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Prioritising Traffic

parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Prioritising Traffic

We have a tricky problem.
We have a lodger who has fallen in love with someone in Australia and wants to remain connected her using Viber internet 'phone almost continuously. He falls asleep still connected; we hear him talking in the middle of the night; and at other times my husband will be trying to catch up on a television programme he's missed and suddenly the quality goes and we know our lodger has connected again. His quality of service is so good that he even managed to continue talking a few seconds after I'd disconnected the base station one day. No, I can't explain that either - he checked he wasn't on one of our neighbours' networks and found he was indeed using ours! We quite often ask him if he's noticed how bad the service is and his answer is always no. His service seems to be at peak quality 24/7.
I understand that there is a kind of rule that prioritises different kinds of wi-fi traffic and in our house it needs altering. We don't want to upset our lodger - he's a relative and has all kinds of emotional hang-ups that could cause repercussions right round our wider family if we gave him too much grief - but at the same time it seems most unfair that he gets the cream of our wi-fi connection and we have to put up with what's becoming a lousy service. Sad Is there any way of changing the preferences so that it gets our websites and movies and everything else FIRST and Viber gets put at the bottom of the pile or even limited as to hours? Or maybe to take his IP address and put it to the lowest priority? Is there anything we can stealthily do without causing a big family row?
We have one ADSL connection running into a Billion Bipac Ethernet Modem, going into two Apple Base Stations, one version 2 and the other version 5. So effectively we have three networks, a 5GHz one and two 2.5 GHz ones (I brought the old one back into service because the new one seemed to be so unreliable). However these are all feeding off only one ADSL line. Our lodger can only access the older v2 network with his iPhone 4s, as can our daughter with her Android 'phone. For some reason my 3GS iPhone can access both slow networks. We also have four Macbook Pros and two iPads; the lodger only has his iPhone.
Suggestions would be very welcome!
20 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
Thanks: 188
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Firstly welcome to the forum !

I would think it unlikely that a VoIP phone call would take enough bandwidth to affect anything else, as the data rate is so low.
I just checked and 'Viber' uses 32Kbps for voice calls - which is next to nothing !
Does your lodger's "Viber internet 'phone" do two way video as well ? - as that will use a lot more bandwidth !
What speedtest results (upload and download speeds) do you get for your ADSL connection ?
Usually VoIP calls need to be the highest priority on networks to prevent the calls becoming unintelligible or disconnected, so if you are already hitting bandwidth saturation on your connection, then lowering VoIP traffic priority is likely to make the service unusable.
Incoming VoIP traffic will have already been prioritized by Plusnet, so there is not much you can do about that.
That only really leaves you with managing your outgoing (upload) bandwidth, and doing that using your router configuration.
If a single voice application is causing issues, then you probably have a problem elsewhere - such as insufficient upstream bandwidth.
If this is a two way video stream, then perhaps the lodger can be persuaded to use voice calls only.
parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Thanks for the welcome -  and the surprising reply!
Since the green light on the front of the router flickers wildly every time he is on the 'phone, we really thought he must be using a lot of the bandwidth, especially since my husband's viewing of BBC iPlayer programmes is ruined when he wakes up and gets back on the 'phone.
I did the test. It came out at
PING 35ms
DOWNLOAD SPEED 4.57Mbps
UPLOAD SPEED 0.35Mbps
Our lodger is out for a change, so the broadband is all ours for most of the day.
I also tried the uSwitch.com test, which gave results as:
DOWNLOAD SPEED 1.6Mb
UPLOAD SPEED 0.3Mb
A slightly higher download speed, although it did appear to show mostly 5.xxx speeds as it was measuring them. Both tests were taken around 3pm here in the UK.
Perhaps he IS doing video. That would explain the interrupted iPlayer reception.
When our daughter started university, we tried to do a video link and there was a list of all sorts of internet services, some of which the university blocked and some of which it didn't in the halls of residence. They did allow video calls in the end but they were blocked to start with. If the university could block such things, surely it must be possible for us to do the same? I would like to allow Viber to have access to our internet at only certain times of the day. Is there no way this could be done, maybe with the firewall? It would be nice to have a proper conversation with him sometimes without the dreaded earphones hogging his attention!
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
Thanks: 188
Fixes: 2
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

The first thing that occurs to me is that you might be able to increase the upload speed of your connection, which would help VoIP + streaming.
Do you know what type of ADSL you connection is ?
Is it the old up-to 8Mbps ADSL (also known as "G.DMT" or "G.992.1"),
or is it the faster ADSL2 ("G.992.3") or ADSL2+ ("G.992.5")

If you are on ADSL2 or ADSL2+, it would be worth (in this thread) asking a member of staff to UNCAP your upload speed.
Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

As for blocking "Viber" at certain times, that will depend on your router's capability.
What model is your Billion BiPAC ?.
What you need to look for is time schedule settings, and then associate those times with either traffic prioritization or port blocking.
According to the following link - Viber FAQ, the ports you need to prioritize or block are -
[quote=Viber FAQ]The ports which are used by Viber are:
TCP: 5242 and 4244
UDP: 5243 and 9785
and they need to be controlled for both incoming and outgoing directions.
Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
Thanks: 188
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Thinking about your overall connection speed, I was wondering what BT think your line should be capable of.
Can you put your phone number into the BT BROADBAND AVAILABILITY CHECKER,
and report back with what speeds that tool thinks you should be able to achieve.
Huh
parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Hi, purleigh, and thanks for your help.
I did the BT availability check you suggested and the results are attached.
I'm not sure whether that would indicate that the faster ADSL 2 and 2+ are just available, or whether I'm actually able to use them.
Who would be able to uncap our upload speed, a member of PlusNet staff or a member of BT staff? I have to say it's not the upload speed that's been bothering us so much as the download speed.
Our Billion BIPAC model is 7800. I chose that one because I didn't need wifi with Apple BaseStations and it seemed like a bad idea to fill the air with unnecessary signals.
I've done port blocking before on our previous modem - it was helpful to block Facebook at certain times of the day while our daughter was doing her A' levels! She's grateful now! But I've not seen anything like that on the new modem - I'll have another look. Thanks for the port numbers - I'm not sure I'd have known where to look for that information, so it's very welcome!
Many thanks!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

