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Traffic Management Query

gc8839
Grafter
Posts: 29
Registered: 26-12-2013

Traffic Management Query

I have the unlimited FTTC product, and by and large the traffic management seems to work as I would hope it should.
For example, when downloading via NNTP, my line is maxed out (let's say 8MB/s although I can't remember the exact numbers).  When I start a Netflix stream at the same time, this ramps up to maximum bitrate, and the NNTP download drops to 7.25MB/s (again, for example).  Adding other streams works as expected.  This is great, as this means I don't have to coordinate downloads with other activities.
My problem occurs when I'm downloading a large amount over a VPN and maxing out my connection.  Because the VPN and Netflix traffic are given the same priority, I get picture quality issues as Netflix can't get enough of the bandwidth.
So, I opened a ticket asking if there was any scope for lowering VPN priority on my connection.  The answer I got back was unfortunately no, but the response left me with more questions than answers, so I was hoping someone from plusnet could clarify.
Firstly I was told that the traffic management wasn't at the account level, so my request was unfeasible.  I'm sure I've read over and over that the plusnet traffic management is applied at the individual account level.  And of course some people activate the pro add on, which means they are getting different prioritisation at the account level as well.  This seems at odds with what I was told.
Secondly I was told that my best bet was to enable the pro add on.  I'm a bit annoyed by this because enabling this would increase my bill by 25% and would still leave streaming and vpn with the same priority, thereby not solving the issue (unfortunately this also left me wondering if the point I raised in my ticket had been understood at all)!  Furthermore, I've read around a bit and it seems that the pro add on isn't really of much value for the unlimited FTTC product, and is more of a legacy thing.  For both these reasons it seems wrong to try and push me in that direction.
Finally, I wondered why VPN is given the priority it is.  Things like gaming and streaming are self explanatory, but VPNs are used for such a wide range of activities (eg privacy, work, using location based services).  I understand this means prioritising it is a hard call, but as such it seems odd to give it the high priority it gets.
Would be grateful if anyone can shed some light on those points.
Many thanks.
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Traffic Management Query

what a load of rubbish about the Pro addon
This would actually make it worse as it pushes VPN up to Titanium and leaves streaming at Gold
Is there any way of locally limiting the bandwidth allocated to the the VPN connection - To perhaps answer my own question - Possibly but not with the Plusnet router
Regarding traffic prioritisation
The allocation of traffic is done at network level but the priority given to each allocation is per user but defined by the product you are on and all the products have streaming the same as VPN
gc8839
Grafter
Posts: 29
Registered: 26-12-2013

Re: Traffic Management Query

Ha, thanks for confirming my suspicions about the pro add on suggestion!
Yes, if all else fails I think a local network solution will have to be the way to go.  I have a relatively high end DrayTek router which supports QoS.  I had optimistically hoped someone would be able to flip a switch and have it work as part of the plusnet traffic management, as this seems to work very well.
Thanks also for your clarification of the prioritisation.  It seems, at least in theory, there could be a number of traffic management profiles/products to choose from.  However, I suspect this is an unrealistic expectation given the implementation cost vs demand for such a thing.  Would certainly be a unique selling point for an ISP to offer though!
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,556
Thanks: 2,975
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Traffic Management Query

Quote from: gc8839
I have a relatively high end DrayTek router which supports QoS.

As I understand matters, PN's traffic shaping effects your DS, where as QoS effects your US.  If this is correct, you are not going to fix the streaming and VPN DS conflict through QoS controls on the router.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,117
Thanks: 446
Fixes: 5
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Traffic Management Query

Quote from: gc8839
Firstly I was told that the traffic management wasn't at the account level, so my request was unfeasible.  I'm sure I've read over and over that the plusnet traffic management is applied at the individual account level.  And of course some people activate the pro add on, which means they are getting different prioritisation at the account level as well.  This seems at odds with what I was told.

Hi.
The management is at a network and a per user level.  I.e. we'll QoS your line and slow/drop packets, even if there is loads of room for that traffic on the network, because you are maxing your line and if we didn't your higher priority traffic would suffer.
We haven't got advanced enough to give you a set of buttons to change the order/priority of where the protocol sit though.  (I.e. push VPN to titanium to fix this).  It's totally possible, but quite a bit of work and probably very very niche! Sad

Quote from: gc8839
Secondly I was told that my best bet was to enable the pro add on.  I'm a bit annoyed by this because enabling this would increase my bill by 25% and would still leave streaming and vpn with the same priority, thereby not solving the issue (unfortunately this also left me wondering if the point I raised in my ticket had been understood at all)!  Furthermore, I've read around a bit and it seems that the pro add on isn't really of much value for the unlimited FTTC product, and is more of a legacy thing.  For both these reasons it seems wrong to try and push me in that direction.

Yeah... you were misadvised Sad
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Traffic Management Query

I'd be very upset if the priority of VPN was lowered. I use remote desktop and VNC to work on machines in the office - if they became erratic because of other activity I'd not be happy!
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)
gc8839
Grafter
Posts: 29
Registered: 26-12-2013

Re: Traffic Management Query

Well of course everyone has different requirements, which is why I thought it would be really useful to be able to adjust the priorities on a per user basis.  I certainly wouldn't suggest everyone's priorities are rejigged for my benefit!
gc8839
Grafter
Posts: 29
Registered: 26-12-2013

Re: Traffic Management Query

Quote from: Kelly

Hi.
The management is at a network and a per user level.  I.e. we'll QoS your line and slow/drop packets, even if there is loads of room for that traffic on the network, because you are maxing your line and if we didn't your higher priority traffic would suffer.
We haven't got advanced enough to give you a set of buttons to change the order/priority of where the protocol sit though.  (I.e. push VPN to titanium to fix this).   It's totally possible, but quite a bit of work and probably very very niche! Sad

Thanks for the further clarification of how the traffic management works.  The set of buttons sounds very nice, but I appreciate this isn't really feasible to develop from a business point of view!  I guess I'll start playing around with my router to see what options there are.