Originally Posted by MonicaJae
Well, if you are privvy to networking, an Access Point (like Cisco or equivalent for businesses or government or school type agencies), not retail routers (at least not in the past), has configuration parameters which allows for QoS, i.e., Quality of Service. This is an in depth group of settings which allows for prioritization of bandwidth traffic (in/out udp/tcp) to peripherals using services/protocols, like, for example, IRC, VOIP, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, Video Streaming/Communication, NTP, etc. One really needs to know what he's doing when messing around with these settings. One could also define his own parameters for a protocol, like, say, P2P. I think by now, as compared to about 5 years ago, this is now included too. You can limit particular protocols' allotments of bandwidth.
Businesses and agencies like .com's and .gov .edu needed these restrictions/allowances to be able to dedicate more bandwidth to in-house servers which were their vehicles for sales and/or info/communications. Certain services/protocols demand more priority than others, hence the need. I don't know of many consumer products that do this right now.
We have two internet lines coming into the house. One router--the Linksys-- runs off a basic internet modem, which is non-customizable. The router is limited in its capabilities. We also have a Modem/Router which I have running to a gigabit splitter. This, although configurable, lacks the sophistication of prioritizing protocols/services. Some basic firewalls do a good enough job for the consumer. However, one doesn't really get to pick exact, specific services with which to configure. They are basically generalized into groups which doesn't quite acheive the same effect. Also, they lack prioritization.
I have two older Cisco APs (with protocol b yeilding the highest bandwidth per second (for that unit) which is 11 megabits) which had these in-depth configurations. We had foreign exchange students who monopolized all the bandwidth because of our one line internet source. They were constantly Skyping to China and everywhere else, plus my son with his torrent downloads, the load and unimaginable lag we were experiencing was OFF THE HOOK. (Constant disconnects) Plus all the smartphones/laptops/2 xboxes a dedicated video box so my mom could watch Korean soaps, YouTube, ad infinitum, was just intolerable and unacceptable, to say the least, so i decided to prioritize the bandwidth to the xboxes, my laptop! (lol) my iPhone (and respective MAC addresses) and slowed Skype, and a lot of P2P chat programs which were being utilized. Suffice it to say, there were many complaints from the Chinese contingency
Hence the need for the second, SEPARATE line
Plus, all my peripherals/consoles/laptops are mostly hardwired yielding greater, uninhibited, uncompromised throughput.
It is possible to purchase such a device, however, it'll cost you. There are always used/pulled or older models (which for the avg consumer would be appropriate) for sale on places like eBay. Some businesses hire contractors to upgrade their systems to the newest tech and sometimes these contractors aquire the ones being replaced and sell them to whomever wants them. however, the cost of these could run in the 500USD plus range. Craigslist may be a source, too.