Router Settings to improve home internet performance

I’ve recently put together a few mini-projects with the goal of maximizing home internet performance. Below is how. First, a primer.

We’ll talk about:

-Choosing the right “speed” from your ISP (save your money, you don’t need extra bandwidth) -Setting up local DNS to improve query times -Bufferbloat and how to minimize it

ISP Speed

Readers here will probably understand that the topline “speed” number presented by your ISP is only one number, the max download bandwidth, and there are many other relevant numbers. Nexflix says you need 10 Mbps for an HD-quality stream. Games don’t need a lot of bandwidth. When I upgraded to Fios a few months ago, I had the option to pay for Gigabit internet speeds. But why? Unless I need more than 10 HD movies playing from Netflix at the same time, I don’t need more than 100 Mbps download bandwidth, which is what I chose.

In addition to the bandwidth number, there are other factors to consider:

-Upload speed is increasingly important as more people use the internet in a two-way fashion, mostly by using video chat functions and syncing large amounts of data into cloud services. Typically cable internet has much lower upload speeds, whereas fiber has matching upload and download speeds.

-Latency/ping time is how fast data travels from your computer out to the interenet and reaches its destination. It is certainly the most important number for gaming, where data needs to reach someone else very quickly, and also very important for video chat. It is measured in the number of milliseconds data takes to reach its destination. Fiber providers can get under 10ms of latency, whereas cable internet is typical noticably worse.