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Glossary - Quality of Service (QoS)

QoS (Quality of Service) is a highly customizable aspect of computer networking that is often used in corporate environments or high-volume network routers to prioritize network traffic.  Its usage could be as simple as giving the boss's computer a higher priority so that his or her network and internet access will always be the fastest in the office, to intelligently routing traffic depending on the time of day to minimize peak-time overage costs.

Another possible usage is to route more important traffic sources or destinations over faster routes.  A common application is for an internet provider to prioritize network traffic for groups of customers who pay higher rates, such as business service subscribers.  Limiting certain popular protocols that interfere with performance is a very useful application of QoS customization because it can ensure certain minimum levels of performance for other protocols.


Unfortunately a certain application used to access the internet, which will remain nameless, was noted for unfairly customizing the QoS flag on its network traffic so that users would think that the software is more efficient than other well-known products from major competing vendors.

This created an unfair advantage for this vendor, but fortunately once it was discovered, many internet providers configured their routers to reset the QoS customizations to prevent performance problems throughout their own networks, which also had the effect of leveling the playing field since the unfair advantage was neutralized.

See also

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