How to limit Internet bandwidth on your PC
Having trouble with people in your home hogging all the bandwidth? Or, maybe you want to limit how much your own PC consumes. Luckily, there’s a couple ways to limit the amount of bandwidth your PC or laptop takes on your network. Follow along below to learn how.
The most surefire way to limit how much bandwidth your PC takes is through your router. You can do this through your router’s Quality of Service (QoS) technology. Just to give a quick rundown, Quality of Service is used as a technology to control traffic priority on a network, or in most cases, your home network. In layman’s terms, QoS will take a look at what’s hogging up the router and then decide from there which traffic coming through is more important.
It does this through setting up priorities. What you do is identify types of traffic coming in and set up priorities for that traffic — High, medium, and low. On some router software, you can actually setup QoS to identify traffic based on a computer’s IP or MAC address. This is usually an easier method.
So, what you’d do is log into your router’s dashboard or software. From there, you find a section there along the lines of “QoS Setup” or something similar. This is where you can setup your priorities. Using your own computer’s IP or MAC address, you can setup your traffic priority as “High.” To limit other machines, you would take their IPs or MAC addresses and set the to “medium” or “low.”
Depending on what type of software your router has, you might have a lot more QoS options than most. Some routers will let you setup upload and download speeds with QoS based on a number of different factors. Some routers will even have Intelligent QoS, which automatically or “intelligently” sets up what type of traffic gets priority. For example, it might decide that video and music streaming will get a higher priority than, say, file downloads. But, it’s often better to go ahead and setup QoS manually if you’re having trouble with machines in your home taking up too much bandwidth.
Like we said, using your router to limit bandwidth is the most surefire way to limit bandwidth; however, you can also limit bandwidth through using local utilities and software. One of those utilities is NetBalancer, a free piece of software for limiting the priority/traffic of specific processes. Here’s a quick overview of what it can do:
- Set for any process a download and/or upload network priority or limit
- Manage priorities and limits for each network adapter separately
- Define detailed network traffic rules
- Group local network computers and balance their traffic synchronized
- Set global traffic limits
- Show network traffic in system tray
NetBalancer is given full control over processes and applications on your computer. With that, you’re able to specifically limit what processes take up a certain amount of traffic, download/upload speed or priority. It works similar to how QoS might work — a process or application you give high priority to will have to finish before another application can access your full Internet connection.
It’s a really useful tool, but might not necessarily be the best utility if you’re trying to limit the traffic of other people hogging up too much bandwidth in your home. For that, you’ll definitely want to try and limit bandwidth through the router method.
And that’s how you can limit bandwidth not only for your own PC, but for multiple machines on your network. Do you limit Internet traffic on your network? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!