Limit Bandwidth On Your Router

Stop other devices from slowing down your internet

Adjust traffic quotas on your router to rate-limit devices to ensure that the entire network enjoys reasonable access to your bandwidth.

Verify Your Router Address

Before you can limit bandwidth on your router, you'll need to know the Internet Protocol address of your home router. This address is called the default gateway.

Each router has its own menu system, but the general principle remains the same. Use the IP address or MAC address of each device to control the maximum bandwidth it can use.

In most routers, this feature is called Quality of Service. The location of that feature is different depending on router you have.

How to Limit Bandwidth on a Linksys Router

Linksys routers support Quality of Service.

Use the gateway IP you noted above to log into your home router as administrator. Once you're logged in, follow the steps below to limit bandwidth on that router for specific devices in your network.

  1. From the main login screen, access the QoS feature by selecting Applications & Gaming from the top menu. In the Applications & Gaming menu, select QoS from the submenu.

    select qos
  2. In the QoS menu, you'll see a dropdown list under Upstream Bandwidth. Use it to select MAC Address.

    mac address
  3. In the Enter a Name field, type the name of the device you're defining bandwidth for. In the Mac Address field, type the MAC Address you recorded earlier. Set the Priority field to the amount of bandwidth you want to allow for that device. High provides the device the highest priority for overall bandwidth. Low limits the device's overall bandwidth the most.

    name, address and priority
  4. You'll see the device you've configured in the Summary section. Select Save Settings to finish.

Once you've configured all of your devices, you should see a significant improvement in your internet speed on the devices you've configured with a High priority.

The smart approach is to configure all of the devices in your home with varying priorities, depending how they are used.

  • Set your work laptop (where you need the fastest internet connection) to high priority.
  • Set streaming devices like Chromecast or Roku with a high priority.
  • Set children's laptops used mostly for casual online gaming with a normal priority.
  • Set any smart home devices that rarely access the internet with a normal or low priority.

After you've organized all of the device priorities in this way, you should see a tremendous improvement in your overall internet access quality.

How to Limit Bandwidth on Other Routers

There are many router brands and models on the market, and finding the QoS feature on them will vary from one to another.

The instructions below will help you find the QoS menu on the most popular routers.

Limit Bandwidth on a Netgear Router

Connect to your Netgear router using the same IP address you've noted in the previous section for your Gateway IP. After you're connected as administrator, limit bandwidth on devices on the network as follows:

  1. From the main menu, select ADVANCED > Setup > QoS setup.

  2. Next, select Setup QoS rule and then select Add Priority Rule. Under the Priority Category menu, select MAC Address.  

  3. Select the radio button in the table and under Priority, select the priority level for that device, from Highest to Low. Click Apply to finish.

Limit Bandwidth on a TP-Link Router

TP-Link routers use more specific bandwidth settings than other routers. Instead of a high-to-low setting, define the bandwidth ranges.

  1. Select Bandwidth Control and Rules List on the menu to the left.

  2. Select Add New to create a new rule. Select Single IP address. Set the protocol to both (TCP and UDP).

  3. Set the Egress Bandwidth min and max to a portion of your overall upload bandwidth provided by your ISP. Set the Ingress Bandwidth min and max to a portion of your overall download bandwidth provided by your ISP.

Check your total upload and download bandwidth by performing an online speed test with your computer.

Limit Bandwidth on a D-Link Router

D-Link routers also use specific IP rather than MAC address for devices. You get see your computer's IP address using the same ipconfig /all command as earlier in this article.

To limit bandwidth on devices on your network:

  1. From the main menu, select Advanced and then select Traffic Control.

  2. Select Add to add a new client rule. Select Add Rules.

  3. Enter your computer's IP address in the Source IP field, and the bandwidth limit (a portion of your overall bandwidth) in the Up Floor and Down Floor fields. Click Add Rules to finish.

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