5 ways to fix bufferbloat problem

bufferbloat

Did you experience bufferbloat problem on your network? Let me show you how to solve this menacing issue.

But firstly, do you know what bufferbloat is all about?

What is bufferbloat?

You may be wondering what exactly the word Bufferboat means when it comes to your Internet speed. Moreover, some people may associate this with cyber threats. In practice, Bufferbloat is actually when your router is becoming overloaded and makes your connection slow. This can be especially noticeable when undergoing heavy bandwidth activities such as voice calls, video chats, online gaming, and upload of heavy documents.

What causes Bufferbloat?

Bufferbloat is caused by a myriad of factors. However, bufferbloat occurs because Internet algorithms that control Internet speeds are congested due to the latest routers that have large buffers. Improper buffering by your router can lead to bufferbloat since buffering enables the congested network to be arranged in a particular place so that your Internet service doesn’t crash.

Why it is important to test for bufferbloat?

If you are experiencing slow Internet speeds, it is imperative to check for bufferbloat. Since Bufferbloat causes network performance problems. It is important for you to test your Internet service for bufferbloat. There are several websites which enables you to test for bufferbloat.

However, the tool I recommend is Flent. This is because of Flent checks various parts of your network alongside external servers. You can also read performance charts and graphs. These charts and graphs are well detailed and give an indication of bufferbloat problems on your servers.

Note: you can also use a ping test to know if your network is affected by bufferbloat. This is best done when you start experiencing the buffer bloating problem. Bufferbloat is indicated when your network latency has increased from normal. This can be a simple and easy method to diagnose Bufferbloat problems.

Alternatively, you can also use DSL Reports speed test; this can be an alternative to the two tests mentioned above, as it provides good results.

How to resolve the Bufferbloat problem

There is no specific method for resolving Bufferbloat problems; however, there are several steps you can undergo which can reduce the effects. Meanwhile, you can use the solutions I have highlighted below when you experience bufferbloat problems

  1. Reconfigure your Router

This solution works well since you have to reconfigure your Internet router; this can reduce bufferbloat problems drastically. This is not difficult to perform, just follow the steps given below:

  • Launch your web browser
  • Visit a speed test website(speedofme is recommended for this test)
  • Run speed tests several times (This enables you to know your average download and upload speed).
  • Multiply your speed test result with by 0.95 and write your values down.
  • Multiply your speed test result by 1000 and write your values down as well.
  • Click on your QoS settings on your router
  • Configure your packet queue discipline to FQ_CODEL or CODEL depending on what you have.
  • Input the upload speed result number to the “Upload link” value
  • Input the download link result written down to the “Download link” value
  • Click save and apply your settings
  • This should do the trick.

Note: you would need to access the quality of service (QSW) menu in your router settings to perform this process.

  1. Locate the best possible location for your router

The location of your Internet router is quite important for your network connection. For the best connection signal, it is vital you keep your router in an open location. You can use the tools such as wall mounts or mounting holes to locate your router in the best position. You can use the following procedures to reduce bufferbloat problems.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Always fix your router in an elevated position or on surfaces such as tables or mounts.
  • Ensure your antennas are pointed to positions that would give you the best possible signals.
  • Make sure your router is placed centrally in your house; this ensures Wi-Fi connection signal is spread evenly in your home.
  • This solution would improve your connection speed thereby reducing buffer bloating.
  1. Reset your Router settings using UNPP

This is a command based solution, which can be performed using the following steps:

The first step in this process is to connect your system to the web

  • Go to the download site for namebench
  • Download the program and install.
  • After installation, run the program

Note: this could last for up to 30 minutes. It would list the best DNS servers available to your system. You can sidestep this initial process by running your server through the Google public DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4);however, it is recommended that you use namebench.

After this step, you would need to set up your DMZ server. DMZ server (DeMitarized Zone Server) this allows the entire portion your network to be opened when devices are connected. UNPP enables your devices across your router to connect quickly with each other reducing bufferbloat.

