Yesterday, I saw this post on Engadget about Hawking Technologies' HBB1 Broadband Booster. This is a device that is supposed to sit in-between your cable/dsl modem and your router. It is supposed to make sure that high priority traffic gets prioritized over low priority traffic.
I have a few of problems with this device:
- There is only one lan port on it. This means that it will not be able to prioritize traffic within your local network.
- This device is connected to the "Internet". This means that it probably does some NAT translation for all incoming traffic. This also means that this could block some incoming connections. This could be a problem if you run any servers.
- You are not able to configure the QoS on this device. Without this, you are not able to say that your VoIP adapter has a higher priority than your [email protected], for example. Also, I would think that since it has a table of different protocols that it has to go through for every packet, this could slow things down. If you were able to specify a select few protocols that you were interested in, less processing would need to be done.
Maybe for the average user this will work for them, but I like the flexibility with a router that has QoS built-in. I use a Linksys WRT54GS that has built-in QoS. But in addition to that I am running the sveasoft firmware that gives additional options for QoS. I am able to prioritize ethernet ports on the router, connections on network ports, ip address of devices in the local network, MAC address in the local network, and by L7 filters that look at each connection.