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QOS Markings for Cisco

Shabbir Tapal

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This can be confusing but actually the flags have to be honored not just by your local network but by your ISP. Usually they're no, so this is not a useful setting.


A good explanation if you want one:



Expedited forwarding is typically value 46. So if you want to tag packets, use 46 as the value. But again, if it's not honored by anything on your network AND your ITSP/ISP, it's pretty useless.

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21 hours ago, Shabbir Tapal said:

Hey Darren,

Thanks for your response, yes you are right as we are using Comcast business as the provider, however is there a recommended Auto setting that would help prioritize Voice over Data?

Hi Shabbir,

In my experience it's really more about managing your bandwidth locally than relying on the ISP to handle it for you via QOS tagging. Basically what you do is self-restrict your bandwidth and then shape it. So, if you have a 25/5 connection and you tell the router to only ever use 24/4, you can control what comes into/out of the router first. QOS tagging is nice if your ISP supports it. So far, the only carrier that I've seen support it well is CenturyLink though. I've seen really great results using bandwidth management via PfSense, MikroTik and SonicWall systems. (Careful with sonicwall though, the old stuff HATES on SIP) I've had my IT partners implement Meraki and straight Cisco routers with great success as well. Though I've never personally set them up.


PfSense is probably the easiest IMO. They sell their own routers now and there's a step by step wizard to configuring them. Their entry price point prevents me from deploying them. I think their least expensive is over $500 last I checked and that's just too much for me to standardize on.

MikroTik is AMAZING. But... TBH they are a bit like drinking out of a firehose. A firehose with poor docs. Master them and the world of networking is your oyster though. They are no BS ISP grade hardware. And they have SoHo routers starting under $100 and nothing over $350 (except Cloud core and those are overkill for anything less than ISP/datacenter work). I have a script on here to help you get going, but it needs updates. Let me know if you are interested and I'll polish it up for you. Many of my IT partners can do just it all themselves now, so I haven't had the impetus to update it.

SonicWalls do this as well. But you should be aware that some of the older sonicwalls do terrible terrible things to SIP. New stuff seems pretty good, though I would recommend disabling SIP ALG on them.

Meraki are great and pretty easy to configure form what I've seen. But you pay for it on a subscription model. From what I understand if you stop paying the subscription, the router bricks. Youch... Not my style, but people have great success with them.

Cisco, well, there's a saying "Nobody gets fired for going with Cisco". And yea, they are the 10,000 pound gorilla, have crazy good name recognition and are rock solid. But, you will pay for that badge and for the consultant to configure it for you...

Edited by Rick Guyton (see edit history)
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