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Some Advice Please


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#1
Crustyoldbloke

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Hello Reader/s

I have a cable dedicated 10Mb connection, which is normally good, however it is split between 2 wifi and 2 hard-wired connections. The problem is that if one of the connections is downloading a large file/s, then the others suffer loss of bandwidth. What I would like to do is add a piece of software, somewhere in the chain, that gives priority to certain programmes when they are active.

I have seen the names of some free software that claims to do this, but I always feel it is best to ask someone who knows the answer rather than trialling something and being disappointed.

Thanks for reading and replying.
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#2
Neil Jones

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If this is possible it'll be an option in the firmware control panel of the router.

The slowing down of bandwidth to other computers when one is downloading is completely normal behaviour. Assuming all four computers in your case are downloading at the same time and at the same speed, and you have, for argument's sake, a download speed of 400kb/s, then you'll find that eventually all four computers will end up downloading at 100kb a second. The router splits the bandwidth between all the computers that need it at the time.

No software solution is going to help you, realistically; if you need priority for certain types of traffic (key phrase), you need a router that can handle it. Cheap and cheerful routers very rarely have this. The routers that can control this can theoretically give priority to, for argument's sake, web-based traffic through your browser which uses Port 80, but any decent download program would be intelligent enough to fall back to port 80 if it can't get through on any other port. Of course, if you throttle port 80, you throttle pretty much everything.

You can't really prioritise by program, because the router isn't going to know what programs you're using. Just because it's set up to know that a program uses a specific range of ports, as I previously stated, most of them fall back to the standard web access port, port 80.
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#3
Crustyoldbloke

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Hi Neil

I thought this might be the case as I couldn't see how software on one PC could control the downloads for other PCs. I was thinking along the lines of software that controlled the router, but I haven't seen anything that claims to do that.

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.
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#4
admin

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I think what you are looking for is a router with QoS, or Quality of Service.

I have a D-Link router (DIR-655) with QoS and traffic shaping. It works fairly well with default configs. I've never taken the time to fully customize it. I mostly got it because I use VoIP for my land line phone service. Before QoS the phone would echo, or have poor voice quality if something else were using large amounts of bandwidth. I needed the VoIP to have priority.

It can't work miracles. For example if someone is watching an HD movie on Netflix, and someone else is actively searching the web, or uploading a few pictures, the picture will drop back to non-HD until finished. Obviously you're limited by the bandwidth available to your house.

What it's most suited to is your example. Say someone were downloading a Linux ISO via FTP, and someone else wanted to check their Facebook account. The ISO doesn't need to take 100% of the bandwidth. With QoS the Facebook user won't even know it's being downloaded at the same time.

You could even assign priority to a certain IP, for example if you wanted your wife's computer to have priority over yours. It would also prove your intelligence. :D
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#5
Crustyoldbloke

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Hi Mr B

Thanks for your input. I think a router upgrade would be good, this one I have is a Netgear WGR614, 54Mbps 4 ports plus wireless. It was provided by Virgin Media as part of their broadband package.

For the time being, I have banned all users from downloading large files during the day; they can do that overnight by arrangement (the modem and router get powered down at night by the new "save-our-planet" electrical plug). HD film streaming is OK outside of office hours.

We have lots of fun with assigned IP addresses being reactivated when a laptop "wakes up" and finds it's IP address was re-assigned to a hard-wired PC when the router was switched on that morning. My wife has learnt the command "ipconfig /renew" since it's always hers asleep somewhere.

I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year.
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#6
Cold Titanium

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Perhaps you may also want to set up a Proxy server like Squid and use its bandwidth throttling capabilities?

This would be way more work than a router upgrade...

Just another suggestion.
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