This is a regular issue for customers on crowded home networks when our gaming or streaming is disrupted due to the network being overburdened with several devices connected at the same time. Is there a way to prioritize one device above all others to prevent this from happening?
Fortunately, some routers have a setting called Quality of Service, or QoS, that is designed specifically for this purpose – to prioritize devices and manage congestion on busy home networks, ensuring critical devices’ traffic and user experience are not adversely affected by other devices on the network.
Although your router’s manufacturer may refer to it by a different name, a simple look through the manual or an internet search should reveal whether or not your equipment supports QoS.
If it does, familiarize yourself with the function and what it can achieve, since Wi-Fi prioritizing may help you cut buffering times and prevent broken connections when it matters most.
How to Prioritize Device on Router Through QoS
1. Go to your account and sign in.
Open your browser and type the manufacturer’s default IP address, which is usually found on the bottom of your router or in the user manual, or a custom IP address that you provide. Log in to your router’s settings page using your username and password.
2. Edit your network settings by going to the Wireless tab.
3. Look for the Quality of Service (QoS) settings. This is most likely under advanced network options or Wireless Settings as a subsection.
4. Select Add Priority Rule from the drop-down menu.
5. Find the MAC Address of the device to which you wish to provide high priority. The location of the device’s MAC address varies with every device, therefore you may need to go through many manuals. The MAC Address is divided into six two-digit groups separated by hyphens or, more often, colons. (For example, 01:23:45:67:89:ab).
6. In the Priority category drop-down, choose MAC Address. Fill up the relevant fields with your device’s MAC address and a priority rating. These ratings usually range from Extremely High to Extremely Low.
7. Click the Apply button.
What if my router doesn’t support Quality of Service (QoS)?
Given that not all routers provide QoS for prioritizing device traffic, what will someone with this type of router do in this case?
It’s nothing to worry about, there are a couple of other ways to deal with this issue:
Solution 1 – Try Wired Connections
Any important device that requires priority should be moved away from Wi-Fi and onto a wired ethernet connection instead.
Ethernet connections are superior to Wi-Fi because they provide a dedicated, un-congested communication channel to the router, while Wi-Fi devices must share space with other wireless devices, causing congestion and lag/buffering.
Even on crowded home networks, if you can get onto a wired connection, your congestion issues should go away.
Solution 2 – Powerline Adapters
If you are unable to connect to a direct wired Ethernet connection due to being too far away from the router, a Powerline Adapter is a viable alternative for important devices, since it effectively connects you to a wired connection through a different approach.
Powerline adapters are a set of adaptor plugs that can carry data over existing home wiring, thereby offering a wired ethernet connection without the need to lay lengthy cables throughout the house.
What exactly is Quality of Service?
Quality of Service is a concept that has been around for decades and applies to many types of networks, not only residential Wi-Fi.
In this situation, it implies prioritizing particular gadgets or sorts of activities in your house above others.
These designated devices and programs receive first dibs whenever your router splits up your Wi-Fi into discrete pieces.
One way to think about QoS is in terms of pie pieces. Without it, anything connected to your router receives a comparably sized slice: your PlayStation 5, the kids’ laptops, the living room’s smart TV, and so on.
When you use QoS, you may provide that critical Zoom call with work greater chunks. Other, less vital jobs, such as those Windows updates that are downloading in the background, suffer as a result.
It doesn’t ensure that your selected devices will always have a stable, reliable internet connection.
It also doesn’t necessarily imply that your network’s less crucial gear will grind to a halt. Much of it is determined by the speed with which your internet connection enters your house.
When you activate QoS, video conversations, online gaming, and video streaming usually come first.
Other internet duties, such as checking email and downloading updates, are frequently put on the back burner.
In the end, it’s up to you how you utilize QoS, but your router will determine what kind of control you have and how much of it you have.
Some routers allow you to prioritize certain devices, such as a gaming console, while others allow you to prioritize other sorts of internet traffic, such as video calls.
You can do both with certain routers. If you’re on the market for a new router, this is a feature you should look for.
How Does Quality of Service Work?
This implies that the router will manage traffic flow to and from your device first, ahead of all other devices, once set.
This may assist with network congestion, but if bandwidth use is significant, it may have a detrimental impact on other users’ devices.
It’s a setting for managing traffic and assigning priority to various devices on a network.
On a typical home network, the default QoS priority for devices is as follows:
1. Gaming — While games consoles don’t often use a lot of bandwidth for online gaming, they still need top priority on a busy home network to keep lag and latency low. As a result, gaming consoles are frequently prioritized utilizing QoS.
2. Video calls/Webinars or Virtual meetings – (Skype, Zoom, Google Meeting, etc.) – may be set to High or Maximum priority, particularly if they are utilized for business.
3. Streaming — Less latency-sensitive, but consumes much more bandwidth, necessitating a medium to high priority to avoid buffering on congested networks, particularly when streaming in HD.
4. General Browsing – Of course, email, social media, and internet surfing are all examples of general browsing.
Because a little delay in loading sites does not impair the experience as much as gaming/streaming, it is usually at the bottom of the list with the lowest priority.
However, a user may use QoS to override this and assign their device whatever priority they like, for example, setting streaming devices to Maximum and everything else to Low.
It’s just a matter of determining which device(s) seem to be the most impacted when the network is congested and giving them more priority to attempt to mitigate these concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions on How Device Prioritizicing on Router
What does it mean to prioritize your WIFI device?
When the router’s ability to connect multiple devices is surpassed above average and several devices are using the same internet connection, prioritizing your device implies configuring it to get the maximum signal transmission.
Device priority ensures that the device at the top of the list has the quickest internet connection among all connected devices. The classic example is that if you have three apples to divide among five users, the person at the top of the priority list will receive one entire apple, while the other four will each get two and a half (4/2).
This may seem to be an unjustifiable 1:05 distribution, but when you realize that you are paying for the router and internet service, and you want the quickest internet connection, you will be happy with this reasoning.
What Is the Importance of Prioritization?
Device prioritization is based on hardware settings utilizing the device’s MAC address, and it will port internet signals first via the prioritized MAC device, with the remaining signals being transmitted to other devices once the priority device has served its purpose.
When your internet speed goes from buffering every 30 seconds to no buffering at all throughout your 30-minute video streaming session, you’ll see the importance of priority.
Does Prioritization Affect Bandwidth?
When you designate your laptop or another device as the priority device, the network will give that device extra bandwidth.
As a result, signal transmission will be faster, and customers will be able to experience buffer-free internet when watching movies on TV or downloading their favorite videos.
The bandwidth coverage and its necessity for streaming and online surfing have a direct impact on the internet connection speed.
It’s no surprise that the majority of families have two to ten smart gadgets that need an internet connection.
Many current routers have adequate capacity to connect up to 10 to 15 devices, allowing the router to meet demand while still leaving space for guest devices and any neighboring devices that need a speedy internet connection at the time.
In a nutshell, there are five devices (named A to E Letters) now accessing the internet connection within your home that are creating buffering in the movie playing on the giant screen (D) in the living room.
To make consumers more comfortable when watching a movie, set the smart TV’s MAC address, which is D, as the first device to connect to the internet, followed by the laptop, which is C. The smartphone (device B) is ranked fourth, followed by the Chromecast (device A) on the fourth rung, and the desktop (device E) used by your younger brother on the bottom rung.
That’s exactly what prioritizing is and how to achieve that is provided in the article above. I hope you find this helpful.