Optimize Your Home Network

When you’re in the comfort of your home, the internet is likely a big factor to enjoying time by yourself or with your family. As so many devices rely on the information that travels along these networks, it is essential for users to learn a little about technology. Learning certain tricks can be the difference between an enjoyable or awful experience.

In the early days of the internet, successfully using the web meant learning how to manipulate devices at your disposal or paying someone each time you needed something done. Especially before the days of USB, plug and play functionality didn’t exist. You couldn’t simply plug something into your computer and expect it to work which is why early adopters had to be somewhat savvy.

In recent times, interconnecting devices has become a relatively simple process. Complicated tasks like using a CD to install a driver and remembering which colors of a composite connection are for video and audio are not common problems for today’s devices. Though hooking up equipment has become quite simple, there are some problems prevalent technology which demand additional configuration to resolve.

Common issues that are easily correctable

One of the most frustrating technological problems we constantly experience are related to laggy devices. It is incredibly obnoxious when watching a video on YouTube that constantly buffers. It is also terribly depressing when viewing a movie on Netflix or Hulu and the service pauses – which seems always seems to occur at a critical point – to load more of the video.

Many other types of software can also be compromised by poor quality. For example, video games that require an online connection can be encumbered by poor service. Applications on a tablet or a smartphone can also become hindered should an internet connection lack a solid connection.

Fortunately, it is fairly simple to determine your upload and download speeds from web utilities which is one component to resolving poor quality. Tools such as our own WhichVoIP Speed Test can be used to find out exactly what kind of speeds you experience from your ISP.

Usually, most people have an adequate amount of bandwidth. Especially if you are subscribed to a cable service that packages with an internet connection, you likely have enough capacity to handle several internet ready devices in your home. Quite simply, a little time spent configuring a router can make all the difference.

Organizing the intranet

Within most any router you have the ability to make changes to how internet traffic is handled without any intensive coding. By logging into your router, you can make changes to security as well as how traffic is prioritized. Whether you are intent on configuring internet traffic rules or not, it is still a good idea to log into your home router and change some settings such as the default SSID and password for that sake of security.

Within most routers is also the ability to configure the QoS. The QoS, or quality of service, is considered an advanced feature of the product but fear not – most home systems are quite simple to set up.

In a corporate computing environment, configuring the QoS for each individual application or device is much trickier. In a nutshell, this normally involves intensive operations which involve allocating bandwidth for individual ports. However, configuring the QoS on home routers is quite easy and requires little knowledge to successfully complete.

Finding QoS

More than likely, you probably disposed of the box or misplaced the instructions to the router. It’s not a big deal. Fortunately, we have search engines which can help us unearth information with great ease.

I would recommend simply searching by the name and model on your unit. Most likely, the first few results that appear will be from the manufacturer. This can either be a good or a bad thing. You may find that wording is far too complicated for an otherwise simple process.

Further, I recommend utilizing a YouTube video should it populate in the search results. This generally indicates that the video has a high number of reviews and positive feedback. I will briefly outline the general process that is involved for most routers.

Configuring QoS

First, you will need to know the IP address of the router which you’ll plug into a web browser to gain access to the console. If you’re using Windows, go to the command line and type ipconfig /all or ifconfig –a on a Mac. You’ll find the IP address underneath the Default Gateway. This is what you will use to access the router.

You will probably need to provide a name and password to access the platform. You may want to search the internet for the default name or if you haven’t changed it yourself. Usually, one of the fields is admin and the other blank but it varies.


From here, you will need to navigate to the QoS section. Usually this is under a tab that says something along the line of applications. After you navigate to the correct section, enable QoS. Simply plug in the name of the device (e.g. Xbox, iPhone, etc.) as well as the MAC address which is printed somewhere on the device. Ideally, set the priority to high. Most routers grant the ability to select certain applications (like Skype, for example) from a menu which you can also configure to have priority network attention.

Every device will be slightly different but the process is similar.

Also keep in mind that QoS is a great way to improve your VoIP connection at home or work. Prioritizing voice over data makes a lot of sense, thus guaranteeing good quality phone calls. You can configure QoS for voice in a similar manner to that noted above.

Now you know how easy it is to make simple tweaks that will improve your online experiences!

About the author  ⁄ Tony

Tony is one of our senior contributors at WhichVoIP.com. He has a vast knowledge of VoIP and produces thought provoking content that our readers enjoy.

Comments are closed.