Taking Care Of Your Electronics

Sharing High Speed Internet With Better Compromises

by Aiden Knight

In order to enjoy all of the benefits of high-speed Internet while sharing the burden of the Internet bill, you'll need a little bit of networking knowledge, some networking equipment, and the willingness to compromise. Rather than competing for a giant share of the Internet capacity (bandwidth) or forcing the others on your network to begrudgingly settle for your leftover Internet usage, consider a few configurations and options that could make your Internet far more enjoyable. 

Load Balancing Is The Great Equalizer

If fairness is the goal, having an equal share of the Internet is the best idea. Unfortunately, it's not so straightforward.

Most modern modems that are sent from mainstream Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are combo routers. These devices are a combination of a modem used for converting the Internet signal to something your computer can use, a router that distributes the Internet to other devices. and a wireless radio to send the Internet signal to wireless devices.

The routers have a basic priority that splits its usage between the devices that are connected. In theory, one computer can use almost all of the Internet available until another device requests Internet usage. When other devices request usage, the speed should be shared.

Unfortunately, the full speed download may make it difficult for other users to even begin requesting Internet usage. It takes time for the first device to slow down in speed, which can lead to a failure to connect by another device.

True load balancing leaves a specific amount of Internet capacity known as bandwidth. This bandwidth represents an overhead amount of Internet that is used to avoid such slow speed requests or complete disconnections due to one greedy device. The overhead needs to be specifically programmed, which may require a third-party router as most ISP-provided routers operate at only basic functions.

Do Phone Calls Take Precedence For You? 

If you use the network for making calls over the Internet, you're using a protocol (a set of instructions) called Voice over IP (VOIP). When Internet competition is between file downloads or web browsing, the activities simply slow down. With VOIP, you may lose the call or have poor sound quality whenever someone else starts up a download.

Another type of load balancing called Quality of Service can be used to set specific types of Internet usage as a priority instead of limiting per device. In the VOIP example, the voice calls will reserve a minimum amount of Internet bandwidth and take priority over most other Internet activities.

There are specific routers with pre-programmed VOIP settings, and even pre-owned routers that are ready to be used for your network's purposes with just a few changes. Contact a network professional to find a router that fits your sharing needs. One company to contact for more information is IT Outlet Inc.