wi-Fi and WAN -> Wi-Fi). This is, for example, important for computer games and virtual reality helmets.
TIP: For more information about the hardware accelerator, see System performance settings: zRAM virtual swap file and HWNAT traffic accelerator.
SWNAT — software accelerator. It is present on all models. Speeds up any connection (IPoE, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP), but can load the router's CPU.
The two accelerators do not work simultaneously but alternately (for example, if HWNAT is on and works for IPoE, SWNAT is inactive and does not accelerate IPoE; if HWNAT is off, SWNAT is on). The software accelerator only works where HWNAT is missing or disabled.
If there are both accelerators on the device, selecting which one is currently running is done automatically if the 'ppe software' and 'ppe hardware' commands are present in the configuration file. The command no ppe turns both accelerators off.
NOTE: Important! We do not recommend turning off the network accelerator. It is designed to increase the routing speed of the device.
The hardware network accelerator can be switched off if the precise accounting of category and application traffic is required for the Traffic classification and IntelliQoS.
Connect to the web interface and ensure that the system component 'Network accelerator engine' is installed. You can do this on the 'General system settings' page under 'Updates and component options' by clicking on 'Component options'.
Starting from KeeneticOS 3.7 in the router's web interface on the 'General system settings' page in the 'Performance options' section, there is a switch to enable/disable the hardware accelerator.
The switch is missing in devices without a hardware accelerator and in Keenetic Peak (KN-2710). The fact is that this model uses the most powerful ARM-architecture CPU in the lineup, the MT7622. This CPU has a hardware accelerator, which is enabled by default. However, in contrast to weaker models, it is able to correctly count traffic when the accelerator is on. Therefore, there is no point in disabling it, although it can be done with the no ppe hardware command if desired.