Optimize your router for VoIP and Video

We are in a difficult phase, and at the age of the network, multimedia streaming mature. Broadband and cellular providers have only recently made a huge public appetite for streaming video, VoIP, and the combination of both.

Most home and small office routers that there are up to it, unless they are completely new, however, can not be optimally configured. Fortunately, you can take steps to improve the quality of rich media on the net.

At the end of this article you will find the specifications set for six of the high-end routers more popular. If your model does not permit adjustments described in the next page, may be time to run to the store.

Routers to handle traffic between multiple devices. If you are not getting the kind of performance you expect from an application or device as an IP phone (VoIP), may have to manage this traffic to ensure that there is not enough bandwidth for the desired application.

Quality of service and ports: Contemporary routers manage the bandwidth through a technique called quality of service. If you’re lucky, you can set quality of service through the router’s software, simply by selecting a category (eg, voice, applications or games) and assign a priority (such as higher or normal). This method is by far the least painful, but not always available.

If this method is not an option, usually you can set the QoS priority for devices for media access address code – a string of hexadecimal numbers only for the device – as well as by name network (such as “My Phone” or “MainPC”), or IP address (eg

A MAC address is better, because the IP addresses assigned by the router’s DHCP server may change. The router may or may not be smart enough to monitor a device with an IP address has changed. A device name is also constant – assuming you do not change it yourself. To use an IP address must be static, ie fixed and established in the device, or reserved, as provided in the router.

QoS Routers by analyzing data through packet sniffing and noting that Transmission Control Protocol / User Datagram Protocol ports of the data travels through. Then prioritize the types of traffic that you specify.

What is a port? You can think of a port as something like an extension number on a landline system. Similar to the way a call to reach a main telephone number, the data arrives at your router via the address of your broadband IP connection. And just a phone call is forwarded to an extension assigned to someone in the company, data is sent to the port assigned to a particular protocol or application. You can find a complete list of official port numbers in the house of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Alternatively, see the documentation for the device or application.

Many applications to dynamically allocate ports as needed. For these you may want to use a sniffer network traffic, such as Network Monitor Free Microsoft 3.4.

Port forwarding: If the router does not support true QoS, you may need to use port forwarding, which sends all traffic traveling through a port or ports to a specific device. This technique reduces the delay in the router and the target device can handle the process. Note that a redirected port then becomes unavailable for other devices. In general, you specify the port number, protocol (TCP, UDP, or both) and then the IP address, MAC address or device name

DMZ: Another form of network traffic directly to your device is put in the DMZ. No, does not include North Korea – that it simply moves the device behind the firewall and outside, where you can receive all traffic without interference from the router. This agreement usually provides broadband device its IP address – with all the vulnerability that entails. This vulnerability is why each router has its own firewall. The DMZ is usually reserved for a server or PC you’ll use for games or web sites that serve, and should be considered a last resort for a VoIP phone or a PC to work.

Simultaneous dual-band wireless: Wireless ad hoc concurrent enables QoS by dividing traffic between two networks. For example, you could name your wireless network from 2.4 GHz “Webdata” and 5GHz wireless network “PhoneVideo.” Users to connect to the network Webdata for surfing or general network tasks, and PhoneVideo for Skype or watch high-definition video.

WME, WMM: Wireless Extensions multimedia multimedia and Wi-Fi are two names for the same service 802.11e wireless QoS. By all means, allow WME or WMM if the router is compatible. The adjustment will help with streaming applications such as voice and video, if the target device supports wireless. You can see an option for recognition, which triggers the forwarding of data errors, for streaming applications in real time, this will not help.

WISH: Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling is similar to WMM in force. Is less frequent but has specific optimizations for Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extender. Definitely the choice for streaming is between WMC and Xbox or a WMC extender.

VoIP is the most difficult to implement for vendors to provide settings for it is bidirectional, which means that traffic moves in both directions, and no serious deficiencies can be tolerated the conversation to be successful. On the other hand, is not particularly bandwidth-intensive in terms of today, and can survive a relatively large amount of data loss. That’s why using UDP (which provides no guaranteed delivery) rather than TCP (which provides error checking.)

Some VoIP phones, such as Vonage, use a router that sits between your broadband modem and your own router. There is nothing really wrong with this configuration, and ensure the best call quality possible, but experienced users generally place the phone behind their own router and change to enable better performance of other applications.

If the router is older or has no QoS settings, you may need to forward multiple ports or port ranges in the VoIP phone. If your router does not support port forwarding, get a new router. Many VoIP devices use port 5060-61 (SIPS), but things can change from there, according to the current transmission protocol. Details must be included in the guide.

Optimization for high-definition video

Although transmission of HD video or any multimedia bandwidth-intensive, you can have it protected in the end, which can compensate for deficiencies in the provision. This process of buffering or prefetching the data, which is why often you see a significant delay between the time when access to a video and when it starts playing.

