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Wi-Fi for gamers: What is QoS?

eero pro 6
(Image credit: eero)

If you're someone who plays games on your desktop PC or a gaming console, Wi-Fi is one of the most important things that you'll need to think about. After all, lag that stems from slow internet can cost you entire matches if it strikes at the wrong time, so you'll want to take steps to mitigate the risk of lag spikes as much as you can. 

Getting fast internet is the obvious first step, but if you live somewhere where there are many different devices connected to your network at once, it may not be enough. 

This is because more devices connected means more bandwidth is being used — and when that bandwidth runs out, even the fastest internet can be brought to a grueling crawl, resulting in significant performance penalties in-game. 

Thankfully, to solve this problem, QoS, or Quality of Service, was invented. However, despite how useful it is, many people don't even know what Quality of Service does. 

Fear not, though, because here's a detailed explanation about what Quality of Service is, as well as how it will help gamers achieve the best possible internet connection. 

So, what is Quality of Service?

Quality of Service is best explained as a setting that allows you to give specific devices or applications connection priority. This priority guarantees that no matter how many devices are connected to and are using the network, the prioritized device or application will not have some of its bandwidth resources taken away.

So, for example, let's say that you live in a house with your spouse and two children. You're playing an online game on your Xbox One X, your spouse is watching Netflix, and your children are both watching YouTube videos on their phones. 

You could use the Quality of Service settings on a router like the eero Pro 6 (opens in new tab) to prioritize your Xbox One over everyone else's devices. To keep your spouse happy, you could also give them secondary priority, meaning that if bandwidth does need to be reallocated, it will be taken from your kids before it's taken from them.

Why is it useful for gamers? 

eero 6 family

(Image credit: eero)

Ultimately, Quality of Service is incredibly useful for gamers because it gives them something they may not have otherwise: a consistent, stable connection to game servers. 

On a regular network, bandwidth ebbs and flows between different devices as needed, meaning that in-game you could see a huge lag spike when someone else in the house starts watching videos or downloads a big file. 

In a Quality of Service-enabled network, however, you can give your game or game system a priority connection. With this, the network will always give you the necessary bandwidth for optimal and consistent internet speeds.

What routers come with Quality of Service? 

Routers that have the Quality of Service feature available have become increasingly more and more common on the market over the last few years, but even so, not all routers support it. 

And among the routers that do, it's important to look for an option that provides fast internet as well as Quality of Service. After all, the ability to control where your bandwidth goes won’t help much if your internet's speeds aren't good in the first place!

One of the best Quality of Service routers you can get right now is the eero Pro 6 (opens in new tab). Aside from full Quality of Service support, it also provides a Wi-Fi 6 network, which is the latest Wi-Fi standard. Wi-Fi 6 provides better speeds, stability, and bandwidth capacity for devices that support it, making it a significant upgrade compared to the last generation of Wi-Fi. 

The eero Pro 6 also comes with 2,000 square feet of coverage, making it awesome for any sized home.