Bandwidth Limiter vs. QOS

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Bill_S, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Bill_S

    Bill_S Network Guru Member

    I am using Shibby/Tomato Firmware 1.28.0005 107 ND SD-VPN and I have a user that at times uses a large amount of bandwidth while I am using VOIP. I was wondering if I should limit his bandwidth using the Bandwidth Limiter built into this firmware or use the QOS settings. Can anyone give me some guidance on this? I am leaning towards the bandwidth limiter because it seems to be allowing me to limit his usage over all of the bandwidth as opposed to just when VOIP is involved.
  2. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    QoS would allow you to prioritize your VOIP traffic over all other traffic on the router.

    QoS is specifically designed to provide all the bandwidth needed for traffic you feel is vital while allowing other traffic to still function reasonably well. Particularly during those instances when you're not using VOIP.
  3. xtacydima

    xtacydima LI Guru Member

    It's a case specific thought. Bandwidth limiter will limit him regardless, and even when you are not on and extra bandwidth may be available that he can use during that time.
    Qos is more of when you are both on you have priority, but when you're not he gets the extra boost.

    I like BW limiter when someone downloads crap and needs more of a permanent solution, or if it's client based and someone pay's for something specific.
    otherwise, Qos is an excellent alternative.

    You have to think through which would apply better to your specific situation... that's all.
    cloneman likes this.
  4. Frequenzy

    Frequenzy Networkin' Nut Member

    QOS - is somewhat like shaping = prioritizes the packet
    BW limiter - is like policing = drops the packet when the limit is reached

    using shibby build 108, i found out that BW limiter doesn't work properly when QOS is also enabled. so i just use one feature at a time
  5. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

    Wait for the new Toastman, it will work together with QoS and it will have new features.
  6. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    @eahm - is it true? Because Toastman donest like BW limiter, so please tell me more where you saw this info :)
  7. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

    I was pushing forever for a bw limiter for every br in the VLAN builds and I think I got tired so he's making one :)
    Let's wait for him to reply, there is really no ETA, like you said bw limiter is not a priority for him.
  8. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    OK, but it wont work together... only QoS or BW limiter ON
  9. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

    Of course working together.
  10. Malitiacurt

    Malitiacurt Networkin' Nut Member

    I used to live with roomates that p2ped heavily. Tried QoS, tweaked settings numerous times, but it just wasn't effective as a hard BW limit cap on upload and download.

    The problem with QoS was mainly getting priority traffic such as gaming, voip, correctly classified. Plus on occasion some p2p traffic was classified into higher priority instead of bulk/p2p traffic. It was just too annoying to try and deal with when we're in the middle of an online gaming session and lag spikes hit so I hardcapped him.

    Yeah he's no longer able to utilize all the bandwidth available if no one's using it, but he asked for it anyways with his reckless uploading.

    Worked well, online gaming+voip didn't lag anymore with it.
  11. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    No ETA on this.
  12. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    No doubt, in real life, Bandwidth limiter is 100000000% better then QoS. That is why all ISP around world are using it (eg. you buy a 2Mbps internet line, which is capped at 2Mbps using bandwidth limiter, from your ISP)

    Here is my experience:

    I run a cybercafe in Melbourne with 50 computers. We have about 200+ different online games, they use hundreds different ports and hundreds different protocols, literally. Plus we have lots of customers using P2P streamer watching movies (not only bittorrent, but also PPTV, Funsion, P2P Movie Time, Thunder downloader and heaps more new P2P tools). Most of these new-age P2P streamer have "encrypt protocols" with random ports range from 1-65535. When It comes to year 2015, more and more game updater also start to use P2P dowloader for patching as well.

    We have a solid 20Mbps business line. But as soon as more than 15Mbps is used, online game ping(latency) will start to raise. For some response sensitive game like counter-strike, it means bad (less than <50ms ping needed)

    The QoS works, only at first. I try to make a high priority Game-Ports list. But the games are too many. Games keep updating them-self and start to use more ports. Games can suddenly got a huge update/patch one day and the patching eat up all the high priority bandwidth. Some dirty P2P downloaders start to use high priority ports like 80,1119,3389 to cheat for higher speed. All the ports and protocols start to mess up. People playing games were yelling LAG, LAG all the time I was tuning and tuning the crap QOS everyday trying to fix it. (a single bad session in high priority can screw up all the game players in the whole shop). It become a endless nightmare. Customers are leaving us because my shop is "laggy" for online game and sometimes I need to ask other customer to stop P2P downloading to maintain the low ping. All those ports and protocols drive me mad eventually.

    After wasting months on QoS, I turned if off. And I turn on the "Bandwidth Limiter". After 10 minutes setup, no more lag, no more complaining, no more endless tuning, every customer get fair speed, world in peace!

