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OPTION: Possibly speed up your wireless Windows XP connection
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 01.06.06 - 16:54:51 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 22823x
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Well, that's an interesting finding I haven't heard about before. But the folks at RealTechNews wrote, that Microsoft reserves 20% of your available bandwidth for its own purposes (suspect for updates and interrogating your machine etc).
Well, this shouldn't be a problem at all as long as you are connected to a broadband connection like DSL, etc. but 20 % is a lot if you are connected wireless via UMTS or HSDPA. Anyway, it wouldn't be Windows XP if there wouldn't be a hack at all, as Lockergnome explains:

  • Click Start / Run
  • Type: gpedit.msc
    This opens the group policy editor.
  • Then go to:
    Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Network / QOS Packet Scheduler / Limit Reservable Bandwidth
  • Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth. It will say it is not configured, but the truth is under the 'Explain' tab:
  • "By default, the Packet Scheduler limits the system to 20 percent of the bandwidth of a connection, but you can use this setting to override the default."
  • So the trick is to ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO. This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%

Well done, I hope I will get more out of my UMTS connection now (with which I'm writing this article because I'm abroad).

UPDATE: Please see the comments for further information!

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by m@x on 02.06.06 - 08:46:31

This Article describes that it is not necessary to change the settings, because  the QoS-Service does not use the reserved 20% steadily and you get NOT a faster network access changing the reservable bandwidth settings: (Sorry, the linked article is in german)


Posted by Arne Hess on 02.06.06 - 11:40:59

LOL... big_smile I should better stay with Windows Mobile instead of getting my nose into the big OS! wink
Olivier was so kind enough to send in some more better information:

While this information is right, I think the article is a bit misleading: what the Windows QoS scheduler actually does is reserve *potential* bandwidth, and if no QoS-enabled programs ask the OS to reserve some bandwidth, these 20% are still available to other programs!

This feature is used by QoS-enabled applications to make sure a minimum amount of bandwidth is available, to allow them to provide a constant quality of experience. For example an IP softphone, a videoconferencing application or an online game could reserve, say, 100 Kbps, and the OS would regulate the sending of packets to make sure that application is provided a constant 100 Kbps, even if for example a p2p downloader is eating all the bandwidth.

My advice would be not to set this setting to zero, as this could perturb legitimate QoS-enabled applications that would make good use of this feature.
I admit I don't encounter applications that make use of that nice Windows feature very often, but it's safer not to touch it, as it doesn't do anything bad like "stealing" 20% of your bandwidth.

Thanks a lot for this explanation Olivier but I still have the feeling - especially with all these Windows Updates, I don't want to download/install while I'm mobile - that XP takes me some bandwidth. Hmmm... Who knows? Anyway - I will change the header from "Tip" to "Option".

Again guys, thanks for all your feedback (got a couple more E-Mails as well)! Your feedback is important for the::unwired since I'm just a user like you - who sometimes fail as well.

Posted by Heinz Burkart on 02.06.06 - 11:42:41


First of all, thanks for your remarks.

You are right and not right. QoS ist designed to reserve an application a part of your TCP connection (only TCP). The QoS can slow down the internet connection for other programs if a program uses QoS and transfers data from or to the internet.

Here is a part of the original Microsoft article related to Qos:

-- snipp --
Clarification about the use of QoS in end computers that are running Windows XP
As in Windows 2000, programs can take advantage of QoS through the QoS APIs in Windows XP. One hundred percent of the network bandwidth is available to be shared by all programs unless a program specifically requests priority bandwidth. This "reserved" bandwidth is still available to other programs unless the requesting program is sending data. By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20 percent of the underlying link speed on each interface on an end computer. If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending sufficient data to use it, the unused part of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host.

For more information about the QoS Packet Scheduler, see Windows XP Help. Additional information about Windows 2000 QoS is available in the Windows 2000 technical library.
-- snipp --

Another part of this article descripes the problem postet in the link to

-- snipp --
Correction of some incorrect claims about Windows XP QoS support
There have been claims in various published technical articles and newsgroup postings that Windows XP always reserves 20 percent of the available bandwidth for QoS. These claims are incorrect. The information in the "Clarification about QoS in end computers that are Running Windows XP" section correctly describes the behavior of Windows XP systems.
-- snipp --

The problem here is, that in this article it is not descriped if some Windows Services (e.g. automatic update) uses QoS.

So the easiest way is to go back to experience. What I found out is, that if you disable QoS in your network connection in LAN networks (<= 10 Mbit/s) the network connection run "smother". That means faster. With QoS enabled I've got some times strange delays. I never debuged the reason so this is only my expirience with more than 100 PCs.

If you have any further expiriences with QoS let us know. I personally think this is an interesting subject.

Article Link:

Greetings Heinz

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