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The Indefinite Article.

Monday, January 03, 2005

QoS, VOIP and the WRT54G

Oh what a rabbit hole I jumped into this evening! I have some pretty special home network needs. I want Vonage VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and to be able to VPN (Virtual Private Network) into the office. If I put the Vonage router in front of the wireless router (the WRT54G), then the VPN connection to the office doesn't work. If I put the wireless router in front of the Vonage one, the VOIP sounds craptacular. Solution: Add a QoS (Quality of Service) hack to the WRT54G. The one I used comes from sveasoft.com and was pretty simple to install.

  • Upgrade the WRT54G's firmware with Sveasoft's
  • Enable QoS in the WRT54G administration tool
  • Get the mac address of the Vonage router by logging into its administration tool
  • Put the Vonage router's mac address into the WRT54G's admin tool and set its priority to "Premium"

The basic idea behind QoS is that the router collects packets of data right before it sends them. If it gets a packet that meets certain criteria (like from a specific mac address), it puts it in the front of the line to send out. This done, you can string the Vonage router behind the wireless so you can connect via VPN and still have nice call quality. I'd hate to not be halfway knowledgeable about this stuff and have to set this up/fix it. I think that the one thing that will keep VOIP from becoming mainstream is that the different pieces of the puzzle are still not able to communicate to one another so that they will play well without human interaction


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