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What is QoS on Routers?

We break down what QoS means and how you can use it to maximise the performance of your router

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on June 20, 2023
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Have you ever wondered what QoS is on routers? In short, it’s how routers manage and prioritize network traffic to ensure a smooth online experience.

This guide will shed some light on QoS on routers and how it improves network performance.

What is QoS?

QoS, or Quality of Service, is a mechanism routers use to manage and prioritize network traffic. Mechanisms that achieve this include the prioritization of delay-sensitive VoIP traffic via routers and switches. 

This ensures critical data, such as video calls or online gaming, receives priority over less time-sensitive traffic like email or web browsing. 

By implementing QoS, routers can allocate network resources more efficiently and deliver a home network that runs without issue.

How does QoS work?

When you use the internet, your activities generate various network traffic. QoS classifies this traffic into different categories based on bandwidth requirements, latency sensitivity, and packet loss tolerance. 

The router then assigns the different priorities to these categories. This classification allows the network devices to handle higher-priority traffic more efficiently, unblocking any bottlenecks in your internet connection. 

Benefits of QoS

By using QoS on your router, you can enjoy several benefits:

Enhanced performance

  • QoS ensures that time-sensitive media, like video streaming or online gaming, receive the necessary bandwidth and minimal latency, leading to smoother and uninterrupted experiences.

Reduced network congestion

  • With QoS, routers can prevent network congestion by prioritizing critical traffic types, thus minimizing delays and packet loss for essential applications.

Improved voice and video quality

  • QoS prioritizes real-time communication applications, such as VoIP or videoconferencing, ensuring high-quality audio and video streams with minimal lag.

Efficient bandwidth utilization

  • QoS allows routers to allocate available bandwidth more intelligently, ensuring critical applications get their required share while optimizing overall network performance.

Setting up QoD on your router

To take advantage of QoS, you’ll need to configure it on your router. The exact process may vary depending on the router model and manufacturer, but here are some general steps you can follow:



Access the router’s settings

Open your browser and enter your router’s IP in that address bar. The IP address is in the router’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.



Login to the router

Enter the login credentials for your router. If you haven’t changed these credentials before, they may be the default ones the manufacturer provides.



Locate the QoS settings

Look for a section or tab related to QoS, QoS, or traffic management. The location and labeling may vary depending on the router’s firmware.



Configure QoS parameters

Once you find the QoS settings, you can specify the priorities for different types of traffic, such as video, voice, gaming, or browsing. Some routers may even allow you to set preferences for specific devices or applications.



Save and apply the settings

After configuring the QoS parameters, save and apply the changes to activate the new settings. The router will then start prioritizing network traffic based on your configuration.


Can I set up QoS on any router?

In most cases, you can set up QoS on routers. However, the availability and configuration process may vary depending on the router’s model and manufacturer. 

It’s recommended to check your router’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions. Look for sections or tabs related to QoS, QoS, or traffic management in the router’s settings. 

Following the guidelines, you can configure QoS parameters and optimize your network performance accordingly.


With the increasing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications and the growing number of devices connected to our networks, Quality of Service (QoS) plays a crucial role in optimizing network performance. 

By implementing QoS on your router, you can ensure that time-sensitive applications receive the necessary resources and deliver an enhanced online experience. This keeps your internet traffic flow smooth and your upload speeds fast. 

Whether you’re a gamer, a video streamer, or a remote worker relying on smooth communication, QoS can make a noticeable difference in your internet usage. So, take a few minutes to explore your Wi-Fi router’s settings and unlock the potential of QoS for a better online experience.

Peter's keen interest in technology has led him to focus AI and networking for PC Guide, with a view on how to get the best out of both.