What is web traffic management?

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So what is this horrible jargon practice and what does it mean for your broadband? Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics.

What is traffic management?

Web traffic management occurs when broadband service providers adjust your upload or download speeds for certain tasks at certain times, to ensure that all users on the line have a stable connection.

A lot of people are usually connected to a provider’s line, and all of them have to use the internet at once for all kinds of things. But many users can strain the line’s capacity – and that can mean zero internet for everyone connected to it.

Instead of letting everyone’s connections slow down, some providers instead manage the data flowing over your broadband to keep everything stable.

Traffic management was once crucial when lines couldn’t handle huge capacity – especially when we were still using dial-up connections – but it’s less common now that we have more high-power lines in place.

How does traffic management work?

Your provider uses software to see what kind of data is being transferred and chooses to prioritize that activity or slow it down.

Some activities are classified in a kind of “fast lane”. They are prioritized and have access to greater capacity and faster speeds. Others are placed in a slower lane, to prevent them from slowing down the connection for everyone.

Nonetheless, how fast you will get for any type of activity always depends on how many other people are using your provider’s internet in your area and how they are using it.

Of course, traffic management does not usually run all day – only during “rush hour”, typically evenings and weekends. This is when more people are at home and using the internet, resulting in more strain on the network.

Activities most likely to be prioritized include video calling (including Skype and FaceTime), TV broadcasting, and online gaming. In other words, things that rely on a stable connection.

Activities most likely to be slowed down include file sharing, anything peer-to-peer, and software updates. These are considered non-critical and can work very well without mega-fast internet.

Advantages and disadvantages of traffic management

The main benefit of traffic-driven broadband is that you will always get stable speeds, even when many other people are connected in your area, and even when you are doing something intensive like gaming, talking on Skype, or broadcasting. the video.

On the other hand, it’s not good if you do a lot of peer-to-peer sharing or download large files during peak hours, as they are more likely to be slowed down.

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Which broadband providers handle web traffic?

Post Office

La Poste has a traffic management policy which may well be put in place at certain times. It restricts peer-to-peer file sharing between 4:00 p.m. and midnight, and if you use up to 100 GB in one month, your upload and download speeds may be sluggish for the rest of the month. They will contact you if this is about to happen.

View full terms and conditions, including traffic management and fair use information, here.


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ESS Broadband

SSE’s traffic management policy is there to “flex” its network – it prioritizes certain activities, so that they have fast speeds; and slows down others, so they don’t take up too much bandwidth.

Priority activities include software updates, VoIP (like Skype), web browsing, and using VPN. Then, at the other end of the scale, peer-to-peer downloads are slowed down.

See all of its terms and conditions, including information on traffic management, here.

Almost all wireless and satellite service providers

If you get wireless or satellite broadband, chances are your broadband is subject to traffic management. Both are prone to questionable connections as they are, so traffic management is often vital to keeping things stable for everyone.

Check the terms and conditions of your contract to see if and how traffic management may affect you.


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