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Thread: QOS question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley, California
    Posts
    54

    Question QOS question

    I'm looking to drop my land line in favor of VOIP. I have Comcast 12/2 service in my home office. My concern is phone quality when people are downloading stuff from the servers on my network. I've found quite a bit of hardware that advertises QOS features but I can't find any reviews to say if any of it really works.

    Netgear sells a managed switch: Netgear GS108T-200. Asus sells an unmanaged switch with a "VIP" port for VOIP: GX-D1051. Netgear also sells a firewall with QOS: Prosafe FVS338. All of these are reasonably priced and fairly easy to install in my network. Do they work?

    I've read about good results with pfsense and m0n0wall devices but they seem to be very difficult to lean, build, setup.

    Any other options I've missed? This seems like it would be a common question with so many people doing streaming media etc. but I have found very little information after much Google'ing.

  2. #2

    Default Re: QOS question

    For what it is worth, I've been using Comcast internet service with VOIP phone service for over seven years. From my experience, a managed switch is probably overkill. The slowest component in your network is the bandwidth allocation from the internet service provider. I haven't had any significant voice quality concerns with my network. I would occasionally get a poor connection, but hanging up and placing the call again would resolve the issue.

    Just make sure to use a switch (not a hub) which can handle non-blocking, wire-speed packet switching at a rate of 10 Mbps or higher. Either of those switches you mention would be fine, although I would suggest letting your router handle the QOS management. Do choose a decent router that can handle the peak packet rate and has QOS management features. I haven't needed to enable QOS on mine, but I don't usually max out the upload bandwidth.

    Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley, California
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: QOS question

    I've decided to give pfSense a try. I've built a thin client with an embedded version of pfSense. I haven't put it on my network yet as the learning curve to set it up is quite steep. The traffic shaping features of pfSense should allow my VOIP calls to go through even when traffic on my servers is high. At least that is what I have been told. We'll see how it works if I ever get properly configured.

  4. #4

    Default Re: QOS question

    I would agree that PFSense has all the capabilities needed to give priority to your VOIP traffic and has a fairly steep learning curve. I suggest using the simple features first to somewhat flatten the learning curve. A simple priority queue with VOIP, web and FTP priorities would probably do fine. Also, I would benchmark the thin client before routing all of the traffic through it. I updated my hardware when Comcast increased their peak download speed to 15 Mbps and my hardware was limiting it to 5 Mbps. Much better now

    Enjoy!
    New to Voipo; using VOIP at home since May 2004
    Comcast -> SB5100 -> WRT160N -> HT502

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kitsap County, WA.
    Posts
    729

    Default Re: QOS question

    With pfSense, I recommend installing the siproxd package.

    Im hoping to put together a howto on siproxd soon...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: QOS question

    pfSense 2.0 still has broken QoS so I wouldn't advise it. I would recommend a QoS Capable router - I have an Asus RT-N56U which from the QoS Standpoint is easy to setup and use, has very good performance and a low price.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley, California
    Posts
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    Default Re: QOS question

    This is the first I've heard about pfSense not doing QOS. I still haven't set up my pfSense box. The learning curve is a little steep.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kitsap County, WA.
    Posts
    729

    Default Re: QOS question

    Quote Originally Posted by codatory View Post
    pfSense 2.0 still has broken QoS so I wouldn't advise it. I would recommend a QoS Capable router - I have an Asus RT-N56U which from the QoS Standpoint is easy to setup and use, has very good performance and a low price.
    Curious-

    Can you provide some links to any discussion from the group?

    Redmine?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: QOS question

    I would recommend any router that supports OpenWRT or DD-WRT, that have terrific QoS configuration capabilities. Most of the settings can be configured over Web interface, and most arcane - through SSH. I am surprised nobody mentioned them...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: QOS question

    I have three IP phones connected to my pbx system and I'm using a netgear smart switch. None of the equipment on my network is using QoS or traffic shaping and I'm able to use all three phones simultaneously. QoS is important when there is A LOT of network traffic but don't try and fry your brain with all of this until you notice severe degradation on the calls. Pfsense is GREAT and a really love it but it may be overkill Check out routerboard 750gl.
    http://routerboard.com/RB750GL
    http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Category:QoS

    I don't work for, by, or with mikrotik...I just love the products and think it shoul be MORE popular than the name brands at your walmart like netgear, liksys, d-link.

    good luck.

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