If it seems like there are more devices fighting for bandwidth at your office, it’s not your imagination.
Internet-connected devices have been multiplying at home and work, thanks to the popularity of Alexa, IP security cameras, and other smart gadgets.
In 2018, the number of networked devices per person was 2.4, by 2023 that number is expected to rise to 3.6 devices per person.
It’s projected that in just a few years, there will be over 3X as many internet-connected devices as people. Offices are also increasingly dependent on their internet connection running smoothly, for everything from productivity software to VoIP phone systems.
What happens when you have so many devices battling for the same bandwidth?
If you don’t have any controls for bandwidth allocation put into place, it can mean dropped phone calls and video conferences, downloads slowing everyone down, and problems holding a cloud backup connection.
The answer is putting a traffic control in place for bandwidth usage, and this can be done through a router feature called Quality of Service (QoS).
What Does Quality of Service Do?
Imagine your bandwidth capability as a highway, and each internet activity as a vehicle on that highway. Some vehicles will be like a tiny smart car (sending a Slack message), while others will be a large semi-truck (streaming an HD video call).
If you don’t have any controls as to which vehicles can use which lanes, the highway can easily come to a standstill for everyone when there is too much traffic.
But imagine you added a special “high priority” lane to the highway and only allowed the most important vehicles to use it. Then, no matter how much traffic there was on the highway, the most important traffic could still go at top speed and be unaffected.
That’s what QoS does for bandwidth. It’s a mechanism to tell your router which devices or applications should get the highest priority (i.e. be allowed to travel in the fast lane) and which should be limited so they don’t interfere with the connection of other apps.
With QoS, you can:
- Designate several different bandwidth priorities (e.g. highest, high, standard, low)
- Designate bandwidth allocation by app or by device
- Limit the amount of bandwidth a certain device or app can use
- Keep traffic running more smoothly, reducing network slowdowns
Benefits of Using QoS on a Wi-Fi Router
Using Quality of Service rules on your Wi-Fi router can have several advantages for your business.
Ensures Mission Critical Apps Run Smoothly
How frustrating is it if you’re on an important video conference with a client and your screen suddenly freezes? You might have to spend several minutes trying to reconnect and completely lose the momentum of the conversation.
There are also productivity apps that are vital, like a CRM program, which need to have a reliable and consistent internet connection so your team can work productively.
Using QoS can ensure that these types of critical apps have a fast internet connection and aren’t slowed down because someone is downloading a large file.
Improves Customer Experience
One of those mission critical apps that also greatly impacts customer service is a VoIP phone system. If your call quality is poor because other resources are using up your bandwidth or calls drop due to bandwidth bottlenecks, you can end up losing leads and customers.
You can ensure your VoIP phones get the bandwidth they need by designating that app on the highest QoS priority setting. This helps ensure your callers will have a good calling experience no matter what other types of internet activities may be happening at your office.
If you’re having bandwidth problems, you might think you need to move to a higher priced plan or add another ISP connection, when the problem could actually be solved by using QoS.
By deploying QoS to organize your bandwidth traffic you can often solve internet connection problems without having to spend more money on infrastructure.
Allows Admins to Better Manage Your Internet Resources
If employees are streaming Netflix on their lunch break, it could cause problems with other areas of your technology infrastructure that need a solid internet connection. This is just one of the things that admins can more easily handle by using a Quality of Service rule.
QoS puts bandwidth traffic management in your admins’ hands. They can put entertainment apps on a low priority and ensure the most important internet connections get the bandwidth they need.
Instead of having a “free for all” for your office bandwidth, QoS allows you to control which apps and devices get prioritized and which should not.
Need Help Improving Your Network Speed & Reliability?
Texas I.T. Pros offers several network support solutions to ensure your office has reliable internet, fast, and efficient internet to power all your business processes.
Contact us today to schedule a network consultation! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.