Propel PBM improves QoS for VoIP, Skype, Online Gaming and more

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Randy Savicky
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Propel PBM improves QoS for VoIP, Skype, Online Gaming and more

Propel PBMPropel Software Corporation today debuted Propel PBM, a "personal QoS software" at DEMOfall 07. The Propel PBM (Personal Bandwidth Manager) application provides personal bandwidth management on your PC by automatically optimizing and prioritizing network access for time-sensitive applications. By prioritizing the packets on your PC you can easily improved the performance of VoIP (including Skype), video calls, online games, and streaming media.

Propel PBM Personal Bandwidth Manager
image courtesy of OReilly.

Who hasn't tried to use BitTorrent or some other bandwidth hungry application while on a Vonage or Skype call? When I used to have Vonage, I'd have to quickly shutdown my BitTorrent or eMule client whenever I heard my wife say "Are you hogging the Internet again? The voice is choppy again!" Even FTPing files from home to work would have to be canceled. You would think by now Microsoft would let you set bandwidth priority by application or process. After all, from Windows Task Manager you CAN set the CPU priority for individual processes, so why not bandwidth priority?

Well, Propel PBM allows you to prioritize bandwidth BY APPLICATION. It's a simple software install that anyone can do. No messing with setting TOS QoS bits on a router - assuming your router supports TOS. Not to mention Skype packets are nearly impossible to set TOS bits on. Propel PBM also shows detailed information about how your network connection is used. A traffic monitor displays in real-time the cumulative bandwidth consumed (inbound and outbound) and the current transfer rate for inbound/outbound traffic. More importantly, it shows the applications currently using your network connection, the proportion of bandwidth utilized by each application, and the effects of prioritization on your applications.

At DEMOfall 07, they demonstrated (see video) Propel PBM maintaining high call quality during a Skype call, while the simulated high-bandwidth application continued in the background.  They showed the quality with Propel PBM off (bad quality) and then with Propel PBM on (good quality).

"We've developed an easy-to-use, powerful application for helping individual PC users get the most from their network connection," said David Murray, president and CEO of Propel Software. "By using Propel PBM, PC users for the first time can be assured their high-priority, time-sensitive applications will run simultaneously with low-priority applications and maintain optimal performance in any given network condition."

"Propel PBM is breakthrough software for individual PC users who demand high quality when using bandwidth-sensitive applications like VoIP or online gaming," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of DEMOfall 07. "As more and more applications compete for use of an individual PC's network connection, Propel PBM will become must-have software for PC users."

Propel PBM for Windows will be available Fall 2007. It's currently an invitation-only beta program, but you can sign-up here to get in queue for this very cool application.


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