Quality of Service for home network - gaming + youtube

SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Grab the hottest iron you can find, stride in the Tower’s front doorRegistered User regular
Hey, everyone, you might know me: I'm that Warwick that just ulted to initiate, and then lagged out through the fight and we all died. Not fun.

I share an apartment with my girlfriend, and we're online around the same hours in the evening. I like to game, she likes to youtube and Stumbleupon with multiple tabs going at once.

We've got the Comcast economy internet package, something like 170kb/sec downstream and I'm not sure how many upstream. We both connect wirelessly to a Linksys wrt54g2v1 router (G-band wireless at 54mb/sec). My understanding of gaming internet usage is that while the individual packets are very very small, they need to get to my computer NOW and in the right order. In contrast, Youtube usage just opens the firehose on my network and pegs the d/l at 170. Strangely, I don't get lag all the time when she's on youtube, which I'm not sure if it's just when the video is loading because the video buffer has run out, or if its something to do with Youtube bandwidth spiking, or my router buffer running out or something.

Anyways: I'd like to know if anyone here has some experience with setting up Quality of Service protocols with their router or home network. Can I guarantee myself permanently enough bandwidth so that I never lag out, and just give her the rest? Do I need more bandwidth on my end to do so?

Thanks guys

Some days Blue wonders why anyone ever bothered making numbers so small; other days she supposes even infinity needs to start somewhere.
SummaryJudgment on


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    punkpunk Professional Network Nerd Phoenix, AZRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Gak, 170Kbps? That's awful! And not much bandwidth to work with, anyway.

    I had to click my mental abacus for a bit, since I'm not a QoS expert. But basically, what you're looking to do is not possible unless Comcast participates. True QoS is requires both ends of the connection to police traffic. The type of QoS referenced on home or SOHO routers is LAN-based and usually implemented to ensure your Xbox or media server has priority on the local network over other forms of traffic.

    I suppose that it could help, but I'd have to do some research on how some home/SOHO routers handle QoS.

    punk on
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    punkpunk Professional Network Nerd Phoenix, AZRegistered User regular
    Got it now. Had to double check a couple of things because normal QoS won't work in this application, but the kind of tricks that are used for this sort of setup will kinda-sorta emulate QoS. It's a bit of a hack, but it sounds like it works OK for most people.

    Basically, you carve up your available bandwidth and assign a particular priority to each protocol, port or device. What the router will then do is throttle the amount of inbound traffic by essentially telling the other end of the connection, "whoa there buddy, I can't handle that much...slow it down." It's not guaranteed like true QoS, but it should help.

    The best recommendation I could offer at this point would be a Linksys WRTG54S or WRTG54L with custom firmware (Tomato, DD-WRT, etc.) - but that may be a bit much. I'm not sure what your experience level is. If you're not comfortable messing around with router firmware, then just about any current/modern home router that advertises QoS as a feature should fit your bill.

    Worst case scenario, if it sucks...return it! :)

    I could go into a terrible amount of detail on QoS...if you want to hear it, PM me. Otherwise, good luck!

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