Technology Tips – Published December 2017 in the Guide and Digest
By Don Trauger – Kennett
I usually write about Windows 10 but I thought I would touch on routers with this article. Also, this content is geared more toward those of you that are “tech savvy”. Previously I have written about routers and have said to turn the power off then on to reestablish Internet connectivity or position them for best signal strength. Now we’ll enter into the internal settings of routers where the QOS setting can be checked or changed as necessary.
QOS serves an important service particularly when watching video streaming or movies on the Internet. It’s purpose is to control the router in such a way that movies and the like lack any stutter or other artifacts that may produce unwanted visual/audio effects. For example, you may be watching a movie while someone else in your household is downloading files. Both are important but with QOS turned on the movie gets the appropriate bandwidth from the router to produce a smooth visual presentation. The file downloader will notice no difference.
Setting QOS requires you to open your browser, clear anything out of the address field and type in: 192.168.1.1 and press the Enter key. Comcast uses 10.0.0.1. You should see a sign-in window where you type in your Username and password. Username is typically “admin” (no quotes) and password is the same password you used to first set up the router. Keep in mind that the preceding address number doesn’t work for all routers so you may have to consult your manual or do a Google search for your model router to get the correct address.
Once inside the settings area look for QOS. It may be in the Advanced Setup area. Click it to open QOS. Newer routers have an automatic QOS setup feature. First, you may have to run a speed test so the router can set the QOS to match the speed of your Internet provider (Comcast or Verizon). There’s one more setting associated with QOS. It’s called WMM. It’s a subset, if you will, of QOS. Its primary function is to prioritize the same main features of QOS (movies and video streaming) BUT only when you are connected to the router wirelessly. Just make sure it’s turned on. After that is complete, click Apply or Save then logout out of your router settings. The preceding guideline is based on a Netgear Nighthawk router so yours can be different.
What does all this buy you? Well, not much if you are just the ordinary web surfer and email user. However, with the proliferation of Internet video streaming, movies and different devices including Internet connected Smart TV’s, the router is playing a more important role.
Like your PC, routers can benefit from updates. There is often a button to click to update the router along with a visual reminder message. Security is the watchword.
We’ll discuss this subject and demonstrate the basic idea of optimizing your router for video at the PC Club meeting on December 17 at 7 p.m.