If the upstream is saturated it can disrupt acknowledgements being sent and therefore affect other downstream activity.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
Thanks: 188
Fixes: 2
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Quote from: parker
I did the BT availability check you suggested and the results are attached.

I thought that might happen, where your speedtest results are lower than the minimum BT line estimate  Embarrassed
That means that we probably need to improve the connection between your modem and the BT wall socket, because it is possible that your house phone wiring is slowing you down - which won't help !

Quote from: parker
I'm not sure whether that would indicate that the faster ADSL 2 and 2+ are just available, or whether I'm actually able to use them.

You should have been moved onto ADSL2 or ADSL2+, as it is already available - if not you need to ask to be upgraded.
Can you do a screen capture of the "ADSL Status" page from the BiPAC 7800 configuration screens, and paste the image into this thread.

Quote from: parker
Who would be able to uncap our upload speed, a member of PlusNet staff or a member of BT staff?

You need to ask the Plusnet staff to check that you are on ADSL2 and also to uncap your upload speed.
The easiest way is to just ask any staff member from the "Digital Care Team" reading this thread to do it, and then wait a day or two.
Make the request in a separate reply in this thread - so as not to have your request lost in other comments.

Quote from: parker
I have to say it's not the upload speed that's been bothering us so much as the download speed.

As 'jelv' said above, your download speed can easily be adversely affected by a high percentage of your upstream bandwidth being used.
That is why I am keen to get your upload speed uncapped first, so your line can work to it's full potential.

Quote from: parker
Our Billion BIPAC model is 7800. I chose that one because I didn't need wifi with Apple BaseStations and it seemed like a bad idea to fill the air with unnecessary signals.

I have one of those somewhere, as they are a decent enough modem and router.
So we are looking at the same configuration screens, does your BiPAC 7800 have the "1.06h" firmware loaded ?
If not, you can get the upgrade firmware from here - Bipac 7800 Firmware 1.06h

Quote from: parker
I've done port blocking before on our previous modem ...  ... But I've not seen anything like that on the new modem - I'll have another look

If you don't get anywhere, then I will dig mine out and see if I can work how to do it.
However, rather than port blocking, I would rather pursue getting both your upload and download speed working faster.
Not only will that give you a better broadband connection, but your iPlayer should work smoother, and hopefully we can get "Viber" phone to work at the same time.
First things first,  lets ensure that you are on at least ADSL2,  and get your upstream speed uncapped.
Good luck  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,360
Thanks: 188
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Quote from: parker
I've done port blocking before on our previous modem - it was helpful to block Facebook at certain times of the day while our daughter was doing her A' levels! She's grateful now! But I've not seen anything like that on the new modem - I'll have another look.

I just downloaded the Billion BiPAC 7800 handbook, and found the page that shows the port blocking configuration screen, which is in the firewall section of the setup.  As I thought, it can be configured to operate to a time schedule, if you are determined to go down the port blocking route.
I have attached a screen capture immediately below, so you know what to look for -
parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Request to Digital Care Team Staff
Please would you check which version of ADSL I am using and uncap my upload speed.
Many thanks,
Parker
parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Right, that took a while, sorry!
I've posted the request to be uncapped in an earlier post.
I'm attaching the screen grab of my ADSL status.
I wasn't on the latest firmware upgrade, so I've installed that. For the benefit of any Mac users out there who might be reading this, ignore the bit about downloading WinZip Mac. It's already unzipped when you download it.
The insistence on restoring factory settings was a bit of a bummer - iP6 settings seem to have been added and you can't just leave it blank. But just clicking to allow it to select an IP6 address automatically worked in the end. I also couldn't remember my password - it's been a long time since I needed it and a screen grab just gives you a row of dots! Huh
However, when I was finally getting a bit desperate, it connected all by itself after quite a few attempts.
How do you mean, there's something wrong with our telephone wiring? Might it need replacing? Is there a problem with certain types of wired ADSL connection, then? What's the solution to that?
I hope that covers everything. I'll decide whether we need to deal with port blocking when all the other stuff has settled down.
Thanks to purleigh and jelv for all your help.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,206
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Can you check the router settings as you appear to be on MaxDSL not 21CN
Which router do you have
parker
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Sorry about the double posting. It kept getting stuck and I had no idea it was going through. There doesn't seem to be a way of deleting my post, only modifying it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,339
Thanks: 595
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Prioritising Traffic

Could you run a BT diagnostic speed test please. Start at http://www.speedtest.btwholesale.com/ and when the first test finishes scroll down to the bottom and run the Further Diagnostics. Post back the full results of that please. It should look similar to this:
Quote
Download speedachieved during the test was - 6.85 Mbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 1.2 Mbps-7.15 Mbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8.13 Mbps(DOWN-STREAM), 0.83 Mbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 7.15 Mbps

We are particularly interested in whether this reports anything for your upload.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)