To configure your UNPP follow this steps.

  • Log in to your router settings this can be done by typing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.0 on your browser
  • Your router address would usually start with the subnet numbers 192.168.X.X.
  • To know your subnet just follow the following steps.
  • Launch Command Prompt by typing “cmd” and then hit “Enter” key.
  • When the command line displays enter C:>ipconfig

Use the default subnet 192.168.X.X.

Some Private subnets include:

10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255

172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255

192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255

To figure out your subnet, on windows launch command prompt (run, type cmd, press enter). On the command line, type

  • C:>ipconfig
  • This would display the subnet address of your router.

You may see something like this below

Connection-specific DNS Suffix. : mydomain.com

Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : abcd::1234:1234:1234:1234

IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.2.110.20

Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.354.0

Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 10.2.120.1

After checking this you would see UPnP tab

Enable this option

You are good to go as this could reduce bufferbloat

  1. Use DD -WRT to eliminate bufferbloat

This is usually used by tech geniuses and requires some complex work. However, if you follow my step by step process, you would achieve the same result.

Note: you would need to have DD-WRT installed on your router. DD-WRT is a Linux open source firmware used by the latest Routers and Wireless Systems. The firmware essentially gives a wide range of features which enables several functions within the respective hardware router. The whole point of DD-WRT is to convert your simple router to a router with more advanced feature.

DD-WRT comes with latest functions such as support for the advanced quality of service, radio output power control, overclocking capability Kai network, daemon-based services, IPv6,  and Wireless Distribution System

These steps listed below works only on routers with DD-WRT installed in it.

First step

  • Log into your DD-WRT interface after which you click on the MTU section in the Setup menu.
  • Change the MTU setting to 1492; this is ideal as it manages your router packet fragmentation and the raw latency increase
  • Save your changes and exit
  • Install Namebench Utility and run the program.
  • Namebench would check your DNS servers for the best one using speed and proximity parameters.
  • Write down the name of the DNS servers indicated by Namebench.
  • Log back in your DD-WRT interface and click on the static DNS section.
  • Input the two best DNS servers provided by our earlier Namebench analysis.
  • After this step uncheck the boxes stating Use DNSMasq for DHCP/DNS.

Note: this last step is important as it helps to regulate your router’s processor cycles used for Internet speed performances.

  • Click on save settings and exit.

Note: You should refresh your Internet connection by unplugging your router cable from your PC. It is however recommended that you use CAT6 Ethernet cable; this helps to prevent connectivity and latency problems.

Second step

  • Log into your DD-WRT settings
  • Click on NAT/QoS tab, specifically the UPnP section.
  • Enable UPnP service and also enable the clear port forward at Startup box. This ensures every port forwarded is a new port.
  • Save your settings
  • Click on the NAT/QoS tab, access the DMX menu and check the enable box.
  • After which you place the IP assigned to your PC within the router’s range.
  • Save the settings.

3rd step

You may be wondering about the many steps involved in this process. However, this solution has proven to be efficient in eliminating buffer bloat.

This step is very vital in completing the process.

  • It is essential you know your download speed and Uplink speed. This can be done with simple calculations.
  • Let’s assume your download speed is 20mbbps and your upload is 10mbps.
  • You first convert both values from mbps to kbps
  • This is quite easy as 1mbps equals 1000kbps so 20mbps (download)= 200000kbps and 10mbps (upload) = 10000
  • After knowing your values subtract it by 25 percent of the value

downlink 20000- 25% = 15000

uplink 10000-25% = 7500

  • You then insert your obtained values in the boxes indicated.
  • Also, tick all boxes in the TCP-Packet priority section, this enables reduced throttling of bandwidth speed.
  • Apply and save settings.

Step 4

  • Enter the Administration tab and click on the IP filter settings
  • Scroll to the TCP congestation Control
  • Change the default congestion control setting from Vegas to Westwood.
  • Also, remember to leave the Maximum ports section values at 4096
  • Set your TCP/UDP timeout setting value at 120
  • Save and apply settings

Note: Restart your PC Internet connection to confirm the new changes.

