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How to limit Internet bandwidth on your PC

How to limit Internet bandwidth on your PC

Are you having problems with people in your home who are hogging all the bandwidth? Or, maybe you want to limit your PC consumption. Fortunately, there are several ways to limit the amount of bandwidth your PC or laptop needs on your network. Follow along below to learn how.

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From your Router

Fortunately, most routers offer many different options for changing your bandwidth. Let’s start with options that question any device on the network.

Change QoS on the Router

The surest way to limit how much bandwidth your PC consumes is through your router’s Quality of Service (QoS) technology. Just to give a brief overview, Quality of Service is used as a technology to control traffic priorities at home or small business networks. QoS looks at which devices use the most bandwidth, determining which traffic is the most important. Then, QoS prioritizes the traffic.

You can configure QoS to set and apply priorities by identifying different types of internet traffic, then setting priorities for each type of traffic: High, medium, and low.

With some router software, you can actually set QoS to identify traffic based on the computer’s IP or MAC address, allowing you to give higher priority to certain devices, which is an easier method than identifying and prioritizing types of traffic.

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Following are the steps to set up QoS on most routers:

  1. Enter your router dashboard
  2. Find the section called QoS Setup or something similar, where you set priorities for Internet traffic
  3. Using your own MAC address or computer IP address, set your traffic priority as high, medium, or low
  4. You can repeat this process with each device connected to your network

Depending on the type of software your router has, you might have more QoS options to choose from. Some routers will allow you to set the upload and download speed with QoS based on a number of different factors.

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Some routers will even have Intelligent QoS, which automatically or “intelligently” regulates what type of traffic gets priority. For example, it might decide that streaming video and music will get a higher priority than, say, downloading files. However, it is often better to go ahead and set up QoS manually if you experience problems with a machine in your home that uses too much bandwidth.

Parental supervision

Many new routers have the option to set ‘Parental Control.’ Do you want to limit the time period or bandwidth, there might be a number of options here for you.

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Enter your router’s control panel and check the ‘Parental Control’ option. Once there, check your options. Nighthawk from Netgear for example has a link to the Circle 1st Generation application. For 4.99 / mo. You can manage the use of connected devices.

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Third Party Software

As we said above, using your router to limit bandwidth is the surest way to limit bandwidth; however, you can also limit bandwidth through the use of local utilities and software.

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One such utility is NetBalancer, a free software package to limit the priority of traffic originating from certain processes. The following is a brief overview of what NetBalancer can do:

  • Set for each download process and / or upload priority or network boundary
  • Manage priorities and limits for each network adapter separately
  • Set detailed network traffic rules
  • Group local network computers and synchronized traffic balance
  • Set global traffic limits
  • Show network traffic in the system tray

Your computer gives NetBalancer full control over processes and applications, allowing you to limit what processes can take the right amount of traffic, by setting download / upload speeds or setting priorities.

NetBalancer functions similarly to how QoS works – the process or application that you prioritize will complete the sending and receiving of Internet traffic before other applications can access your full internet connection.

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This is a very useful tool, but may not necessarily be the best utility if you are trying to limit the traffic of other people who use too much bandwidth in your home. For that, you definitely want to try and limit bandwidth through the Service Quality feature on your router.

Limit Bandwidth for Updates

Fortunately, Windows 10 does offer an option to limit the bandwidth for those pesky updates.

Open Settings

Click the Start menu on the lower left side of your monitor and click the ‘Settings’ wheel.

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Set Your Preferences

Click ‘Update & Security’ then ‘Optimize Shipping.’ After that, click on ‘Advanced Options.’ Make changes like

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As cover

This article discusses several methods to prioritize and limit traffic of various types and from various devices on your network, giving you good control over how bandwidth is allocated to each machine or type of traffic.

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