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What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

bacevedo
Community Manager

What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

What the $%&*! is Anti-buffer bloat??

 

Hey Nighthawks,

 

Here's a quick explanation of one of the most powerful features in the OS that powers our Nighthawk Pro Gaming routers, anti-buffer bloat.

 

What is anti-buffer bloat? Before we can answer that, we should answer what the heck is buffer bloat? Buffer bloat is a major cause of high lag in networks caused by excess buffering of packets or information. Bufferbloat can also cause packet delay or jitter, as well as reduce the overall network speed. When a router is configured to use excessively large buffers (like HD video or several streaming devices), even very high-speed networks can become practically unusable for many interactive applications like voice over IP (VoIP), online gaming, and even ordinary web surfing.

 

Simply put, if you have a device or multiple devices like Google Chromecast, Amazon Firestick or smart TVs, the preloads for showing you a little bit of that movie or show is buffered. Now, it’s great that they can serve up that content immediately, but that’s contributing to bufferbloat. All of those devices add up and start to vampire a little of your overall internet until things start to slow down.

 

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Anti-buffer bloat is designed to remedy this problem by reserving a percentage of your overall internet for interactive applications like VoIP and online gaming.

 

Think of it as a bouncer that let’s your gaming traffic into the VIP line and things like streaming services get to wait in line like everyone else.

 

Till next time,

 

ZarduBen

Model: XR500| Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router
Message 1 of 11
gwager08
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

I am confused as to how the buffer bloat works. I know there are sliders for adjustments but are those sliders for gaming consoles or other devices?
Message 2 of 11
gwager08
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

When trying to use the anti-buffer bloat, how does netduma know your online gaming versus surfing the web? Why not set the sliders to 1% for greedy devices when your gaming so all bandwidth goes to the game console? Also confused about traffic prioritization, how do you configure just for an Xbox?
Message 3 of 11
Netduma-Fraser
NetDuma Partner

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

The Anti-Bufferbloat sliders work across ALL devices on the router, it does not restrict to gaming devices. That would throttle your internet to the point you couldn't do anything as it works across all devices. We always recommend having it set at 70% for both download and upload. This ensure that there is no local congestion in your home and everyone is happy! You could set it to apply always or when high priority traffic is detected (basically when you're gaming). Scroll down to Traffic Prioritization on the QoS page, make sure DumaOS Classified Games is enabled and your Xbox will be automatically prioritized.
Message 4 of 11
gwager08
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

How does lowering sliders to 70% reduce congestion? By doing so the bandwidth at the same time is reduced according to numerous speed tests online. The whole reason to have faster up and download speed is to have more devices connected without any buffer problems/ less congestion. So how does Antibuffer-bloat provide a better gaming experience when reducing sliders means reducing overall bandwidth? How does this make any sense especially with Qos burger graph to allocate bandwidth prioritization?
Message 5 of 11
Netduma-Fraser
NetDuma Partner

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

You can use the ? icons on the router panels and they will explain each feature in more detail and how to use it. In short though, downloads will always go as fast as they can so it doesn't matter if you have more bandwidth the download will go just as fast as that and still cause you lag. By effectively telling the router that 70% is your new maximum it ensures theres headroom so that your connection cannot be saturated and therefore is room for gaming and other applications etc. All devices can use the internet as normal. Speed test results being the only downside but everything will run fine regardless of that. Bandwidth Allocation will provide bandwidth using whatever the available total is according to your Anti-Bufferbloat settings.
Message 6 of 11
gwager08
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

So essentially, if you set your sliders to 70%, the other 30% isn’t used for anything?
Message 7 of 11
Netduma_Jack
NetDuma Partner

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

That's correct. So you may want to increase it to 80% or 90% once you're comfortable with your setup. I wouldn't recommend going above 90% though because if your ISP underprovides against your speeds it will mean Anti-Bufferbloat will no longer be taking affect.

Message 8 of 11
gwager08
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

I don’t understand the added benefits to reducing overall bandwidth and having 30% essentially wasted. I get the sliders on each module give an explanation but what’s the science behind it? What exactly does reducing overall available bandwidth benefit to the gaming experience? If devices are hogging bandwidth at 100% of availability, then it seems that they would most certainly being doing the same at a lower percentage. I’m not convinced that it really does anything at this point and just more of a commercial gimmick at this point. On the surface of things, that’s like saying you worked 40 hours but are only getting paid for 28. Please help me understand this concept.
Message 9 of 11
Netduma-Fraser
NetDuma Partner

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

As I mentioned in my previous post, that free 30% (if you set to 70%) prevents your connection being saturated i.e. so busy that your gaming packets cannot get through properly and cause you to lag. Thats the point with limiting the bandwidth with Anti-Bufferbloat they can never fully saturate your connection. Have you tested to see if your connection is better when using it? If not I suggest you follow this guide to see how much it will benefit you: http://support.netduma.com/support/solutions/articles/16000074717-test-your-connection
Message 10 of 11
Riverstyxx
Aspirant

Re: What Is Anti-buffer Bloat?

BufferBloat is when the traffic going through the modem overloads the modems buffer.  It is a big issue with the puma 6 chipset modems.  when the modems buffer gets congested it results in packet loss and line jitter.  You can test for bufferbloat with DSLreport's speedtest.  It is an issue that should be fixed with docsis 3.1 modems.  I just picked up an xr500 today and adjusted my bufferbloat settings in the xr500 according to the results the dslreports speedtest was giving me.  Without the bufferbloat settings active in the router I was having the bufferbloat reading spiking into the red throughout the entire test.  I was able to fine tune it to get about 195 of my paid 200 meg connection through without the bloat spiking to unacceptable levels.  I am working on getting my internet provider to assign me a docsis 3.1 modem as they are not allowing customer owned 3.1 modems despite being listed as minimally qualified on their own website.      

Message 11 of 11
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