what router will let me prioritize VNC traffic?
August 5, 2018 7:36 PM   Subscribe

What device/software will keep my VNC running smoothly when other computers & devices are active in my house?

I have a Motorola SB6141 cable modem, Netgear R6700 (AC1750) WiFi router and Comcast Performance Pro 150 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up. After unusable VNC from my home iMac to work iMac over VPN using wifi, I moved the equipment back from the living room to office so I could try ethernet. The first thing I tried was enet directly iMac to cable modem & I got average ping of 12.7 milliseconds & it was glorious and stayed that way. Then enet to the router and I got 13.2 msec for a while, but sometimes these periods of 1/2 second ping times:
64 bytes from [redacted]: icmp_seq=0 ttl=54 time=494.979 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=1 ttl=54 time=506.463 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=2 ttl=54 time=238.739 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=3 ttl=54 time=449.073 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=4 ttl=54 time=189.936 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=5 ttl=54 time=13.211 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=6 ttl=54 time=506.954 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=7 ttl=54 time=171.350 ms
64 bytes from: icmp_seq=8 ttl=54 time=435.093 ms
The iMac has sync services to Dropbox, iCloud Drive and Google Drive and BackBlaze backup. I also had my work MacBook Pro for email (and it also runs some of those sync services), an AppleTV, an iPad and an iPhone.

While I could go around and shut off devices and services or just plug in directly to the cable modem when I need VNC, I'd like to make it zero or 1 switches. Maybe kick the router into bridge mode between the iMac's ethernet port and the cable modem's? Maybe that QoS thing I've heard about could help?

I'm willing to spend $ and brain power, but I'd rather not have to get deeply into DD-WRT settings. I prefer to pay a bit more for a router that comes with a well-functioning build of DD-WRT already installed or at least available.

I would also upgrade to "Blast! Pro" service which raises the upstream bandwidth to 10Mbps if I think it would help. I've heard of buffer bloat, but I'm not clear on what it is. Sounds like that great downstream bandwidth can mean the upstream can get so busy with TCP acknowledge traffic that keyboard & mouse activity get delayed, but I'm a video, not network, engineer.
posted by ASCII Costanza head to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I'd start with the QoS settings for sure. This looks like a manual for your router, page 42 talks about QoS.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:49 PM on August 5, 2018

Yeah, you might see some benefit just by enabling the QoS and limiting the bandwidth through the router to slightly less than what your link can handle (say, 90-95%). The manual Wild_Eep linked shows how to do that. Some background / explanation.
posted by whatnotever at 9:40 PM on August 5, 2018

VNC is pretty horrible as remote desktop protocols go; very bandwidth-hungry and very unforgiving of occasional lags. I've found NoMachine's NX protocol works much, much, much better, especially over WAN links.
posted by flabdablet at 3:49 AM on August 6, 2018

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