Step 5

  • Enter your administrator settings
  • Enter the command menu and input the following command prompt in the command search tab
  • ifconfig eth0 txqueuelen 2 and ifconfig eth1 txqueuelen 2
  • Save and apply those settings.

This series of steps would relieve your PC from Bufferbloat problems due to improper broadband or wireless connections.

  1. Purchase a new wireless router

If you have tried the solutions listed above, it is advisable that you change your router. You can always purchase a new router with the latest anti buffer bloating technology. The router recommended is the Netgear Nighthawk R7800 X4S. This high-end router uses 1.7 GHz Broadcom processor. This gives the router excellent performance which drastically reduces the chances of buffer bloat. It also gives amazing connection speeds and wide range signal from any location in your house.

Have you experience bufferbloat problems before? What method did you apply in fixing the problem? Let us know by commenting below.

What is VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) ?

virtual lan

VLAN sounds like some type of expensive technology or some sort highly exclusive technology, whereas in the real sense it is not. The VLANs are all over the place and are found in almost all organizations where it is properly configured to a network.

If the VLAN or Virtual LAN term still sounds shrouded, VLAN simply stands for Virtual Local Area Network and are constantly encountered in any in recent network owing to the fact that they offer a vast array of choice and potentials to enhance the network.

The VLAN is a broadcast domain provided by the switches. Also, there are couples of various protocols, some of which are vendor-peculiar but performs the same function of every VLAN.

These benefits make up the larger reasons why the VLAN are highly dependent upon by most sizes of professional networks. Obviously, it will be an uphill task in managing the network without them.

What is a VLAN?

Already the meaning of VLAN has already been established providing a faint picture. Simply put, the VLAN is a broadcast domain that is physically created by the switches.

Let’s use the concept of virtual machines and how they operate. Single hardware houses the manifold virtual computers running an operating system including a hypervisor that permits the virtual computers to fully run.

This is precisely the same way the VLAN works.  To create that multiple virtual switches inside themselves there is one or more controlled switches that permit them to run the software.

On the VLAN every virtual switch has its own independent network that is distributed through various tangible pieces of hardware to create a domain for broadcast with a specified cable that is called the trunk. This is the principal difference between VLAN and virtual computers

Ordinarily, the router is supposed to create the domain for broadcast but with the VLAN a switch provides a broadcast domain.

Operationally, the VLAN permits networks to be partitioned by a network administrator into different and independent networks.

The Virtual LAN is a technology that permits distribution of physical networks into a very logical segment at layer 2

How Virtual Local Area Network works

To understand this better, create an illustration of a chain of small business. The business experienced growth and decided to add more employees thereby separating them into three compartmentalized groups. Meanwhile, old employees are already connected on a single cable. After employee new staffs, new employees are added to the business network on a single cable without affecting the old employees.

In order to accommodate more devices on the network, advancing to a new 24-port switch is where the VLAN comes in because the files used by the different departments are separated. This becomes important because as the departments’networks scale it is necessary to introduce domains in order to separate the traffic for improved for performance, better security, and enhanced logistics.

Outside the use of VLANs, it will be ideal for each separate network segment to have its own different switch framework, with a single or more router to manage communication between each of the switch segment.

Using the VLAN, through the website interface of the switch, the departments can be configured into three separate VLANs for each of the department.

Simply, to make the connection easily, between the departments port 1to 8 will go to one of the departments, ports 9 to 16 to another department and the last department will have ports 17 to 24

The switch has software that can handle traffic between clients on the various VLAN. Each VLAN operates as its own network and cannot communicate directly with the other VLANs. Given the use of VLAN, separate departments have got a little and smaller clusters, notwithstanding is more effective, where you can manage all of them from the same piece of hardware.

Moreover, to get the departments to communicate, the router is used for this purpose. Through the router, traffic between the VLANs and implement stringent security rules.

