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How to: Manage Traffic Using Tomato and QoS

Feb 03, 2009, 23:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Weiss)

"If you're using Tomato firmware on your router, you can help reign in the chaos using QoS, or Quality of Service. Your typical network pushes around several different types of traffic. There is Web browsing (HTTP), for example, but there may also be gaming, and VoIP, and FTP, and P2P data, such as BitTorrent. But not all traffic is created equal--some things, including gaming and VoIP, need minimum delays, whereas file transfers do not require the same priority.

"Priority" is what QoS is all about--creating a fast lane, a slow lane, and possibly additional lanes in between for your network traffic. This way, a torrent download does not slow Web browsing to a crawl, for example.

"In and out

"Traffic flows in two directions--into your network from the Internet and out to the Internet from your network. The router, of course, sits at the intersection. QoS is really only effective on outgoing traffic--that is, data from your network headed to the Internet. That's ok, because this is the traffic you need to manage to keep your network from getting bogged down.

"Although Tomato does provide settings for managing incoming traffic, you cannot really expect reliable results from incoming QoS. The rate of inbound traffic is controlled by your ISP and there isn't much the router can do to change that. While outbound QoS can delay outgoing packets to conform to your rules, incoming QoS can only throw away (not delay) incoming data, which produces erratic and inefficient results."

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