For a few years I have heard rumblings of a problem called buffer bloat. If you live a in household where lots of people are on video chat, you may have encountered it. After years of folks complaining about this issue online, Comcast funded research and implemented Active Queue Management in its routers to fix this problem.
Why It Matters
Many folks think the biggest problem they face with their connection is from their ISP. However, your router makes a big difference. Since a large number of Comcast customers rent their routers, they will benefit from this as Comcast updates them without even knowing.
Not Many Consumer Routers Tackle Buffer Bloat
According to bufferbloat.net Eero, Comcast, and Ubiquiti are the only ones that have fixes for this. If you have an older router and you have multiple people using video chat all day, it’s worth looking into one of these. Or as a Comcast customer, just rent your modem. It makes it easier for them to troubleshoot your connection issues as well.
Comcast is a big player in Internet connectivity with many smart and well meaning employees. However as a corporation they have been reluctant to invest in fiber to the home, which is currently the gold standard for low latency high bandwidth connections. Research like this lets them try and compete on product without having to lay the fiber they would need to provide next generation connections.
- DSLReports on Buffer Bloat
- Buffer Bloat and Speed Test Results
- Hackaday on Buffer Bloat, The Internet, and How to Fix It
Meta Blog Note
I discovered the search box from Algolia was broken when you try clicking blog post links. This issue is fixed as of last night. You can now type a search term like “Ruby” and see my posts containing that word, and then click into them. Easier than finding my tweets!