How to limit Internet bandwidth on your PC
Are you having trouble with people in your home hogging all the bandwidth? Or, maybe you want to limit how much your PC consumes. Luckily, there are a couple of ways to limit the amount of bandwidth your PC or laptop takes on your network. Follow along below to learn how.
From Your Router
Fortunately, most routers offer a lot of different options for changing your bandwidth. Let’s start with those options which pertain to any device on the network.
Change the QoS on Router
The most surefire way to limit how much bandwidth your PC consumes is 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 home or small business network. QoS takes a look at what devices are using the most bandwidth, determining which traffic is the most important. Then, QoS prioritizing that traffic accordingly.
You can configure QoS to establish and implement priorities by identifying the various types of Internet traffic, then setting set up priorities for each type of traffic: High, medium, and low.
On some router software, you can actually set up QoS to identify traffic based on a computer’s IP or MAC address, enabling you to give higher priority to specific devices, which is an easier method than identifying and prioritizing types of traffic.
Here are the steps for setting up QoS on most routers:
- log in to your router’s dashboard
- Find a section called QoS Setup or something similar, which is where you set Internet traffic priorities
- Using your own computer’s MAC address or IP address, set up your traffic priority as high, medium, or low
- You can repeat this process with each device that connects to your network
Depending on what type of software your router has, you might have more QoS options to choose from. Some routers will let you set up 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 set up QoS manually if you’re having trouble with machines in your home taking up too much bandwidth.
A lot of new routers have options to set up ‘Parental Controls.’ Whether you’d like to limit timeframes or bandwidth, there may be some options here for you.
Log into your router’s control panel and check for a ‘Parental Controls’ option. Once there, check for your options. The Nighthawk from Netgear for example has a link to the Circle 1st Generation app. For 4.99/mo. you can manage the connected device’s usage.
Like we said above, 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 software package for limiting the priority of traffic coming from specific processes. Here’s a quick overview of what NetBalancer 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 the system tray
Your computer gives NetBalancer full control over processes and applications, enabling you to precisely limit what processes can take up what exact amount of traffic, by setting the download/upload speed or setting the priority.
NetBalancer functions similarly to how QoS works — a process or application you give high priority to will finish sending and receiving Internet traffic 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 Quality of Service feature on your router.
Limiting Bandwidth for Updates
Fortunately, Windows 10 does offer an option to limit bandwidth for those pesky updates.
Click the Start menu on the lower left-hand side of your monitor and click the ‘Settings’ cog.
Set Your Preferences
Click on ‘Update & Security’ then ‘Delivery Optimization.’ After that, click ‘Advanced Options.’ Make the changes you’d like
This article covered a couple of methods to prioritize and limit traffic of various types and from various devices on your network, giving you fine-grained control over how bandwidth is allocated to individual machines or types of traffic.
Do you limit traffic on your own home or small business network? If so, how did you implement your traffic prioritizing or limiting system? Please let us know in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this article, you might find The Best Applications to Monitor Internet usage useful.