IS YOUR WIRELESS NETWORK GETTING CROWDED? HERE’S SOMETHING THAT CAN HELP
Between 2015 and 2020, the number of internet-connected devices per person effectively doubled to 6.58. The impact of more connected devices is being felt by business networks.
As IoT devices proliferate and new technologies like Apple Watch further expand how we work, wireless networks are getting crowded. There is only a finite amount of bandwidth that networks have at any given time, and when more devices are demanding it, internet quality can suffer.
Overcrowded business Wi-Fi looks something like this:
- VIDEO CALLS THAT FREEZE OR DROP UNEXPECTEDLY
- SUDDEN LAGS WHEN WORKING IN CLOUD APPS THAT MYSTERIOUSLY CLEAR UP ON THEIR OWN
- DOWNLOADS OR BACKUPS THAT SLOW DOWN UNEXPECTEDLY
- VOIP PHONE CALLS THAT LOSE DATA PACKETS, REDUCING CALL QUALITY
Does any of this sound familiar?
If your Tennessee business is experiencing problems with wireless network quality, one thing that can help is a router setting most people aren’t aware of called Quality of Service (QoS).
WHAT IS QOS ON A ROUTER?
QoS is a system that sets up bandwidth priority rules for a wireless router. It tells your router which internet activities are the most important and should be given priority when it comes to bandwidth.
You can think of QoS like setting up lanes on a highway for different types of traffic. If all traffic – emergency vehicles, standard cars, and large trucks – are allowed to drive in all lanes at all times, then when traffic increases, bottlenecks can occur. Your emergency vehicles are then stuck behind large trucks, and everyone is slowed down.
QoS is like designating what type of traffic can travel in each lane. One lane that only emergency vehicles can use, one for standard traffic, and one for the slower trucks. Everyone has a better experience, and you can ensure your emergency traffic isn’t impeded.
When using Quality of Service, the rules set up on your router are those “lanes.” You tell your router which internet activities should get priority when it comes to bandwidth allocation and which activities can wait their turn.
IDENTIFY INTERNET TRAFFIC TYPES
You first want to identify your traffic types that require bandwidth. Using QoS rules in your router settings (most, but not all, routers support QoS), you’ll be designating bandwidth priority.
You can choose to designate priority by:
- APPLICATION (LIKE ZOOM OR SKYPE)
- ACTIVITY (LIKE “STREAMING”)
- ETHERNET PORT
- DEVICE (A SPECIFIC COMPUTER, SERVER, ETC.)
SET TRAFFIC PRIORITIES
For each of those internet traffic types, you’ll be telling your router how important it is when it comes to bandwidth allocation.
You will usually have a few priority options to use, such as:
Here’s how that works.
Say you designate Zoom as a “highest” priority activity for bandwidth allocation and designate YouTube as a “normal” priority activity. You’re on an important video call when an employee begins streaming a large video over YouTube.
Rather than some of the bandwidth being taken from your Zoom call causing you to start experiencing issues, your router will know to make sure Zoom gets the bandwidth it needs, and if needed, the YouTube activity would be slowed down instead.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING QOS?
There are several advantages to taking the time to set up QoS rules on your router.
OVERALL NETWORK QUALITY IS IMPROVED
By putting your bandwidth traffic in each appropriate priority lane, the consistency and quality of your wireless network is improved. Each activity is prioritized by importance, so your entire office operates more efficiently.
STOP FRUSTRATING BANDWIDTH PROBLEMS
Being on a video call to close a deal and having it drop due to a download happening in the next office can be incredibly frustrating and potentially costly.
Using QoS to designate how bandwidth is dispensed, can solve connection problems with important cloud applications caused by other activities taking bandwidth. This means no more frozen video calls or poor VoIP quality due to “bandwidth thieves.”
KEEP NETWORK MORE SECURE
You can also monitor how bandwidth is allocated using QoS, which can be incredibly helpful for cybersecurity.
For example, say that you see a lot of FTP activity happening during the middle of the night when no one is around. That could be an indication of a hacker in your system.
CONTROL NON-WORK USES OF BANDWIDTH
While you may be okay with employees streaming video or gaming during their breaks, that doesn’t mean you want those activities using valuable bandwidth.
You can use QoS rules to limit the amount of bandwidth available for non-work internet activities.
NEED A FASTER, MORE RELIABLE WIRELESS NETWORK?
Don’t suffer with an unreliable network! Unbound Digital can help your Tennessee business with fast, secure, and efficient Wi-Fi solutions.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.