(also bandwidth shaping)
Traffic shaping definition
Traffic shaping is a network traffic management technique used to control and prioritize traffic, optimize network performance and ensure efficient bandwidth use. Traffic shaping involves monitoring network traffic, regulating flow, and prioritizing certain traffic types. Traffic shaping is used to prevent congestion and improve the overall quality of service to users.
See also: network traffic analysis
How traffic shaping works
- The network administrator identifies the most important traffic types (e.g., email, web browsing, video streaming, etc.)
- The administrator sets limits or priorities for each traffic type. For example, they may limit the bandwidth allocated to downloading files or prioritizing email traffic over video.
- The traffic shaping software monitors the network traffic and identifies the traffic type being transmitted.
- The traffic is handled based on the preset traffic shaping policies (e.g., delayed if it is less important or prioritized if it is very important).
Benefits of traffic shaping
- Improved user experience. Traffic shaping ensures users have a consistent and reliable experience when accessing network resources.
- Better network performance. Traffic shaping helps prioritize critical traffic and can prevent congestion and delays on the network.
- Efficient bandwidth use. By controlling traffic flow, traffic shaping can help prevent bandwidth waste, allowing the network to operate more efficiently.
- Improved security. Traffic shaping blocks or limits the bandwidth of specific types of traffic, which can improve network security and help prevent security threats.