Best Tips to Fix Network Congestion

9/21/2022

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The majority of individuals regularly connect to the Internet using their personal devices. However, having too many devices on the same network causes congestion.

You don’t need to exert much effort instantly because network congestion is frequently resolved on its own.

Poor network management will probably make the issue more frequent and cause other problems like packet loss or excessive ping.

What is network congestion? 

A number of reasons can cause a condition known as network congestion. It is mostly brought on by having an excessive number of devices on a network that isn’t built to handle so much traffic.

The final truth is that these kinds of jams could result from poor network management. The situation should gradually improve for everyone as some devices log off or stop putting a strain on the network.

Network Congestion’s Effects

Delay:

Delay, often known as latency, is the time it takes for a destination to receive a packet the sender sent. For instance, how long it takes for packets from the webserver to reach the client determines how long it takes for a webpage to load. Another latency indicator is the buffering you encounter while watching a video, such as on YouTube.

Lost Packets:

Packet loss is a worse consequence of network congestion than packets that may take a while to reach their destination (delay). This is particularly concerning for programs like Voice over IP (VoIP), which struggle to handle delay and packet loss and experience lost calls and Call Detail Records, lag, robotic voices, and other issues.

Timeouts:

Timeouts in many apps can also be caused by network congestion. This may lead to lost connections because most connections won’t remain active eternally as they wait for packets to arrive.

Causes of Network Congestion

The web traffic protocol aims to guarantee that data is transferred effectively while covering the shortest possible distance between devices. The shortest path, however, isn’t always the fastest one since congestion can happen when data packets are all on the same route. Several of the most typical reasons for network congestion include:

Excessive Activity

One of the most obvious causes of congestion is an overused network. Data transmission will slow down to handle all the data in your system if too many devices seek the same amount of bandwidth.

Ineffective Setup of the Network

Different networks have different operational efficiency levels. Networks with a moderate level of activity might become crowded in the absence of ideal network architecture. Maintain reasonable subnet sizes and provide each device a role that optimizes traffic flow.

Devices with Excessive Bandwidth Usage

Your network’s throughput may drop if too many active devices exist. Data packets may become backed up on their pathways whenever a lot of traffic is flowing through your network at once. “Bandwidth hogs” are devices that utilize excessive amounts of data or operate too frequently and produce a lot of activity.

Weakened Security

Slow device performance does not always indicate that your network has been attacked. However, it’s critical to understand that a security compromise might result in network congestion. Event and firewall logs might assist you identify the location of a security assault on your network. 

Collisions

Packet collisions, which force all packets to pause and wait for a clean network to retransmit, can be brought on by defective equipment, overloaded devices, or insufficient cabling. As with a highway collision, this causes additional congestion and delays, and frequently calls for traffic guidance.

Network Congestion Troubleshooting

It’s one thing to experience the symptoms of network congestion; it’s quite another to really verify that a network is crowded. We will examine a few procedures in this part that may be used to verify network congestion.

1. Ping

One of the methods to tell if a network is congested is to use Ping to detect packet loss and reveal network latency or the round-trip time (RTT). It is also possible to identify areas of the network where congestion is occurring by using a program like MTR, which combines ping and traceroute.

2. Tests of LAN Performance

A program like iPerf, which measures data like bandwidth, latency, jitter, and packet loss, may be very helpful in identifying performance problems on a network. This might assist in discovering any malfunctioning devices or interfaces as well as network bottlenecks.

How to Lessen/Avoid Network Congestion Problems

Since most firms face high levels of network traffic every day, completely preventing network congestion is challenging, if not impossible. Computer networks can have a wide range of traffic patterns and device use, even within the same network.

Fortunately, there are steps you can do and strategies you may use to reduce the negative productivity consequences that network congestion may have. 

1. Analyze and Keep Track of Network Traffic

Using network management tools to track traffic levels is one of the first stages of resolving network congestion. A third-party monitoring solution that specializes in application performance monitoring, tracing, and custom metrics for hybrid and cloud-tailored applications.

One of the main advantages of traffic monitoring is the ability to construct or re-design a more feasible network that is optimized for your needs. Your network’s efficiency will increase if you divide it into smaller sub-networks, and you’ll have more room to set realistic priorities. This not only results in a stronger network but also makes it possible for more precise monitoring.

Look for times of the day when traffic loads are particularly high to diagnose network congestion. This might happen during busy work hours when many devices are simultaneously connected to the same network and utilizing more bandwidth.

The correct network monitoring tools might assist you find the source of network congestion if you’re unsure. It may, for instance, scan the virtual networks used by your business, keep an eye on bandwidth, cloud servers, and all other wireless networks and gadgets. Using this technique, you may find out which gadgets, servers, and even persons are using a considerable amount of bandwidth.

2. Set Network Traffic Priorities

You may identify unnecessary traffic and prioritize network traffic in ways that reserve bandwidth for specific users, devices, or platforms to make sure that crucial online tasks operate without a hitch. Other types of traffic can then be given the remaining bandwidth.

Internal traffic is frequently reclassified to reserve specific bandwidth quantities for various uses when network traffic is prioritized.

A typical business network handles a wide variety of traffic types. Network operations need broadcast traffic, whereas real-time media streams require multicast traffic, and data transmission, audio, and video services depend on unicast traffic.

