Home Office and Gamer coexisting under COVID

Hi All - hope you're all ok under lockdown where ever you are.

I want to use OpenWRT instance to split my network so that Office machines have 70% bandwidth and the Gamer machines has 30% of the bandwidth

I have a vague idea of creating two interfaces (Gamer+Office) and use the firewall to attach the different MAC addresses!?
Then have an SQM instance on each interface to control the bandwidths.

Can this be achieved somehow? TIA

Are they wireless clients or wired? If they are wireless then you will create two different APs. If they are wired connected directly to OpenWrt router or via a managed switch then you can use VLANs to do the separation.

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They're both a mix of wired and wifi... VLANs - I'll go check them out...
thanks mhegab

Before you go all 70/30 fixed, can you give us a hint as to the usage, and what current disruptions you're having? I'm imagining something like zoom meetings or VOIP phone calls are getting disrupted when the gamer goes to download a new game? Or perhaps large business files don't transfer well if there's a game update happening, or some such thing.

Actually gaming traffic RARELY uses more than around 1Mbps. There are some technologies where people stream their screens to each other that might use 2-5 Mbps, which could be too much for many people's upload direction.

Also, as a baseline, can you run a https://dslreports.com/speedtest and post a link to the results page?

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Thanks dlakelan,

You caught me out - what I really really want is to throttle my son's bandwidth on his machines while not affecting anything else. And phrase it in a way so I don't appear like a bit of a meanie :wink:

So it's more "parental controls" in a slightly different guise...

My broadband is a solid 30mb/s : http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest/62260954

So you can imagine there are no contention issues...

I am not into games, but the answer does depend on the game. If the game involves downloading content you don't have (for example, in something like Second Life you doblas content created by other people), then you would need more bandwidth than other games where most of what you receive is other people's moves.


well, given how sensitive VOIP and vidconf are I would actually expect some contesting, especially in the UPLOAD direction, where 8Mbps is sufficient on its own, but could rather easily be filled by someone uploading some pictures they took or sharing a video to their friend or whatever. A 20MB video would take 20s to send, and during that time your VOIP call could go totally silent, or super garbled. people would likely hang up if you just went silent.

So, here's the question, WHY do you want to limit your son's bandwidth? Given that gaming doesn't really require much bandwidth most of the time (except as @Hegabo says during certain operations) you could probably throttle your son down to ~ 1Mbps and he could still game. So limiting his bandwidth seems UNLIKELY to do much. So perhaps there's a better strategy and if we know what you want your policy to be we can help you design it.

so if this is a "I don't want him gaming at certain times" you're probably better off shutting down the internet entirely during those times, in which case you probably want a second LAN segment, on a VLAN.

As a parent myself, I've found that everyone is happier when there's a consistent policy, my kids don't complain when YouTube just shuts off, they know they have a certain quota, and once they hit it... they're done... Whereas if it's up to me then there's endless "but dad, it's a special day, and we just want x more minutes and blablabla". Everyone is way less happy if it's not automatic. So I support your effort to create a fair and consistent policy, just want to get you to the point where that policy is actually helpful to your goal.


Set up a SQM on the WAN based on the WAN speed. That's always important for best performance overall.

Then set up another network using the "guest network" guide for the gamer, and a lower SQM on that network before it even gets to the WAN. The office would be limited only by the main SQM, which is driven by the WAN speed itself.

This is done by networks / VLANs not by MAC addresses.


Thanks dlakelan,

We have a cutoff at night for kids - but have found that for adhoc situations it works better to degrade the bandwidth - so that things work less well and reduces the attractiveness without a clear cutoff. So they may moan about lag or blockiness in youtube or games - and eventually give up and go do something else. Or do something that uses less bandwidth - like homework... or reading... music... or something...

Thanks for your thoughts dlaken

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Done my reading on VLANs - and they don't appear to be a virtual as I was hoping. It looks like it's about separating out ports on a hub. We only use one internal port - which goes into a tplink powerline network... the other is connected to our router...
Our network is completely mixed and open usage, that was why I was hoping to allow both Gamer and Office LANs to co-exist on the same wiring/wifi.
Then get them separated out somehow by a list of MAC addresses - perhaps using DHCP fixed IP addresses and two DHCP instances. Or even using the firewall...

Got it, so it's not just about gaming per-se, but youtube, surfing, and general internet usage..

Then I think your strategy is a decent one. VLANs are about carrying different network traffic over the same wire. so yes they are what you need. Separating the function of different ports on the router is just one aspect of how they work.

can you provide a simple ascii diagram of the major components of your network? or draw a picture on a napkin and upload a snapshot?

Here's the general problem that people have with controlling things via queue management on OpenWrt boxes with combined ethernet and wifi: you need a single entrance and exit point, but there are instead two, the wired, and the wifi.

All-in-one routers are in my opinion an outdated and compromised solution for network control. The best method is to have each VLAN connected to the router by ethernet... and then put the WiFi on a separate access point, placed in a good location for radio signals.

Also, to use VLANs you will need a VLAN capable switch. Cheap consumer ones like the tp-link sg108e are very useful. You can have some ports on this switch be for the "office" vlan, and some for the "kids" vlan, and this separates wired devices.

Hi - here it is - that was fun :slight_smile:

Router - router all-in-one with everything turned off
TPLink Archer C60v2 with OpenWrt --- Wifi 2.4/5 --- DHCP/DNS/NTP
----Powerline -----------
|           |       |
|        GamerPC  RaspberryPi HomeAssistant
Buffalo WHR54 (tomato) used as AP/switch in office (mostly disabled)
Office PC

I think I understand, but if you put that text within a preformatted block it will be easier to read, use three backticks like this ` in a row to start the block, and another 3 to end it.

Meantime I'll try to figure out what you should do... I think you're in good shape here.

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The GamerPC and the RPi home assistant are they both connected to a switch? or are they each on their own powerline device?

Each on own powerlines.

Ok. Do you have a budget for some new devices? Do you have any older devices lying around?

In particular to use VLANs you'll need smart switches, or an older all-in-one router that can be purposed as a smart-switch / AP

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A BT homehub5 - I could repurpose the Buffalo (tomato) router WHR G54S?

No real budget for new devices... :frowning: I'm banned from buying tech - but occasionally sneak something through.

If your connection is slow enough (I did not see you mention the speed) and the router is powerful enough, just setup SQM on the WAN interface and be done with it. Worked for me.
VLANs and segmentation are for something else.

Can you share the connection speed?

Why do you think the OP needs VLAN's? They are for network segmentation. SQM and throttling of a single device should be achievable without a major network re-design.

Thanks fantom-x

I've had SQM for a while, and it does a good job. The project here is to throttle bandwidth for a set of devices... SQM will probably come into the equation... :slight_smile: