How to deploy ANTlabs Advanced QoS/QoS+ and dramatically improve your Wi-Fi network
Are users complaining about slow WiFi speeds? Do you want to provide your guests, or staff with all the bandwidth they need?
Are you struggling to meet bandwidth requirements for guest WiFi, and cringing at the prospect of asking Management for yet another budget request to buy more internet connections? Wished you read this article before the last budget request?
Have you been asked to implement QoS on your network but don’t know where to start? This blog post will explain how Advanced QoS can help you with all the above. Let’s get started!
Basic QoS 101
Quality of Service (QoS) can help you by providing better control and management of your traffic. QoS can improve your user experience by giving certain types of traffic priority over others. This can be especially useful if you have time-sensitive applications or need to manage large amounts of traffic.
Without QoS, your network would be a free-for-all where every application competes for bandwidth equally. That might work fine for small networks, but as soon as you start adding more users and applications, things can get bogged down quickly. With QoS, you can give priority to the traffic that matters most to your business. For example, you can prioritize voice traffic over email or video streaming. Alternatively, you may decide that social media usage like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter is banned in your network.
However, not all QoS features are built equal. You need to understand that simple QoS solutions don’t help much, if at all. For example, simple rate-limit, or device-level QoS control targets individual devices. It has no idea what applications are being used, who the user is, or how many devices within the same room are hogging all the bandwidth. A small group of users can monopolize the network. Implementing QoS can be complex, but the benefits are worth it.
What is Advanced QoS / QoS+ and how does it work?
Save money and time, while improving the end-user experience: Advanced QOS (AQoS) and Advanced QoS Plus (AQoS+) module from ANTlabs control who gets priority, where, and when. No need to buy expensive network equipment, and spend days installing and troubleshooting, as both are software modules add-on to our ANTlabs gateways. It is easy to deploy and optimizes throughput over a network with a multi-stage QoS engine and customizable application shaping. It enables you to grant VIP users more bandwidth, speeds up those applications that need them (e.g., VoIP or IPTV), and it provides comprehensive control over the quality of your network. The IT administrator just needs to define the locations, and QoS plans that is to be applied to different user groups, and simply configure on a graphical web-based interface on our managed Cloud Wi-Fi platform (ASP/Cloud ASP).
ANTlabs Advanced QoS / QoS+ is a powerhouse
With more than 20 years of R&D and industry experience for visitor-based networking in hospitality and large venues, ANTlabs has purpose-built the QoS engine to optimize hospitality Wi-Fi, and offer world-class airports and sports venues superior guest Wi-Fi solutions.
One of the unique features of the ANTlabs Advanced QoS 3-stage engine is its capability to allow multiple devices to share a single bandwidth rate limit per user. For example, you wish to allocate 10MB per guest or staff. Each user will only use up this amount of bandwidth among all his/her active devices, and it will be shared equally amongst them.
With the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine, bandwidth utilization can be maximized by creating differentiated classes of services for different groups of users.
All user traffic goes through the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine:
Stage 1. As we mentioned earlier, the first stage engine is unique to ANTlabs, and applies bandwidth rate limit to the individual user instead of device-level. Together with authentication, this innovation allows different users to be treated according to their VIP status or needs, instead of blindly applying one simple limit to a device.
Stage 2. This second stage engine defines different QoS Tiers (Guaranteed Tier, Premium Tier and Basic Tier) where different user groups can be assigned to the desired tier. Between the tiers, higher or lower priorities are given as to who gets the bandwidth, and the IT Manager can specify the total maximum bandwidth allocated to a tier for better control. In this way, no single group of users can monopolize the whole network and the IT Dept has better visibility and control. Furthermore, the surplus bandwidth from any bandwidth tier, can be temporarily re-allocated to another congested bandwidth tier automatically, optimizing network resources.
Stage 3. In the third stage, global application traffic shaping can be applied to network ports used by applications. This allows the bandwidth used by specific types of applications (of all users) to be controlled further. In this way, more control can be applied so that no application will be starved for network resources. Certain applications’ bandwidth consumption can be suppressed or given more priority to use up the network bandwidth.
Advanced QoS Plus (QoS+) is the latest innovation leap by ANTlabs. It has all the features of the original Advanced QoS module and more! As some applications like BitTorrent evolve to evade port-based application blocking, Advanced QoS+ classifies the applications more accurately based on website categorization without relying on which network ports are being used. This signature-based website categorization is regularly updated to improve accuracy. Another improvement is more fine-grained control for the global application shaping. By allowing you to define QoS policies for different user groups, you can optimize the network further with better accuracy.
For example, you can create a special user group to give priority to streaming services. When you apply this to paying customers or VVIP customers, they will be able to enjoy better quality streaming in their rooms or anywhere in the network. You can also make your network more family-friendly and safer by blocking adult-related, gambling sites or known blacklisted sites.
How does Advanced QoS /QoS+ help improve the user experience?
As far as the users are concerned, they will find that applications will now run better on their devices with Advanced QoS enabled. They may not even notice any slowdown or pausing in their applications, and simply assume more internet connections were added. If you are a VIP user, you will be pleased that even in public areas, you enjoy a faster and better quality of bandwidth compared to guest users. For the management, you can be assured that the existing network resources are well-optimized, and buying more Internet bandwidth can be delayed or dispensed with. In some cases, you may even scale down the number of internet connections, and save costs since network usage has become more efficient.
In conclusion, by deploying ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS / QoS+, you can greatly improve your network performance and ensure that critical applications always have the bandwidth they need. You don’t need a lot of network expertise or expensive hardware to implement. By carefully planning your QoS strategy and implementing it correctly, you can take your network to the next level and please everyone (including the bosses!), leaving you more time to handle other pressing matters.
Make sure to include ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS or Advanced QoS Plus module in your next budget request so that you don’t need to go back to ask for more in future!