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I want to buy a new router to manage the bandwidth. I want to know the terminology used to describe a router that can evenly divide the incoming and outgoing bandwidth among the number of online devices.

For example, if the up and down bandwidth are 2Mbps and 1Mbps, respectively, and there are 2 devices are connected to the router, then each device gets 1Mbps and .5Mbps for up and down bandwidth, respectively. And if there are 4 devices connected to the router (online), each of them gets .5Mbps and .25Mbps for up and down bandwidth. The "device connected to the router" or "online devices" means the device actively communicates with the router, the device is not in idle mode, sleep mode, hibernate mode or shutdown.

The terminology is very useful to be used as the key to search. What is this feature "a router divides the available bandwidth evenly among the online devices" named?

Bonus question: Do you have any recommended routers for me with such a feature?

  • The bonus question is definitely and explicitly off-topic. AFAIK, the phrase you're looking for is 'bandwidth allocation'; perhaps this site can jumpstart your research: dd-wrt.com/site/index (I don't know much about networking—just a bit about TeX ;-) – Sean Allred Jan 19 '14 at 5:35
  • The feature you are talking about is QoS. You have to configure it yourself of course. – Ramhound Jan 19 '14 at 6:20
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What you are asking for is called load balancing: see this Wikipedia article:

Load balancing is a computer networking method for distributing workloads across multiple computing resources, such as computers, a computer cluster, network links, central processing units or disk drives. Load balancing aims to optimize resource use, maximize throughput, minimize response time, and avoid overload of any one of the resources.

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This is offered by network traffic control (or at least, that's what OpenWRT calls it). I agree with @Ramhound that it may also be called QoS.

Any router capable of running OpenWRT can be configured for traffic control, though the interface to configure it isn't necessarily very user friendly (see http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/packet.scheduler/packet.scheduler and http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/packet.scheduler/packet.scheduler.example2 for an example of what you're asking). Some router vendors may have that feature built-in with a more user friendly interface.

  • OP says: I want to know the terminology used to describe a router that can evenly divide the incoming and outgoing bandwidth among the number of online devices. He says devices, not applications, which is what QoS does. – MariusMatutiae Jan 19 '14 at 11:51

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