Types of VLAN

The VLANs are of two basic types distinguished by the way computers are connected to them. The various types should be taken into consideration in order to identify their strength and weakness given the particular network situation. They include:

  • Static VLAN

Static VLAN is referred to as port-based VLAN and the most used method and easy to configure. It uses the switch ports which are manually allocated to a VLAN. A device simply joins the VLAN if they simply connected to any of the switch ports. Static VLAN provides overhead management of the network and are quite safe and secure.

  • Dynamic VLAN

This type of VLAN is created with the use of software wherein devices are automatically allocated to a VLAN using its MAC address. Dynamic VLAN enables a device to stay connected to the same VLAN irrespective of the switch ports a client is affixed to enabling flexibility.

The dynamic VLAN uses the VLAN Management Policy Server (VMPS) that permits an administrator to allocate switch port to VLANs dynamically. This is done based on the data from the username used to log in on that device or Mac address connected to the port. Hence, the end users on the dynamic VLAN enjoy a great deal of flexibility and mobility which requires huge administrative management.

Advantages of VLAN

There are several benefits to using the VLAN given their characteristics:

  1. VLAN provides a logical separation of end receivers scattered on a network. When a user’s job function is changed, their VLAN is simply changed to the corresponding job functions making the resources needed for the new job available.
  2. The VLAN enhances the efficiency of the network by restricting the number of devices involved at the same time. This is done by breaking up the broadcast domain which highly increases the efficiency of the network.
  3. The use of VLAN decreases the need to invest in routers placed on a network to manage the broadcast traffic. The broadcast traffic is restricted to the switch ports that pertain to a VLAN.
  4. The VLAN assists in the restriction of the broadcast domains on a network specifically reducing the traffic to the barest minimum.
  5. If the broadcast domain is confined or restricted, the end users on a VLAN are deterred from receiving broadcasts that are not designated to them.
  6. VLAN provides improved security on the network. The administrators in a VLAN network environ have control over the individual port and users. Hence, this will make a malicious user unable to hijack the network traffic with a packet sniffer by just connecting their device into any port switch. The administrator configures the individual port and the resources that are permitted to use thereby curbing malicious attacks.
  7. Also, the VLANs assist in restraints of sensitive traffics emerging from an enterprise department inside itself.

READ ALSO5 Ways to fix Bufferbloat problem

Disadvantages of VLAN

There are little or no disadvantages to the use of VLAN, but as technologies are ever left without a disadvantage. Here are few:

  1. The risk of spreading the virus on the VLAN is high since an infected system has the potential to spread the virus to other systems on the network. Hence, when a system is infected the other systems on the logical network become prone.
  2. On a very large network, equipment definitely sets in as a limitation because to contain large workload more to routers may be needed.
  3. It’s more demanding maintaining a VLAN than it will be controlling a LAN.
  4. A lot of managerial skills are involved in using the hard configured VLAN such as the port based to or IP addresses based. Managerial skills come into play over time as the network management development requires keeping track of port assignment or IP addresses per VLAN costumes and a lot of time. Moreover, in the use of Subnet based VLAN stronger switches that charge more money and it is needed to decipher the layer 3 header partly. This is because of the inclusive switching latency.
  5. The VLAN poses a security limit where a network which has more than one geographical location. The impact is that the most times the traffic goes through a third party ATM clouds or via the Internet making it possible for potential sniffing and “man in the middle” attacks. This occurs when using subnet-based VLAN making the attacks difficult to deal with, except there is an embedded higher layer of added security on the traffic.
  6. The VLAN generates a lofty traffic load on firewalls sighted across different geographic location. This mostly necessitates expensive and powerful firewalls to ensuring the security of the network on the LAN level.

Conclusion

The use of VLAN remains overemphasized to very large scale networks; however, the separation of broadcasting domains to reduce traffic is an excellent way to improve the way job functions are done. VLAN incorporation could be done in different sizes, depending on what you want and exist with its little issues like it’s pointed out.