How can you ensure everyone enjoys a reasonable level of network performance, prevent network bottlenecks, without slowing down other people’s connections? Read on to find out.
Think of your internet connection as a highway, with each person using it travelling in a vehicle whose type and size is determined by the amount of bandwidth they consume.
Light users, occasionally checking email or browsing web pages, travel in small cars or on motorcycles while those with heavier demands, such as uploading or downloading large amounts of data, travel in lorries. The greater the number of people using the highway, the more likely congestion is to occur, particularly if everyone is travelling in HGVs.
To reduce the demand on this highway, you can do various things: you can, for example, introduce bans on which vehicles can travel on the highway, forcing users to switch to vehicles appropriate for their work-related needs.
Create a traffic blacklist
You can also introduce limits – fixed or variable depending on the time of day or specific circumstances – to force larger vehicles to travel in just one or two lanes, ensuring sufficient space is left for other users.
Banning certain types of traffic is only a practical solution when you’re blocking non-essential services. Applying a blanket ban on using the internet for personal use may be counterproductive, but you can prohibit specific people from selected activities, such as streaming video.
This is done through your router’s firewall – taking the ASUS BRT-AC828 as an example, you’d navigate to the Firewall > Network Services Filter tab where you can create blacklists to ban certain types of internet traffic or whitelists to permit only selected traffic. These can even be set to apply at certain times only – allowing you to relax the policy out of office hours, or during lunch.
Set QoS bandwidth limits
Outright bans may not be a practical solution. You may, for example, only suffer from bandwidth issues on selected occasions or at certain times of the day. The solution lies in applying so-called Quality of Service (QoS) controls, which can be used to introduce limits to ensure that no single user can consume all available bandwidth.