384.19 QOS for work from home and VOIP

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eastavin

Senior Member
Since Asus came up with these new "covidized" adaptive QOS shortcuts I notice that my Linsksys SPA ATAs keep getting blown away by file transfers and Steam game downloads etc from PCs on the network. In fact I have watch STEAM updates blow away phone calls on several occasions. One would think when "work from home" is selected and VOIP is listed as an item in the grab bag that it would get the highest priority. Like what good is a router that garbles a 911 call? Never had much of an issue with this since I first bought these routers with any of the PRE-covid firmware.

Now that I am done whining... what is the best way / least labour way to overcome this? Rolling back to precovid is one option but was not rushing to make it the first choice yet. Appreciate any thoughts. Maybe the automatic bandwidth settings no longer work properly and its not the QOS shortcuts?

Edward
 

eastavin

Senior Member
Thanks for the reply. That used to work reasonably well when there was a category that was called VOIP/Video preCovid. But these new selectors dont seem to affect VOIP.. at least not for a cisco/linksys ATA. Steam updates are allowed to blow away zoom video conf as well when work from home is selected now that I am thinking about. it.
 
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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Treat "Work-from-home" as VoIP traffic, and "Learn-From-Home" as regular web traffic when setting up priorities, to ensure you get your priorities better organized.
 

eastavin

Senior Member
My thought is that adaptive qos even with customize selected and Work from home as the highest item followed by learn from home as second on the list is still failing to give VOIP ATA traffic the highest priority when someone is downloading STEAM updates. So it seems I need to go back to traditional QOS, setup the highest class for the VOIP devices only as I need to be sure nothing can touch it.

What is the default priority this firmware will give to an undefined service or source that does not appear in the user defined rules table?
 
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dave14305

Part of the Furniture
If you're not using the Classification tab to see how your STEAM updates are being classified, you need to. My studies show that "Untracked" connections actually end up in Work-From-Home instead of the fifth priority (marked with Default in the Classification page). This is one of the issues that FlexQoS fixes until Trend Micro fixes the default traffic handling in Adaptive QoS.

Also, most HTTPS traffic will end up in Net Control by default which is higher priority than everything else. FlexQoS addresses this as well.
 

eastavin

Senior Member
Good point. I asked everyone to get off one network except one person who was asked to play a Valve STEAM game.. Dead by daylight. 99% of the download traffic the game generates gets classified as work-from-home. less than 1% net control packets. on the upload it looks like >90% WFH and <10% NCP. Other than these 2 categories there is nothing in anything else.

So I guess its safe to say the Asus adaptive QOS system is a complete DUD. It was not the best in the precovid f/w but this is completely useless if gaming gets lumped with work from home/VoIP.
 
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dave14305

Part of the Furniture
Before you give up on it, install FlexQoS via amtm and try it again. You don't even have to make any customizations. Try it out-of-the-box and see if it's better. If not, you can uninstall it.

But switch from automatic bandwidth to manual bandwidth first. Auto bandwidth is not predictable.
 

eastavin

Senior Member
Switching to manual bandwidth did not change the classification I described above. I left it in manual mode based on your advice.

Before I rush off to figure out FlexQOS... one question about Traditional QOS. Whats the downside of specifying the VOIP ATAs as the HIGHEST user service priority by Source mac address? Then I would think everything else can fight over what is left? I just lower the service priorities on the other default entries by one level to High or lower.

I cant find anything in the notes that would say what the service priority of an unspecified source/mac/port would be defaulting to that does not use 80 or 443? Would you know?

The FlexQOS has me intrigued. I will look into that. Thanks.
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
one question about Traditional QOS. Whats the downside of specifying the VOIP ATAs as the HIGHEST user service priority by Source mac address? Then I would think everything else can fight over what is left? I just lower the service priorities on the other default entries by one level to High or lower.
What is your bandwidth from your ISP? Traditional QoS requires disabling HW acceleration, so if your bandwidth is over say 200 Mbps, the router may not be able to deliver it based on CPU constraints.
I cant find anything in the notes that would say what the service priority of an unspecified source/mac/port would be defaulting to that does not use 80 or 443? Would you know?
Traditional QoS has a default priority of 3 for unspecified traffic, which is Low. Controlled by nvram qos_default.

EDIT: it turns out to be lowest, not Low.
 
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eastavin

Senior Member
Before you give up on it, install FlexQoS via amtm and try it again. You don't even have to make any customizations. Try it out-of-the-box and see if it's better. If not, you can uninstall it.

But switch from automatic bandwidth to manual bandwidth first. Auto bandwidth is not predictable.
I finally found the time to install it. Surprisingly it was an easy single step. I see the tab and the reports. I tried some phone calls soon after and as far as I can tell they are ending up in the work-from-home category. So no difference there. I tried a phone call while surfing some pages on one of the SPA112 ATAs and the page fills caused the phone audio to make the familiar zapping sound of messed up audio that I have been getting since Asus took away the VOIP and Instant messaging category. My STEAM player isnt available until later tonight so I have not been able to test that.

As I dont know anything else about this feature should I be expecting it to cause voip calls to be handled differently by the router out of the box? If there is an effect is it limited to a particular port number or protocol? Many thanks.

Ed
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
The default rules will put WiFi calling (ports 500,4500/udp) into Work-From-Home. How do your phone calls look in the Tracked Connections list? What labels and colors? Filter by the Local IP of your ATA and post a screenshot of the list.

