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Network Prioritization
Previous | Next by elfie 18 February, 2007 - 12:20 AM

Anyone have (or know of) a utility that will allow one to say "if multiple programs are fighting for network bandwidth on this computer, program A always win" or "...program B always loses?"

When I've got Bittorrent running, I often lose my connection to Guild Wars. I know that I can specify exactly how much bandwidth I want to let Bittorrent use, but I want something that will be "smart" about it so that if I'm doing other networky stuff on the machine, BT automatically slows down and when I'm not doing anything else, it takes up as much bandwidth as it needs.

Any ideas?

2/18/2007 >> Dan


2/18/2007 >> elfie

okay so... I assume you mean the QoS service that's built-in to windows? If so... it's installed... now what?

2/18/2007 >> rich

I could set something like this up for you if you were to use a openbsd router in front of your network. I don't know of how to do this on the local system with in windows however. I had manual priorities such as this running at the haus. One thing however to remember is that you can only really ever prioritize your out bound packets reliably. The net can throw whatever it wants at your in coming unless things are smart about this at the application level (i.e. you get to ask the server to only send you traffic so fast). There are some things that can be done about this lower down the stack (ECN but they count on the other routers along the way to A: Know how to pay attention to this and B: Care.

2/19/2007 >> Dan

Most of the routers on the market now support this. My Linksys router has the ablity to trigger based on IP or port.

2/19/2007 >> muhgcee

Elfie, I think the QoS in your Windows networking will only mark your packets. It is up to a switch or router to determine what to do with those markings.

I could be wrong, though. That could have been my Cisco books focusing on the routers and switches entirely, saying nothing about the OS.

2/19/2007 >> muhgcee

Actually, after reading this, it appears that Windows can do more than just mark the packets, but this support has to be built in to the program.

2/20/2007 >> jay

Like Muhgcee said, windows will mark packets for QoS to handle, but your router needs to have QoS. I like linksys routers with custom firmware. Its cheap and effective. Find a router that is compatible with say.. dd-wrt (thats what I use) and go to it. I have bittorrent always running. Lowest Priority. VoIP is highest priority, http is second highest, everything else is between http and bittorrent. Works VERY well.

2/20/2007 >> elfie

yeah Ben was telling me about these wonderful linksys routers. I've currently got a netgear router as my first step before the cable modem. I do actually have a linksys/vonage router, but when I've tried making it the first step in the past, I ran into a lot of connectivity issues. Is there a version of dd-wrt that runs on the linksys routers with built-in phone ports?

2/20/2007 >> Dan

I know the device your talking about. Its a POS and full of little bugs and is closed source without any custom firmware. If you get something along the line of a Linksys WRT54GS you can either use the default router setup and get the functionality you need. Or as Jay said pimp it out. Just throw your Linksys/Vonage device behind the other router.

The default Linksys firmware will get you the options for QoS that you need.

2/20/2007 >> jay

Thats exactly what I have, I have the WRT54GL, and then the Vonage router behind it with NAT setup properly (although UPNP works too). The WRT54GL or GS should work fine with dd-wrt.

2/21/2007 >> elfie

So the GS is the one with "SpeedBooster" ... is that worth the extra $5? or is that purely a software thing that could be accomplished with custom firmware on the GL?

2/21/2007 >> elfie

Update: Got myself a free WRT54G (no S, no L) today. Probably won't play with it until this weekend though. Is it going to have the buttons I need?

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