Any of these forms of traffic might be considered business-critical, but network management needs to identify and prioritize that traffic.

Additionally, you may order network traffic by scheduling any tasks that use a lot of bandwidth for times when consumers are probably not going to be utilizing it. This helps keep network bandwidth high throughout the day and prevent network outages.

3. Improve/increase Bandwidth

Increasing the bandwidth available will enable the network to support more data and devices at once, frequently reducing network congestion. Users will normally experience quicker connection speeds and fewer disruptions if you take efforts to improve your network’s bandwidth. 

A “broader” bandwidth may support more data flow without slowing down, similar to how a wider roadway can support more vehicles.

Consider these solutions to increase bandwidth for your business:

  • Update routers with the most recent configurations;
  • change the router’s position;
  • Broadband accelerators can be used to increase signal speeds;
  • Invest in routers with more bandwidth channels;
  • To improve reception, use wireless repeaters;
  • Utilize VPNs to enhance traffic flow.
  • You may increase bandwidth with bandwidth monitoring, which enables greater simultaneous data consumption.

4. Check Your Equipment

Each device’s kind, quantity, and bandwidth utilization can impact how data is processed throughout the whole network. While scanning each device is time-consuming, it can help you lessen, if not completely avoid, network congestion.

Additionally, too many or overused gadgets can clog up a network. Utilizing a device to the fullest extent frequently leads to overuse. Due to the surplus of data requests they might generate, excessive device usage can also result in network congestion. Due to the plenty of data requests they might generate, excessive device usage can also result in network congestion.

Automated Solutions for Network Congestion

Network congestion is one of the most crucial problems that an IT administrator would handle. These services are your best option if you want to control network congestion for both large and small networks.

1. SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack 

The most effective systems provide analytics for all the relevant areas of your network, and there are many reasons why your network may be congested. The SolarWinds bandwidth analyzer bundle is one of the complete solutions available for locating, evaluating, and resolving network congestion problems. With BAP, you can acquire a sophisticated knowledge of network performance, including wireless monitoring and multi-vendor monitoring. BAP integrates SolarWinds network products Network Performance Monitor and NetFlow Traffic Analyzer.

With interactive graphs and displays, SolarWinds BAP provides the user-friendly interface we’ve come to expect from the SolarWinds brand. BAP begins by monitoring network traffic, which includes SNMP, NetStream, J-Flow, and other data kinds. You may spot bandwidth bottlenecks in real time and receive warnings based on specific criteria by keeping an eye on data pathways. To uncover trends for troubleshooting, BAP uses PerfStack analytics, a tool exclusive to SolarWinds that enables you to correlate traffic data to pinpoint the primary source of congestion.

2. SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer 

The Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack’s SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA), which focuses on bandwidth utilization, can swiftly gather bandwidth data from your network devices and transform that data into clear visualizations. To ensure your devices are operating at peak efficiency, you may produce traffic logs, do QoS testing, and receive warnings when bandwidth is low.

Like the bandwidth analyzer pack, SolarWinds NTA provides network traffic monitoring with PerfStack-enabled trend analytics. NTA is a fantastic tool for monitoring network traffic and spotting low bandwidth use before it impacts end-user performance.

3.  Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

A reputable collection of tools for network monitoring is offered by the PRTG Network Monitor, which includes real-time measurements to spot congestion quickly. The PRTG Network Monitor’s capacity to refresh network maps with real-time bandwidth data may be its most distinctive feature. Once you’ve used the software’s map-making tool to generate a PRTG map of your network, you can use the map to monitor devices continually in an easy-to-understand manner. All of the main operating systems are compatible with PRTG Network Monitor.

 4. Auvik Network Management

Auvik network traffic monitoring enables you to monitor your traffic on the same platform as your asset management system. In order to obtain real-time traffic reports from discoverable devices, you can link devices using auto-discovery as soon as they are operational. Compared to competing services, Auvik’s troubleshooting requires more human labor; your team will still need to find correlations using its event log analysis.

5. ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer

Network traffic monitoring is made easier with NetFlow Analyzer, and network congestion problems may be successfully resolved using ManageEngine tools. With NetFlow Analyzer, you may shape traffic for certain applications alone, which enables you to reroute traffic from crowded regions and stop the delivery of suspicious packets. NetFlow Analyzer assists you in producing user-friendly performance reports for efficient troubleshooting and traffic monitoring.

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What does a congested network describe?

Even though there are not many devices connected to the network, some place an undue demand on it or engage in bandwidth-intensive activities like torrenting.

You might think of this network problem as a bad transmission between your networked devices.

What does it indicate when a network is very congested?

You’ll have a severely congested network if this method negatively impacts your network due to too many devices being connected at once.

This indicates that your bandwidth has been used up and that network congestion will result from the routing devices on your network (cables, switches, and routers).

Conclusion

Network congestion can also have a negative impact on your finances. A slow connection can result in expensive downtime, dissatisfied clients, and data loss. Since network efficiency is so important to a company, reducing network congestion is one of the most important IT management tasks. 

The most effective traffic management solutions utilize a multi-pronged strategy to identify slow moving traffic and deliver user-friendly metrics. Although there isn’t a single solution to completely resolve network congestion, your IT staff has a variety of choices to reduce congestion and keep your network operating efficiently. I advise beginning with the SolarWinds bandwidth analyzer pack’s 30-day free trial.