The big benefit for your reported scenario is supposed to be keeping the Untracked traffic out of Work-From-Home. If it's still not working well in the absence of the Steam traffic, there's another variable to be "solved for" somewhere.
 

eastavin

Senior Member
Everyone went out for lunch so I had a chance to try this on a quiet network. I took screen shots of 2 ATAs, one called Spa112B (SIP UDP transport) and the other called Cisco phones (TLS with SRTP transport). I used an analog phone on the first ATA to call a DID number on a analog phone on the second ATA. The result is clearly shown as traffic of around of around 174 -175 kbps on work-from-home which is the rate generated by two G.711 codecs (about 83kbps up and 83kbps down for each..).

I also asked that the STEAM application be run on one of the desktop PCs and be left idle. (there are no updates downloading or games running). I see that STEAM setup some ports for Download which got tagged by the QOS. I am attaching a screen shot of this and also a screen shot of the untracked STEAM ports at idle.

I also have some smartphones running ZOIPER a voip app setup to use TLS with SRTP to communicate with a VOIP provider. I will attach a screen shot of one of those making a similar looping call in the next post.
 

Attachments

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
So you have UDP traffic from the phones being classified as Untracked and going into Others, which you have set to the lowest priority.

I would setup an iptables rule in the "Customize" section of the FlexQoS page. Once in the Customize section, click the + in the circle to add a new rule:

1603474981207.png


Add a rule for each ATA IP (you could condense with a CIDR if the IPs were adjacent to each other). Only bother with the fields highlighted (plus a descriptive Rule Name).
1603475048019.png


Repeat for the other IP and then click Apply on the FlexQoS page and try again once it's done reloading everything.

If you want ALL traffic from the individual IPs to be marked as Work-From-Home, leave Protocol set to Both and Mark empty.
 

eastavin

Senior Member
Here is an Android 8.1.1 smartphone running Zoiper to make a VOIP phone call over Wi-Fi to one of the PSTN DID numbers on one of the hardwired ethernet ATAs discussed in the previous note.

Zoiper is configured to register on the service provider with TLS-SRTP on port 42873. (ignore the red question mark). (I could reconfigure it with SIP-UDP if needed).

Hope that provided some input to your project.
 

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eastavin

Senior Member
I tried it Dave. Very clever app :) So it seems with your advice I reclassified the UDP traffic from the defaults that came with FLEXOS for those two IPs to work-from-home. I will run it a while and see how that goes. So if I understand this correctly I could put all the traffic from each of those IPs into any category... even NCP if I wanted it to have more priority than Netflix or Youtube.

Can one create a new category and call it VOIP and then I could elevate it independently of whatever goes in the work-from-home grab bag? The consideration once again..nothing should be able to mess up a 911 voip call that is controlled by this router. Or I suppose it would be simpler to just put VOIP devices in the network control packet category for now and that would do the same thing right? (at that expense of gamers but that is acceptable)
 
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eastavin

Senior Member
I just did some reading on "wi-fi calling" and realized that is not the same as VoIP (be it hardware or software based Voip). I was a bit puzzled at first, at the port numbers i saw in your defaults for wifi calling as that reminds me of something else. Now I understand better. :)
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
So if I understand this correctly I could put all the traffic from each of those IPs into any category... even NCP if I wanted it to have more priority than Netflix or Youtube.
True. Or if you can determine a local or remote port range that encompasses your traffic you can be more specific in the rule criteria.
Can one create a new category and call it VOIP and then I could elevate it independently of whatever goes in the work-from-home grab bag?
No, but if you have an unused category, you can repurpose it for whatever you like. For example, no one in my house does any Gaming, so I've made custom rules to send traffic from my kids' phones into the Gaming category and I can make sure Gaming is lower priority than the more important Work-From-Home traffic. Same for Game Transfers here (which is really the useless Learn-From-Home bucket). But if you're a gamer, you may not have that luxury.

The other possibility is to change the AppDB rule for Untracked to decide if you want traffic labeled Untracked to stay in Others or move it somewhere else.

Many possibilities only limited by how well you can identify and isolate the traffic you want to influence (by IPs, ports, Marks, etc.).
 

eastavin

Senior Member
So you have UDP traffic from the phones being classified as Untracked and going into Others, which you have set to the lowest priority.

I would setup an iptables rule in the "Customize" section of the FlexQoS page. Once in the Customize section, click the + in the circle to add a new rule:

View attachment 27097

Add a rule for each ATA IP (you could condense with a CIDR if the IPs were adjacent to each other). Only bother with the fields highlighted (plus a descriptive Rule Name).
View attachment 27098

Repeat for the other IP and then click Apply on the FlexQoS page and try again once it's done reloading everything.

If you want ALL traffic from the individual IPs to be marked as Work-From-Home, leave Protocol set to Both and Mark empty.
You have probably seen my other replies by now. I have another question about smartphones and voip. In the case of hardware based Voips ATAs its obvious that they are only generating voip traffic and reclassifying that with FlexOS is easy. Thank you.

What is your thought on smartphones and VOIP? They are used for many things so how does one pick out the voip traffic and treat it differently in that case? I was think that the voip carriers give you a URL for registration/service like for example vancouver1.voip.ms. While I could convert that into a Remote IP address its not recommended as there could a change in the underlying IP address due to network adjustments in the event of an emergency. So need another way.. Is there someway to make flexqos say only reclassify all traffic generated by say an android app like ZOIPER? PS. this is a much much lower priority thing.. the hardware ATAs was the big issue and you solved it .
 

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