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I am looking for a router whose built in firmware can ensure QoS such that if one user is say downloading torrents (completely hogging up the bandwidth) it will slow his speed down to the point that others' ping will stay low. This is to ensure that if someone is playing an online game (where RTT is essential), to them it will be as if nothing has happened as their ping will not shoot up.

Do note that I do not want any per application/port setup as there are many ways to hog the bandwidth (not just torrents) and there are many games as well and it will get arduous to configure each thing separately.

This functionality definitely exists in an open source router firmware called Gargoyle (the feature is called MinimizeRTT). I am using this currently and it works like a charm.

My real reason for asking this question is that there must be at least one big router company that thought that this would be a good idea, especially when working code is available openly by Gargoyle.

This question is for a router that supports this out of the box (buying one with pre-installed custom firmware doesn't count!). Can anyone point me to a router that has this functionality without needing to install custom firmware?

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I realise that I'm a little late to the party and you may have already solved this problem yourself but thought I'd chip in with my two cents in case it would be of any use.

The router you are absolutely looking for is the Netduma R1, made by a small UK based startup and based upon a Mikrotik router board loaded with Netduma's own firmware.

This router uses a completely unique anti-flood algorithm that completely eliminates ping spikes due to other users on your network downloading, streaming etc and it absolutely works.

The router also allows bandwidth prioritisation per device, as well as including a unique patented geo-filter that allows you to specify the distance (radius) of servers you wish to play on from your home location when playing on dedicated servers as well as refusing users from other parts of the world if playing a peer-to-peer network game.

You can also specify maximum pings and either blacklist players by gamertag/PSN ID or IP address or whitelist friends who maybe outside your geo-filter/ping filters but you still wish to game with.

I have used the Netduma and can honestly say that whilst the promise sounds too good to be true this is one device that isn't actually snake oil and does actually work as advertised, In fact I would go as far as to say that this is the single biggest improvement to my online gaming I have ever made it really is transformative when configured correctly.

The features on the Netduma are light years ahead of what is currently available on so called "gaming" routers primarily because of the brilliant implementation of the software.

The only downside to the router is that it only comes with 2.4 GHz WiFi , however this issue can be circumvented by adding in an addition WiFi access point and turning off the routers WiFi signal, in my case I paired the router with a Ruckus Wireless R710 AP and the results are superb.

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My go-to is the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite (ERL). The kind of features you're looking for aren't often in consumer routers, though if I had to bet I would figure Asus would be the best place to start. Asus's latest line of routers run a proprietary version of DD-WRT, which ASUS has incorporated their own drivers into and such. Many other CFWs for routers have much better implementations (Toastman's Tomato/TomatoUSB builds, for one), I have to imagine some consumer routers support some types of very basic QoS, and aren't very configurable.

The point of saying this is that real QoS, or the newer Traffic Shaping Policies (a subset of QoS that's not just rate limiting for specific services) is really going to be robustly included in higher end routers. Traffic shaping is more what you're looking for, because where QoS usually has hard limits for particular services or devices, traffic shaping can allow all unused bandwidth to go to lowest priority queues. Then, when a higher priority queue begins taking traffic, the bandwidth is dynamically reallocated to the expected (defined) values. If Ping is specifically very important to you, you'd add port 23 to a high priority queue, for instance. Luckily, routers the the ERL and ERX are on the market with a very disruptive cost. They run a form of Vyatta, which is highly configurable and true enterprise class. The Ubiquiti support forums are a great place to start if you run into any issues, but the latest version of EdgeOS support Smart Queues through the GUI, so I imagine you'll have an easy time getting exactly what you'd like. If you feel you need to make tweaks or change the queue type, that can be done through the command line to the full extent as is supported in Vyatta.

Here are the release notes for the current firmware, and these include directions for setting up a basic smart queue (which is proabbly all you'd really need): http://community.ubnt.com/t5/EdgeMAX-Updates-Blog/EdgeMAX-EdgeRouter-software-release-v1-7-0/ba-p/1287631

Here's the product page, when the ERL and ERX can be found: https://www.ubnt.com/products/#all/routing

Edit: I forgot to mention above that traffic shaping can still have reserved bandwidth for certain services which allows instant allocation of bandwidth to that queue. It's important to note that Eric does this in Gargoyle by default when optimizing for RTT. That is to say that MinRTT is a preconfigured set of QoS rules that are optimized to reserving bandwidth to reduce RTT (30%-50%, from what I understand of the Wiki): http://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=qos The reason it's important to note this is to understand that MinRTT isn't an "application" or "mode of operation" for these devices that is missing or has an equivalent elsewhere. There's no black magic or crazy behind the scene action, it's really just QoS implemented for a specific purpose. Any robust QoS implementation can achieve the same results, meaning that you just need a decent QoS toolkit on a router to achieve the desired result. ERLs provide that toolset, and you may have to experiment and create threads (https://community.ubnt.com/t5/EdgeMAX/bd-p/EdgeMAX) to achieve the desired result.

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  • This post is really helpful, thanks! Couple of points, it seems that I still need to manually put in settings such as port 23? And looking at Traffic Shaping, it seems that most traffic shaping routers still require configuration? Do you know of a company that does bandwidth reserving like how Gargoyle does? – Molten Ice Feb 9 '16 at 16:56
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    The problem with consumer routers is that it's not easy at all to tell what exactly is going on behind the scenes. For instance, the Asus RT-AC88U has a "gaming" mode that optimizes QoS for "gaming". From what I understand, it's supposed to be really good. You can tweak other rules if you'd like, but what it doesn't do is tell you what it's doing to optimize, and it may not actually be what you're looking for. – MagnaVis Feb 10 '16 at 21:53
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    I know Netgear (Nighthawk) and D-Link (forget which model) both have routers that support "Advanced QoS" with certain optimizations built-in, but nothing that I can say for sure is like Eric rolls into Gargoyle. I do, however, know that no matter what he's doing, you can do it on the ERL. That's why it has my recommendation, the only issue is that you may have to learn more than you'd like to implement it. – MagnaVis Feb 10 '16 at 21:53
  • Great that explains a lot! I think not fully worried about getting it exactly like Gargoyle more for an out-of-the-box solution which actually might be the RT-AC88U. In the end of the day if it stops my games lagging when others are downloading/uploading that's good enough for me! Thanks for all your help :) – Molten Ice Feb 12 '16 at 0:06

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