It’s safe to say that home Wi-Fi routers are handling more traffic than they did just a decade ago. Besides home computers and work laptops, there are smartphones, tablets, and a growing army of IoT devices fighting for bandwidth.
Each U.S. home now has an average of 11 internet-connected devices, and that number is expected to continue going higher.
And with each IP security camera, streaming TV stick, or Alexa voice speaker added to your network, there’s more traffic vying for a finite amount of bandwidth.
One additional factor that has added to internet problems in many Lake Okeechobee homes is that many people are telecommuting from home and have children doing distance learning. This additional home internet use adds to the battle for bandwidth.
When your router can’t keep up with the bandwidth needs of all your devices, you can experience slowdowns, dropped connections, and increased latency. This can mean your Zoom video conference call freezes up or you have a lag when trying to work in a cloud application.
Not all activity takes a large amount of bandwidth, so these problems will come and go depending upon what others on your network are doing.
Common activities that cause bandwidth problems include:
- Watching streaming video (Netflix, YouTube, etc.)
- Large computer to computer file transfers
- Activities that use a continuous stream of data (security cameras)
- Downloading large files from the internet
You can think of bandwidth like a highway. If there is only one car on the highway, it can speed down as fast as it likes. But if you have several cars and some large trucks on the highway, then everyone is slowed down, and bottlenecks can happen.
How can you fix this?
Though a setting that many routers have called Quality of Service (QoS). Using QoS rules on your Wi-Fi router is like adding an HOV lane to the highway. You designate which traffic can use that “fast lane” and which traffic can’t.
How Does Quality of Service (QoS) Work?
Quality of Service is defined as the measurement of overall performance consistency for a service. In the case of a router, it’s attached to the quality of the network signal and use of bandwidth.
Bandwidth includes multiple aspects that can impact your speed and quality, including:
- Packet loss
- Bit rate
- Transmission delay
What the QoS rules settings on a router does is organize how bandwidth is handled to help improve the service quality for all devices.
You Designate Who Gets in the Fast Lane
If you’re one of the millions of employees around the country working from home due to the pandemic, there are most likely certain applications you use that are vital.
For example, if you’re on a video conference call, you don’t want to have the connection interrupted due to someone streaming Netflix in another part of the house.
Using QoS rules on your Wi-Fi router, you can put your video streaming app (or your entire work computer) in the “fast lane” and tell your router that it gets higher priority when it comes to bandwidth.
This means that if someone starts streaming a movie, your video call would not be negatively impacted.
What Can You Set With QoS?
Many modern routers have QoS settings, like NETGEAR models, but not all. You’ll need to log into your router administration settings to find out whether or not there is a QoS rules setting.
Once you have QoS turned on in your router settings it will let you set up rules to manage bandwidth and improve the signal consistency of your network in a number of ways.
You can prioritize certain applications. Such as Zoom or Microsoft 365. If you want to ensure your online gaming is smooth, you can also prioritize your gaming application.
If you need all applications on your computer to get moved to the “fast lane” when it comes to your router’s bandwidth, you can prioritize a device. You do this by identifying the device’s MAC address and then using that to tell the router that device gets higher bandwidth priority.
Set Priority Levels
Most QoS rules settings allow you to set multiple priority levels. This is like having more than one HOV lane on your highway – you can have HOV High, HOV #2, etc.
For example, NETGEAR models allow you to set priority levels for applications and devices as:
By using the QoS setting you can stop connection problems when bandwidth is being used without any organization and ensure your most critical internet connections are consistent.
Need Help Improving Your Network Performance?
Cris’s Tech Repair can help you improve network performance through QoS rules and other optimizations to keep your online connections fast and reliable.
Schedule a Wi-Fi consultation today by calling 561-985-4961 or contacting us online.