How to Limit Bandwidth

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How to Limit Bandwidth

Any computer network, whether at home or at the office, will always have that one user who eats up the bandwidth of the network at the expense of other users.  While discipline and best practices should always define how you use the Internet, you can always rely on many tools available that help limit bandwidth and conserve network resources.  Here are some ways that you could limit bandwidth.

Why Limit Bandwidth?

Like free-flowing coffee and hand sanitizers, Internet and network speeds are precious resources in your office.  If someone hogs all the resources to himself or to herself, there wouldn’t be enough for everyone.  Limiting bandwidth usage accomplishes two things:

  • Speed. A faster connection helps to get more work done, especially for companies that rely on the Internet for many tasks.
  • Stability. A fast connection is a stable connection.  A major reduction in network speed can force the network to be unstable and reliable.

Block the Port

One way that you could limit bandwidth is to set it from the gateway, which is especially useful for home networks dependent on wireless LAN.  Specific programs like peer-to-peer software and other programs that take a toll on network resources can be blocked or limited from a specific port address.  Different routers have their own instructions on how to use the router software to block or limit bandwidth, so you need to consult your owner’s manual.

Quality of Service

Quality of Service protocols, or QoS, can also be used to limit bandwidth on specific machines in the network.  To access the built-in QoS Packet Scheduler on Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Administrator account of your computer.
  2. Run the “gpedit.msc” (without quotes) command on the “Run” command from the Start menu.
  3. Select “Local Computer Policy,” then navigate to “Administrative Templates,” “Network,” and “QoS Packet Scheduler.”
  4. Set the limits of the machine’s access to network bandwidth, and save all changes.  The system will require a restart.

Bandwidth Limiting Software

Many QoS protocols and bandwidth limiting software are also available for free on the Web, or for a reasonable cost with a license.  A popular program is NetLimiter, which sets bandwidth usage for specific programs.  One problem of bandwidth limiting software is that it can interfere with crucial system processes, causing the system to crash every now and then.  Make sure to set and configure the program to make sure that the Internet connection remains stable.

The best way to conserve network and Internet resources is to set and follow rules on the prompt and prudent use of Internet resources.  With these tips, you can limit the bandwidth the terminals on your network use, and conserve the speeds and sustain the reliability of your network.