That said, the pads are dried, and set your router can ensure trouble-free viewing. Unfortunately, only a few routers have all the video features specifically targeted. Enable WMM to help with wireless video. If you see a video input on the QoS section of your router, put it in the highest position. If WMM is not available, the use of QoS to increase the bandwidth for both devices source and destination if you encounter problems. Some newer routers have their own streaming video improvements, they can.

Next page: How to optimize six popular small office routers, and when the update

Brand by Brand

The following summarizes the discussions of how to adjust small-office/home-office six of the last high-end routers. All functions (and configured) as described in the previous page. It is very likely that the firmware on older models and less expensive is similar if not identical.

Beside each name is the default router IP address, username and password. If the item is expressed in quotation marks, type the characters in the middle. All the settings here in the router’s firmware via a Web interface, which can be accessed by navigating to the IP address of the router.

2-wire 2701HGV-B (AT & T) by default IP address: username: password NoneDefault: Printed at the bottom of the modem

Unfortunately, the 2Wire home broadband modem / routers that are common to many of AT & T DSL and U-verse installations did not have the general configuration of quality of service at the time of writing. However, you can forward ports to devices. Under firewall, Firewall settings, you will find a list of applications whose traffic may refer to a single computer, and you can place one computer outside the firewall in the DMZ. To prioritize traffic by protocol, have to put the 2Wire in bridge mode, where it acts strictly as a modem, router and let someone else handle the quality of service.

VoIP settings are limited to AT & T phones provided, so you need to forward ports to optimize traffic to your IP phone.

N600 HDDefault Belkin IP Address: username and password: None

Quality of service, located on game features, is easy to use, with the general settings of voice, online gaming, video and general traffic. Port forwarding, also known as virtual servers, is available under the title of Firewall. In the drop-down a long list of applications that saves you having to search for specific port numbers.

A DMZ is in the Firewall heading, and the N600 offers wireless HD simultaneously, too. WMM is enabled by default in Wireless Channel and SSID for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.

Buffalo Nfiniti WZR-HP-G300NHDefault IP Address: and password: Located on the first access

Although the Nfiniti has a very granular approach to quality of service (which is accessed from the homepage of the router in NAT / QoS), is a real technical challenge in appearance. You will see a dropdown list of priority services applications is rather long but hard to read due to relief and accents. Fortunately, help is informative.

It offers no entry for VoIP, so you have to configure the bandwidth for the IP phone MAC priority box. You can do the same for any device on the network. You will find a DMZ and port forwarding on other pages under the same NAT / QoS game.

The G300NH is the single-band wireless technology, but WMM is not implemented. MovieEngine Buffalo is in place to prioritize multimedia traffic, however.

E3000 Linksys Wireless-N performance RouterDefault IP address: username: password BlankDefault: “admin”

For the Linksys router, service quality is in Applications and Gaming, then quality of service, but is not enabled by default. WMM is enabled by default and while the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels, which operate at the same time.

For VoIP, Internet enabled Priority, select Voice Device Category drop-down menu, type a name for the device (this is for identification only, not the real device name), and enter your MAC address. The default priority should be high, but if not, stating that.

You will not find a specific optimization for video, but may increase the bandwidth to any device and a range of applications – including Windows Media Player, iTunes, etc. Port forwarding is also under applications and games, but will not receive any help with ports for specific applications, only the basic protocols such as HTTP, SNMP, POP3, etc.

D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit RouterDefault IP address: default username: admin Default password: blank

The DIR-655 has more quality of service and port mapping features, than you can shake a stick at the Advanced tab. Quality of Service engine has an automatic classification, which is essentially a quality of service of non-intervention, leave this enabled. You can adjust the setting of priorities for specific ports. As Belkin, D-Link is referred to as port forwarding virtual server, and port triggering rules as applicable.

For radio, WMM is enabled by default in Options, Advanced Wireless, and a separate configuration page for want is available.

Netgear WNDR3700 Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit RouterDefault IP Address: username “admin” default password “password”

Quality of service for this router is available in the right pane in the configuration of QoS. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but keep the WMM enabled for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, then enable Internet service quality. Click QoS Settings item, and you will see a list of applications, including IP phones, Google Talk, and Vonage. Set these to major, and adjust the rest as needed.

Under Wireless Settings and Network Room dn / d (5 GHz), you’ll find a little gem called Enable Video Network, which the company claims will provide smoother video delivery in the 5 GHz channels (the unit offers wireless Simultaneous dual-band). Enable this option either network will be streaming video.

When to update

You should be able to get almost any device or application to function properly with quality of service or port forwarding. However, if the router is so old that can not handle the traffic – which is more likely to occur with wireless technology – then throw in the towel and get a new one.

All routers above, except the 2Wire 2701, are top of the line models, and supply and Gigabit QoS. While the additional bandwidth Gigabit is not strictly necessary for any one task, it can successfully run more applications simultaneously, such as talking on the VoIP phone while streaming an HD movie to the living room. All routers here, apart from 2701 and the Buffalo Nfiniti WZR-HP G300NH offer simultaneous (concurrent) 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless. I’m not necessarily a type of art, but in this case, if you are really serious about streaming media, especially wirelessly, do not skimp.