Not everything we do on the Internet from day to day requires the same bandwidth or needs the same quality of connection when we connect. You probably want the games to run smoothly and without interruptions and also the calls, for example. Or when you watch a 4K movie on Netflix. That is why the technology or mechanism QoS or Qality of Service exists that allows us to give priority.
What is QoS?
QoS (Quality of Service) is the mechanism used to ensure the prioritization of traffic and the guarantee of a minimum bandwidth. QoS measures bandwidth and prioritizes packets based on priority queues. We should not confuse QoS with bandwidth limiter since, basically, the limiter limits the connection regardless of the type of traffic, but it does not prioritize the packets in the queue. It is configured through the router that we have and we can choose what we give priority to or if we activate it.
What is it for? This mechanism can be used to control the traffic in our network but also between our network and the rest of the Internet. An example to imagine what we are talking about is a highway with several lanes, each of them destined for a type of vehicle. Using this tool or QoS technology we can define the configuration of that highway and assign that each lane is only used by one type of traffic, such as video streaming, VoIP or online games. QoS would allow us to give more priority to games or VoIP calls to ensure that they work correctly, smoothly, without interruptions, with sufficient bandwidth.
Some of the problems that it solves for us are low performance, low speed, possible delays in incoming packets or other common failures in networks such as high latency or communication errors. For all this, QoS is the characteristic that some routers on the market incorporate and that, as we have explained before, allows giving priority to one traffic over another.
Options and priority types
Latency and bandwidth are two fundamental aspects that mark the proper functioning of many services. For example, online games need the lowest possible latency to have a good experience while online videos need the maximum possible bandwidth to avoid the dreaded buffering. QoS can increase performance by reducing latency or freeing up bandwidth for certain services. In this way, the traffic of a service can be “prioritized”.
This “quality of service” or QoS operation allows us to give higher priority to game packages than to other packages that may be arriving at that time. Although we can also “choose” what we want to give priority to. As we have explained before. You can choose Fornite or Netflix, for example. What it does is not block others but prioritize what interests you at the time. Another option to use the QoS service is that it allows us to assign a maximum bandwidth to each device so that it never goes at a higher speed than the one you have previously chosen and thus does not disturb others who are connected to the same network.
Some router models show us various types of QoS or give us the option of prioritizing different versions of applications. As we will see in the next few paragraphs, there are those that differentiate between applications in real time, with priority and in the background. They vary depending on the type of applications and the use of the connection.
Others, such as Asus in its management, differentiate between Adaptive QoS, Traditional QoS or a bandwidth limiter. The difference between the first and second is that the first “guarantees incoming and outgoing bandwidth to both wired and wireless connections for prioritized applications and tasks through drag-and-drop pre-schedules.” As for the second, it speaks of guaranteeing “the incoming and outgoing bandwidth in both wired and wireless connections for priority applications and tasks through manual parameters defined by the user.” For its part, the bandwidth limiter allows us to control the maximum speed of the devices.
It will depend on the router model you have and the brand that you have to follow some steps or others, although many of the current devices have this technology that allows us to manage traffic or give priority to one or the other. To access the router, we can almost always do it from 184.108.40.206 or through the software that you usually use to access the network configuration.
If you have operator models, it is easy to search the support page of each company or contact customer service to find out if they have this mode or not. For example, if you have a Livebox router from Orange or any of the OMVs that work with the same devices, you will not be able to configure or activate QoS. They explain from the help page:
“Our Liveboxes do not have the QoS function that would allow assigning a bandwidth, but in the Parental Control options you can establish that certain computers cannot use certain services, such as torrent or emule. It is possible that centralizing the downloads on a single computer and leaving the rest with browsing permissions as soon as you notice improvements in network performance ”.
We explain the steps in some router models such as the FRITZBox 7590, for example. As we have explained before, the route will vary depending on the device you have but generally we will find a tab or button that allows us to create rules.
In the case of the FRITZ device, we must go to the device’s user interface and access “Internet”. Once here, we can touch on the “Filters” tab and within it we open “Prioritize”, as you can see in the image below. Then the router will allow us to create rules . Click on “New rule” in the category that interests you out of the three available. You choose the device and select the applications. When you have created the rule you will only have to save with “Accept” for that priority to start working.
Another example to configure QoS is on the Asus RT-ac68. It is even simpler and we simply need to access the router and log in with the data. In the menu on the left we choose the Adaptive QoS option and we will enter the configuration settings where we can choose the type of priority and assign what you want to be the most important.