Do you ever feel like something in your home is slowing down your home network? Whether you’re waiting for Netflix to stop buffering, waiting for your Facetime call to unfreeze, or waiting for your online game to stop lagging, we all spend too much time struggling with our connection.
This problem happens when other devices eat up your bandwidth. The technical term for this is ‘Bufferbloat’ and this beginner’s guide will explain how it happens and what you can do to fix it.
What is Bufferbloat?
There’s a fast lane and a slow lane on every home network. The fast lane is where your web browsing, downloads, and Gmail sync takes place. The slow lane is where your nightly torrent downloads, Facetime, and Netflix streaming happen.
When the RAM and hard drive on your computer both fill up when you’re trying to do too much at once – you slow down.
This is exactly what happens to your WiFi when your router returns to ‘buffer’ for your streaming movies and shows.
One thing that can help ease your connection is more bandwidth. If you can add more bandwidth you can increase the speed of the ‘fast lane’, eliminate congestion, and keep Netflix from buffering and freezing on the iPad.
So how do you add bandwidth? You get a better router – Like a Pronto Networks Cloud Managed PC31, PC14 or PC51 Routers with built in SIM card slot. If you don’t need SIM based backup internet, you can also use PC30.
Better routers use something called Quality of Service (QoS) to fix bufferbloat.
What does QoS change?
QoS is a feature that automatically schedules how much of the bandwidth is shared among different kinds of devices on your local network. A good QoS feature will prioritize different devices getting a lower share of the bandwidth, give those devices higher priority in the event of network overload, and re-prioritize those devices if those devices need more bandwidth.
In other words, QoS gives a greater share of the bandwidth to the devices you use the most and a guaranteed minimum share of the bandwidth to devices you don’t use so often. QoS even gets rid of ‘bufferbloat’ like buffering and freezing by giving your favorite devices a solid bandwidth pipeline when the network gets congested. This works like a charm in Zoom and other webmeetings as well as VOIP. Even though, multiple users in your household may be downloading, connecting to school network, playing multiplayer games, your connection will not be interrupted or go slow.
An easy way to test if your current router and internet connection suffers from bufferbloat is to conduct a speedtest with DSLReport Speedtest. If you are already getting “A” grade in Bufferbloat, you don’t need to make a change – else consider upgrading to a Pronto Networks Cloud Managed Router.