Appearing to be a DNS issue, I tried pinging a few different domain names and the names resolved quickly and the ping times were fine. I also tried dig and response was good.
So then I thought the problem was with WEP as I had never experienced this with non-WEP APs. I disabled WEP on the AP and couldn't connect at all. (I'm not sure why this happened. it could be related to IPv6 and will test when I get a chance). I re-enabled WEP and captured some packets which revealed the problem.
When trying to browse to a domain, Firefox was trying to resolve the AAAA (IPv6) record for the domain name. There was a request every 5 seconds, and the router would drop each of the packets. After 6 attempt, Firefox would request the A (IPv4) record, which would resolve with no problem and the page would quickly load.
So, the problem was clearly with the router dropping DNS AAAA requests. I tried to upgrade the firmware, but it's already on the latest version. The best solution to this issue is for Netopia to fix this. I've sent them an email, however, I don't want to wait.
Workaround for the "IPv6 slow down" due to incapable router.
How to disable IPv6 in FireFox
First to confirm that domain name resolution of IPv6 address is causing the slowdown you can disable IPv6 in FireFox
- In the address bar type "about:config"
- In the Filter Field type "ipv6"
- Click on "network.dns.disableIPv6" changing the value from "false" to "true".
This fixes the issue for Firefox but other applications are still vulnerable.
How to disable IPv6 for Ubuntu 6.06
- Create the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ipv6
- Editing /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ipv6, add the line:
No word from Netopia yet. Until I hear from them, this seems like the best solution.