How Quality of Service (QoS) Improves Bandwidth Speed & Reliability

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How Quality of Service (QoS) Improves Bandwidth Speed & Reliability

No matter what type of cloud tools you use or hardware that you have, one thing that can hold back even the most optimized team is network speed.

If employees are struggling with a slow Wi-Fi or having to wait for “something to finish” so they can connect in real-time to a cloud database again, it’s a serious drag on overall productivity.

Having a fast and reliable computer network involves having the right hardware and cabling for your needs. It also involves ensuring that router settings are properly configured to keep up with all your Columbus, Ohio team’s activities.

Today’s networks are more crowded than ever and they’re only getting more overloaded. Computers and servers now make up just a portion of network endpoints. An increasingly larger portion of endpoints are mobile and IoT devices.

By 2023 the number of devices connected to IP networks is expected be over 3x the global population.

Not all companies are ready to completely overhaul their network or sign up for a new ISP plan, just to accommodate the additional traffic fighting for bandwidth. So, they suffer along with dropped video calls, stalled downloads, and inconsistent connections.

But there is a better way to create a more reliable network, and one that doesn’t involve having to purchase a second internet plan.

Using QoS Settings to Control Device Traffic

Quality of Service (QoS) is an area in most router settings that is designed to organize how bandwidth is used and distributed throughout your network. Using QoS settings, you can tell a router which traffic is most important and can cap the amount of bandwidth an application or device use.

You can imagine QoS as lanes of traffic. Say you have a multi-lane highway with a mixture of emergency vehicles, medium-speed cars, and slower trucks. Without any lane designations, you could end up with everyone getting bottlenecked because you had trucks traveling in every lane.

This is how an office network that isn’t using QoS looks. The bandwidth is consumed by any device connected to the network with all devices being given the same priority, thus bottlenecks can happen.

QoS is like designating which traffic can drive in which lane on that highway. Emergency vehicles in the far-left lane, trucks in the far-right lane, and everyone else in the middle lane. This reduced slowdowns and improves speed for most traffic, especially the important emergency vehicles.

In the case of your network, QoS keeps everyone in their own bandwidth lane to improve speed and reliability.

You Can Designate Bandwidth By Device, Activity, or Application

When setting up QoS rules on a router, you can designate bandwidth priority by application, activity, or by device.

For example, if you wanted to ensure that Zoom calls for your entire team weren’t interrupted by someone doing a large download, you could choose to:

  1. Make the Zoom application a high priority for everyone; or
  2. Make video conferencing a high priority, no matter the application being used

If you wanted to make sure that you had maximum speed for everything you do on your computer, video calls and anything else, then you could make your device a high priority.

Designate Priority Levels

The priority levels in a QoS rule are those traffic lanes. Each router will differ slightly in how many there are, but you will typically have priority options such as:

  • Highest
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

The goal is to designate all your internet activities by priority so your router knows which are the most important.

For example, you might use priorities such as:

  • Highest: Video calls, Microsoft 365 apps, accounting software
  • High: Team messaging tool
  • Medium: Internet browsing
  • Low: Server backup, downloads

You then gain the benefit of your router knowing that you don’t want a server backup to take critical bandwidth away from your video calls and other high priority activities.

This reduces problems with network slowdowns for your most critical bandwidth activities and helps keep all traffic flowing more reliably.

Limit Bandwidth for Non-Work-Critical Activities

By using QoS rules, you can also limit the amount of bandwidth that can be used by certain activities that you consider non-work-critical, such as YouTube streaming or gaming.

This helps you police non-work activities that employees may be doing on their break that they don’t realize are using up critical bandwidth.

Additionally, being able to limit the bandwidth a certain activity (like a download or upload) can use during certain hours can improve your cybersecurity by blocking suspicious download activities after hours.

Need Help Creating a Better & Faster Network?

AhelioTech can help your Columbus area business optimize your network according to your needs and ensure it has the ability to effectively support all your bandwidth activities.

Contact us today for a free quote. Call 614-333-0000 or reach out online.

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