    The shop if running smoothly for 2 years with Asus rt-n16 B/L.

    Hope new version can fix the B/L change settings disconnect the WAN problem.
    pharma likes this.
  13. cloneman

    cloneman Addicted to LI Member


    Thanks for your experience. I agree that the bandwith limiter is better for your case. Everything is divided fairly, there's no guesswork involved, and low latency is critical, and too many uncooperative users.

    However, I would not make the same recommendation for a home user or small business that has only 2-3 heavy users and 5-6 light users (cell phones and old people :D).

    Limiting each user to 1/4 of the bandwidth available would not be a very efficient use of the bandwidth you pay for.

    In the case where someone actually understands QoS & the people sharing the internet are willing to collaborate in terms using a static torrent port, I think QoS is better for these types of users as everyone can use 85% of the bandwidth.
  14. Guso.

    Guso. Networkin' Nut Member

    Well I've my 2 cents as well, in my country the ping it's about 100ms to most services, it's kinda crappy and laggy everywhere and if I use QoS my ping would be like 20 or 30ms more it's a real pita

    In my house we have just that kind of users that described above 3 hard users maybe 4 if a wild Netflix appears, so I split the bandwidth covering needs, it's not equal but it's enough to make everyone happy with it, and less laggy than with QoS
  15. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    Dear cloneman, Regarding the usage efficiency you said,
    there is 2 rate settings for client in B/Limiter, one is guaranteed speed, one is ceil speed.

    Meaning, if you have only 1 person online, he/she can have all the internet bandwidth he/she can possibally use (100% bandwidth, unless you set a small ceil rate) nothing is wasted. Not like the 1/4 bandwidth as you said.

    When there are more ppl downloading, they start to share the total set bandwidth. But even in the worst case, ppl still have their "guaranteed speed" at least, for functional gaming, browsing etc. at a low ping.

    as @Malitiacurt said, Qos put you into an endless task. Today ppl play world of warcraft, months later they play Dota2, you never know.

    Glad to see all new business routers come out recently have Bandwidth limiter build-in. Tp-link for example start from $80. Im consider to replace as since some version of tomatousb start to got wan dc when changing BL settings. Which annoying me a lot and im powerless to get it fixed.
  16. pharma

    pharma Network Guru Member

    Thanks Kyle for including your experiences. It's always good to read "real world" situations and agree with your solution. With IP's making higher bandwidth available to customers I think there will be a shift from using QOS to Bandwidth limiter in households where heavy usage affects ping times.
  17. fefrie

    fefrie Networkin' Nut Member

    Hi Kyle, I was just curious. For your internet cafe with 20 computers and 20mbit connection, ONE Asus rt n16 is powerful enough to act as a gateway?
  18. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Not to quibble here but all ISPs around the world are using QoS. You can limit or guarantee bandwidth with QoS. Tomato's QoS implementation is not a feature-complete QoS implementation, it's a simplified QoS, which is why I can't help but shake my head at people who find it too complicated... if they only knew...
  19. fefrie

    fefrie Networkin' Nut Member

    It's sort of complicated.

    Unless there is an easy way you can tell me that differentiates Dropbox, Netflix, Spotifyand standard web traffic.
  20. Nick G Rhodes

    Nick G Rhodes Addicted to LI Member

    DD-WRT allows you to set a per device bandwidth limit (the same limit for all individual devices OR by individual mac/ip) and QoS at the same time, may be worth a look at how its done there.

    In theory there is nothing in BW limiter that could not be done using the QoS screen. They both work on the same background tool - iptables.

    To differentiate Dropbox Netflix and Spotify you could identify the IP addresses used, CDN could make it a game of whack-a-mole though.
  21. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Kyle has a different problem to the rest of us, he has to handle lots of different games and be sure of good latency. For him, using QOS to do that would probably be a nightmare.

    In normal useage, QOS enables several hundred users to use the same internet connection with users mostly unaware they are sharing it. But we have to deny them any special considerations for games or VOIP, and we make them fully aware that these services may work well on some occasions and not others. But for us to use bandwidth limiting for each client would mean each person got only a small slice of the pie, and they would simply move out and go to another apartment.

    I do see a lot of different apartment blocks and hotels using many different companies to provide service. In fact, it is very easy to see most are not using any form of QOS, the service is fast on some occasions, unuseable on others.
  22. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    Fefrie: yes a rt-n16 can handle 50 pc on LAN, with 250 connections/pc limit. But I'm not sure about how many wireless client it can handle. The security algorithm of wireless client is a burden to the router, but not wired ones.
  23. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    Toastman: as i said earlier, if there is only 1 person downloading, he/she can get the whole pie. No waste of bandwidthl with the B/Limiter. The ceil rate setting does not really matter.

