Home networks have gotten a workout during the pandemic, with people relying on them to support remote work and handle video conferences for online learning and more.
People have also been home more due to the coronavirus, which means more online gaming and movie streaming. 75% of surveyed consumers said they were watching more streaming content because of the pandemic.
When home networks get more demand for bandwidth, everyone can suffer problems with their connections, including:
- Slowed downloads
- Freezing in online games
- Dropped connections
This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have an important video call at work suddenly freeze up because someone else on your network is downloading a large file.
Without any controls put on bandwidth allocation, it’s like the “Wild West” with different devices and apps all battling it out for their share of your Wi-Fi’s bandwidth.
To keep your sanity and improve all your network connections, there’s a little-known setting on most routers you can use called Quality of Service (QoS).
How Does Quality of Service Work?
What the QoS router setting does is allow you to create rules that tell your router which devices or applications should get priority when it comes to the bandwidth of your home internet connection.
For example, you might want to prioritize everything you do on your work laptop, so it doesn’t have any connection problems. Or you may want to prioritize the Netflix app to stop annoying buffering problems while binging a favorite series.
You can think of QoS like lane markers in a pool. If everyone is allowed in any lane of a pool, then it can easily get congested and slow everyone down the more swimmers you have.
But, if you mark one pool lane for the fastest competition swimmers, another lane for intermediate swimmers, and leave one lane for slower, recreational swimmers, then everyone’s experience can improve, because you’re prioritizing and dividing the lanes accordingly.
With QoS, you’re doing something similar for your bandwidth. Here’s how it works.
Check Router Settings for QoS
First, you want to check to see if your router supports QoS. You can check this in the router settings that you accessed when first setting up your router. (And that you’re hopefully checking occasionally for updates!)
Here’s an example of where to find these on a NETGEAR router:
- Log into router settings
- Under Advanced, go to QoS Setup
- Select the checkbox “Turn Internet Access QoS On”
- Click to add a priority rule
Configure Priority Rules
You want to set up priority rules that tell your router things like – my Skype calls are more important than a YouTube video download.
Though the priority rules, you can designate where bandwidth should be prioritized and can even limit bandwidth use by certain apps.
Rules can be designated by:
- Ethernet LAN port
- MAC address (i.e. by device)
Prioritize Your Traffic
Each router will be slightly different as to their QoS settings. As an example, NETGEAR gives you four different priority levels for your bandwidth use.
For each application or device that you want to prioritize, you can set up the following levels:
This designation allows you to organize your household’s internet usage according to which is the most important and needs to keep an uninterrupted connection.
QoS can also be used as a security measure and limit the bandwidth of a particular application. For example, if you see an app taking up way too much bandwidth than it should, that could indicate that it’s either downloading to your computer or uploading from it. You can help prevent this by adding bandwidth limit rules.
Benefits of Using QoS on Your Home Router
By putting QoS priority rules on your router, you can enjoy a much better internet experience with fewer buffering and connection problems.
Keep Smooth Video Conferences
You can prioritize the video conferencing app that you use for work or a student uses for telelearning. This can help you keep applications like Microsoft Teams conferencing smoothly without annoying freezes or scrambled video signals.
Improve Gaming & Video
Someone downloading a large file in the other room can completely mess up your game by causing a lag in your connection. From Netflix to Xbox, having smooth streaming without buffering can be done by prioritizing those types of activities on your router.
Give Everyone a Better Experience
When bandwidth is prioritized, instead of everyone getting caught up in a bottleneck of traffic, they can have a better online experience. Priority rules help organize your internet traffic just like those pool lane markers to keep everyone swimming smoothly.
Come to Quantum PC Services for Network Setup or Speed Fixes
Our lives are run by technology these days, and if your connection has problems, it can impact your entire day. We can help you plan and maintain strong and efficient networks at home or work.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.