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How to limit bandwidth speed from a router for a devices on a network ?

There are several devices accessing the internet thru a wireless network. I cannot change settings directly on the client-computers, but can have full access to the router.

Problem is that one of the computers on the network consumes a lot of bandwidth - due to constant downloads - severely limiting the network speed on other devices on the network.

Is there any way to limit the bandwidth on that computer ?

The router in use is Digicom Wireless Router, Model no. 5314T.

Any help shall be greatly appreciated.

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closed as off topic by Chris S Jun 21 '12 at 18:00

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is probably better handled on the computer (or user) in question, than on the router.

As the other two answers so far mentioned QoS, I'll point out that this will only be effective if the problem client is, say downloading over a protocol the rest aren't, or you want to limit ALL downloading on a certain protocol, or prioritize other types of traffic.

If, for example, this one computer is causing problems by downloading a bunch of YouTube videos, using QoS to throttle it at the router would also throttle regular web traffic, which might not be desirable.

In the past, I've dealt with this kind of problem in a number of ways, the best of which will depend on your environment. QoS is an option, though it's kind of a blunter instrument than you may want, as noted above.

You might also consider setting up a 2nd bandwidth-limited VLAN, if your router supports that - I've had to to do this in situations where a large number of users' personal web activity on the corporate network were generating too much traffic for our poor pipes.

You may also (at the router level) be able to apply MAC-address filtering so only authorized devices can get on the network (or so that specific devices cannot). Whether this is an option depends a lot on the router as well, and I'm not familiar with that particular brand.

Similar solutions might include client-specific settings at the firewall (if you have one), or fun with routing tables... such as redirecting all traffic between that client and YouTube to nowhere, or just all traffic from YouTube in general to nowhere (again, in the example that YouTube downloads are throttling your connection).

Alternately, as suggested by Andres, you can install bandwidth-limiting programs on that PC, and depending on the OS and environment you may be able to apply bandwidth limiting settings natively. If it's a specific user causing this disruption, consider using (or creating) acceptable network use policies to deal with it that way.

Finally, as it's a wireless router (and I assume the client at issue is connected wirelessly), have you considered trying to improve the performance over wireless? Are you having channel interference or wireless congestion, can you maybe improve the situation by adjusting the antennas or moving the router, or eliminating obstructions, etc? Looks like a consumer-grade wireless router, which would severely limit your options, in addition to the number of clients and amount of traffic it can handle without problems.

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Wow, thanks for the reply. Yes, you have read my mind & the exact situations I currently am in. I think the router supports the bandwidth-limited VLAN. Though I currently dont know how to configure & set it up. The manuals of the router just says includes "Port Mapping VLAN" under "Advanced Features", and no more explanation. Is it worth looking up for? Can it help in the current senario ? I shall do a little googling about this. – maan81 Jun 21 '12 at 17:33
I see the MAC-Address filtering. I assume this is too depends if the router supports it or not ? Does it completely block the device or limit the device ? You have said on blocking the device ? I feel that QoS will not be very effective in the current situation. The client side bandwidth limiting program seems to do what I was expecting, but, as I said, I cannot do it on the client computers. Same case goes for the client-specific settings & firewalls. I have taken into account the wireless connection (yes, wireless connection, wlan) and there is no more place for improvement there. – maan81 Jun 21 '12 at 17:36
VLANs are a basic network administration/configuration topic, which you'd want to do some research on before trying to implement, so you're aware of their limitations and the nature of what they actually do - too broad a topic to cover here. MAC address filtering is generally used to prevent a device from joining a network in the first place, so it wouldn't connect or associate with the router in the first place, essentially directing the router to ignore all traffic from a filtered device (or only accept traffic from a list of approved devices, depending on how it's implemented). – HopelessN00b Jun 21 '12 at 17:41

A quick check of your router's manual reveals that it supports QoS (QoS Remarking based on IPP/ToS, DSCP and 802.1p).

Quality of Service is, in this context, essentially a mechanism for prioritizing different types of network traffic based on their destination port, source port, protocol type, MAC address, LAN IP address, connected ethernet port, etc.

In your router's administration panel, look for QoS settings and see if you can create a traffic shaping pattern that works for you.

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Adding a rule to QoS requires the source IP, the IP address of the server from where the downloads are coming ? There could be any servers sending data to our client computer ? – maan81 Jun 21 '12 at 16:22
@maan81 The source IP is probably the client machine (simply because every other implementation of home router QoS I've used works like that: use the IP address you know, the LAN IP). – msanford Jun 21 '12 at 17:23
I'll check it out. – maan81 Jun 21 '12 at 17:38
@maan81 It sounds from your description that IP is the only control mechanism, which will probably not give you sufficiently granular control: you'll just end up throttling that client's computer, rather than his downloads specifically. If that is the case, see if you can get a more versatile router with a custom firmware like Tomato Then again, throttling their entire machine might give you something as valuable as traffic shaping: behaviour shaping ;) – msanford Jun 21 '12 at 18:45
@msanford I voted but I read and understood this: 'That QoS isn’t really capable to assign a certain bandwidth to certain devices or services. Instead it uses a priority list to divide and assign it. This means any computer, device, service or application can use the full bandwidth as long as none other has any demands.' So it seems be difference is just on usage priority. You can read full answer in – QMaster Dec 11 '14 at 22:02

It's very dependant on the router, don't know for sure if you can limit on that router itself. A better option would be to configure QoS on the router but it's router dependant too.

You can always install something like netlimiter on that PC.

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Thanks for the quick reply (though it took a loong time for the page to reload :-( ). How do we configure QoS ? – maan81 Jun 21 '12 at 16:06
+1 for suggesting bandwidth controls on the client. – HopelessN00b Jun 21 '12 at 16:44

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