    People start to share the pie when more people are downloading at the same time. By then the "guaranteed rate" is the key to auto-limit people who are downloading, and give the people who are not downloading a very little but untouchable high priority guaranteed bandwidth for web or gaming.

    Easy to make downloader and non-downloader both happy. :D
  24. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    Well it has been 2 years since last time I acted on this thread. I am managing multiple internet cafes in Australia now, as a cybercafe professional:D.

    Hands on dozens of "super heavy duty" routers. Soft n hard. Some are made in China but the interfaces are surprisingly easy to use. Even my grandma can use it to manage a thousand clients with few mouse clicks.

    One clear trend is: the QOS is almost gone. No boss want to learn "ports", "protocols" anymore. The number of internet services are growing too fast(well, look at your phone) that no QOS is able to tell different between "downloader" and "VoIP" anymore.

    Now, most new routers comes with "Ceil+Guaranteed Bandwidth Limiter Per IP", applies to hundreds of clients in 1 click.
    or called "Bandwidth limiter" with "auto-spare-bandwidth allowance". To me its the same thing.

    The best thing is "Smart Limiter" that automatically adjusts bandwidth per IP base on the "total bandwidth"+"Online Clients number"+"clients usage" etc. So when only 1 client doing downloads he got 100% internet, and whenever the 2 client gets online and play a game, the 1st client automatically gives up like 5% of the bandwidth to make sure the 2nd client's game is smooth. But if the 2nd client is also a downloader and bandwidth hungry, the router will adjust the bandwidth limit to 50% 50% as a fair play...Its fully automatic. The system is so smart, all the thing I need to do is input a total bandwidth number and tick the "Smart limiter" on. Hundreds of clients are watching movies, playing games, downloading songs, browse websites using a single internet connection, No lag, no time out, Ping to game servers remains 40ms whatever they do and all websites can open up in a flash like a dedicated internet connection . Saved me days of work of tuning up a large network.
  25. cloneman

    cloneman Addicted to LI Member

    Good to know that per-computer fairness is now a thing.. in Wierd products who's name you haven't mentioned :)

    In the future I suspect we'll see things like codel and cake built-in in to more stuff and easy, basic QoS, with just the bandwidth as a user input, will be a thing. Edgerouter already has this.

    My personal request is that the rare misbehaving apps cases get onboard as well, such the aggressive steam cdn download system, that follows the law of the jungle despite having latency as a priority for their userbase
  26. kylejustknows

    kylejustknows Serious Server Member

    Yea they do have got wierd names I can't even remember. I just vpn into one of the network and find it for you:

    Router Model: H3C ER6300, Made by: H3C, Website:, based OS: Comware (linux)
    Key features: multiwan, smart bandwidth limiter etc.

    (they are all china made but superior in quality. The one I just check have been running 2 years no issue, system up time: 600+ days)
  27. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    There are nifty things like that from a lot of router manufacturers, you just pay a subscription fee to be able to keep using it. Stop paying and it either stops working or turns off 99% of the features you got it for.
  28. fefrie

    fefrie Networkin' Nut Member

    For the most part, I've given up on QOS. I use the bandwidth limiter mostly now. If I have to deal with issues like people torrenting, the best fix for that seems to be limiting the number of connections per ip block.

    The best way I've found to manage a lot of users is to 'give them' the most rudimentary connection 'on average'.

    So that means with my 30/5 line with an average of 6 people max on at any time, everyone gets a max/min of 15/5 DL and 3/1. That ensures a ton of overhead for the lowest latency.

    The only people lose are massive downloaders, but they only downside is that they have to wait longer for downloads to complete.

    If I were to use QOS again, I would basically strip out all the general traffic in the rules, and just keep in rules for problem issues.
  29. cloneman

    cloneman Addicted to LI Member

    It really depends on the goal and the situation. Strangers on a public net who fight each other isn't the same as 3-4 home users willing to collaborate, use consistent torrent ports and not cheat.

    It's still slim pickings in terms of implementations of fair queuing + per-computer fairness in one product, afaik.

    The strength of QoS in Tomato is just turning it on w/ -15% global limits enables sfq or fq_codel which fixes bufferbloat especially on bad modems. Indeed @fefrie, I'm a fan of less rules, just having it on and shoveling a few types of bulk traffic to the bottom is a nice approach. As far as per-user fairness and advanced cheat detection, it doesn't do that :/
  30. fefrie

    fefrie Networkin' Nut Member

    If I were to have a slim set of QOS rules and Bandwidth limiter, does QOS rules come first then bandwidth limiter?
  31. ruggerof

    ruggerof Network Guru Member

    As far as I know you cannot have QoS and Bandwidth Limiter working at the same time in Tomato.
  32. Nathaniel Cowles

    Nathaniel Cowles Networkin' Nut Member

    I kinda thought so too but it's been working better than ever, with both enabled.
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