What is Quality of Service (QoS)?

You may have heard the term Quality of Service (QoS) bandied around a lot lately but not been sure what it means, how it can help or what it costs. This blog post will define the term and tell you everything you need to know about QoS.

In the simplest possible terms, QoS gives priority to one type of traffic on your network over another. We do this to get more reliable telephone conversations on busy networks.

As you are most likely aware babblevoice uses your computer’s data network to carry your telephone conversation to and from the person with whom you are speaking. When you’re browsing the Internet (data) or speaking on the phone (voice) the traffic is broken down into packets which are then sent to their destination by a variety of different routes before being reassembled and delivered to their intended recipient. By default, your network will give a random Internet banner-ad the same priority as your phone conversation with an important client. The problem comes when there’s lots and lots of data traffic e.g. someone is watching Wimbledon or hitting that massive company database again which can swamp your precious voice traffic.

Quality of Service (QoS) gives your voice traffic greater priority on your network than regular old data traffic and therefore ensures a far more reliable phone conversation. The device on your network responsible for prioritising data packets is the network switch or router. Hopefully your network switch is QoS enabled in which case it’s simply a matter of switching it on. Otherwise you may need to upgrade your existing switch. Checkout this list of switches and routers on the babblevoice wiki. If you are going to upgrade your switch or router, use the opportunity to get Power over Ethernet (PoE) at the same time.

The babblevoice team

By Antoine Lever, Jun 15, 2015