Difference Wiki

DiffServ vs. IntServ: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 19, 2024
Diffserv (Differentiated Services) prioritizes data packets based on type, whereas Intserv (Integrated Services) reserves bandwidth per flow for guaranteed QoS.

Key Differences

Diffserv classifies and manages network traffic through prioritization, while Intserv provides Quality of Service (QoS) by reserving bandwidth for each data flow.
Diffserv is scalable, applying policies at the network edge without maintaining state by flow, whereas Intserv is resource-intensive, requiring reservation setup and state maintenance per flow.
Diffserv is well-suited for large, complex networks due to its simplicity and scalability, while Intserv is better for smaller networks or specific applications needing guaranteed bandwidth.
Diffserv’s simplicity lies in treating packet types rather than individual flows, making it less complex than Intserv, which deals with each data flow separately.
Diffserv efficiently manages network traffic without guaranteeing QoS for each flow, while Intserv provides guaranteed service levels but at the cost of higher complexity and lower scalability.

Comparison Chart

Traffic Management

Prioritizes packets based on type
Reserves bandwidth per flow


High, suitable for large networks
Low, better for small networks


Lower, manages types of traffic
Higher, manages individual flows

Resource Intensiveness

Less resource-intensive
More resource-intensive

Quality of Service (QoS)

No guaranteed QoS for individual flows
Guaranteed QoS for reserved flows

DiffServ and IntServ Definitions


Diffserv enhances network performance by prioritizing certain types of traffic.
During peak hours, Diffserv prioritizes VoIP calls over file downloads.


Intserv ensures dedicated bandwidth and service quality for critical applications.
Intserv is used in financial trading systems to guarantee real-time data transmission.


Diffserv is a network traffic management protocol that prioritizes data packets.
In Diffserv, video streaming packets might be prioritized over email traffic.


Intserv is a network protocol that provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) by reserving bandwidth.
Intserv reserves a specific bandwidth portion for video conferencing to ensure smooth streaming.


Diffserv is a protocol for differentiated network service quality.
Diffserv marks high-priority traffic for preferential treatment in transit.


Intserv suits environments requiring predictable network performance for specific applications.
Intserv is ideal for telemedicine applications requiring stable and guaranteed network performance.


Diffserv operates by classifying and managing data packets for efficient network usage.
A network using Diffserv ensures critical applications receive higher bandwidth.


Intserv manages network traffic by maintaining state information for each flow.
In Intserv, each video stream has its bandwidth reservation for consistent quality.


Diffserv applies policies at network edges, simplifying traffic management.
Diffserv is used in corporate networks to prioritize business-critical applications.


Intserv is resource-intensive, requiring individual setup for each flow.
Setting up Intserv in a network involves configuring bandwidth reservations for each service.


Can Intserv guarantee bandwidth for each application?

Yes, it reserves bandwidth for individual data flows.

Is Diffserv suitable for large networks?

Yes, due to its scalability and lower complexity.

Does Diffserv guarantee QoS?

No, it manages traffic without ensuring QoS for each flow.

What is Diffserv?

It's a network protocol for prioritizing data packets based on type.

Is Intserv scalable?

It's less scalable compared to Diffserv.

What is a key challenge with Intserv?

Its resource intensiveness and complexity.

How does Diffserv manage network traffic?

By classifying and prioritizing different types of data packets.

What is the main advantage of Intserv?

Guaranteed Quality of Service for each reserved flow.

How does Intserv differ from Diffserv?

Intserv reserves bandwidth per flow for guaranteed QoS, unlike Diffserv's prioritization method.

What type of networks benefit most from Diffserv?

Large, complex networks where scalability is key.

Can Intserv be used in small networks?

Yes, it's more suited for smaller networks or specific applications.

In what scenario is Diffserv preferred over Intserv?

In scenarios where simplicity and scalability are more important than guaranteed QoS.

Is Diffserv cost-effective for large organizations?

Yes, due to its lower complexity and scalability.

Is Intserv complex to implement?

Yes, due to its requirement for flow-specific setup and maintenance.

Does Diffserv prioritize VoIP over regular data?

It can be configured to do so, depending on the network’s needs.

Does Diffserv simplify traffic management?

Yes, by handling traffic types rather than individual flows.

What makes Intserv less suitable for large networks?

Its high resource requirements and lower scalability.

Does Diffserv require state maintenance per flow?

No, it applies policies generally, not per flow.

How does Intserv handle different data types?

It reserves bandwidth for each type of data flow, treating them individually.

Can Intserv be used for real-time applications?

Yes, especially where consistent network performance is critical.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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