Bandwidth management?

Ok. I know this question has been asked before, but I have not found a clear answer to it for home users. It seems like a no brainier, but for some reason home routers have no option to control the bandwidth allotted to different devices that are connected to it. I have used many routers (D-Link, Netgear, 2Wire, Linksys etc.) and am currently using a Linksys wrt54gs. Some do a better job then others at automatically sharing bandwidth equally, but none that I have owned allow you to manually configure how much bandwidth each device can have. This has not been a big problem in the past, but with the rise in HTPCs and media center PCs it seems like we have to address this problem for the home users. Why? Because nobody wants to be watching a streaming movie on the 55" LCD and have start to buffer ever five minutes because there wife, brother, son, daughter, friend is in the other room on their laptop, or xbox 360 doing online gaming.

So let us revisit this question and see if there are any easy solutions to it. There are a few 3rd party softwares like "Tomato" that can replace your routers firmware and supposedly enable you to do this. But these are very complicated to install and will result in a void warranty and possibly bricking your router. Tomato seems to be the best but it will not install on my WRT54GS so I can't say if it works or not. After searching for a long time, I have found no answers to this problem for the HOME user. My hope is that someone on this forum has successfully found a way to do this that is feasible for the home user. I guess we will see.
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More about bandwidth management
  1. might be shot into the dark but have you tried the QoS settings?

    Try by Device Priority:
    Enter the name of your network device in the Device name
    field, enter its MAC Address, and then select its priority
    from the drop-down menu.
  2. I tried QoS device priority but it seems that this only works with wired devices, or it does not work for bandwidth control. All of my devices connect wirelessly to my router. My router only has QoS settings for two devices. I set my HTPC to "Highest Priority" and my office PC to "Lowest Priority". Then I started downloads on both of them. I have a 1 Mbps broadband connection. My office PC was using 700 Kbps and my HTPC was using 300 Kbps. So the QoS settings appear to have had the opposite or no effect. This router is not very good at sharing bandwidth anyways. Which ever device grabs bandwidth first seems to get the biggest chunk of bandwidth no matter what the settings are. My son has an Xbox 360 and when he plugs it into the router you might as well forget doing anything else because it sucks up all the bandwidth on the network, even if it is sitting idle and not doing anything. So it seems that my router has little to do with how much bandwidth gets to what device. It appears that it is a kind of the "wheel that squeaks the loudest gets oiled" situation. I had an old 2wire router that was very good at bandwidth sharing. It would equally divide the bandwidth between all devices dynamically as needed. But I had a netgear router that was worse then this Linksys router.

    I have read in multiple threads that the QoS settings cannot be used to throttle bandwidth to a device, but is intended to be used to determine who gets first in line. I really don't know about these things. I just know that it does not work on my router. I am not opposed to getting a different router, but if I could use this router it would be great.
  3. there was something in the manual about QoS and setting wifi priorities
  4. Emerald said:
    there was something in the manual about QoS and setting wifi priorities

    Well, some seem to suggest that the router is capable of doing what I want, but the firmware is not capably. Supposedly 3rd party firmware can enable the features I want, but I have not been able to find one that will work on my router. I tried "Tomato" but it will not work with my router.
  5. Emerald said:

    I checked this out already. Not only is it extremely complicated, but some of the necessary links to complete the process are down and if things don' t go right you will end up bricking your router. Also, if in the future you want to go back to Linksys firmware, it is almost impossible. Too risky if you ask me. And I am not even sure this will do what I want it to.

    Not that I am not grateful for your help, but are you the only person on this forum? I was hoping to get more then just one person's experienced opinion. I came here because I have found some very knowledgeable help about other subjects in the past on this forum and I was hoping I could find it again. Unlike most people, posting to a forum is my last option which I only choose after massive searching for already existing solutions. But despite what most people believe, you can't find everything on Google. Some things are only found in people's heads and Google has not found a way for their spider engine to crawl these yet. LOL!
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