How Do I Limit the Wi-Fi Bandwidth Broadcast by My Router?

Depending on which router you use, you should be able to limit Wi-Fi bandwidth to specific devices on your network or specific applications. For example, you can limit your computers while keeping a smart TV free to use all the bandwidth it needs for movies. This is all done in a router's Quality of Service, or QOS settings. If your router doesn't have this option, it's unlikely you can specify bandwidth or throughput settings.

Router wireless
Setting QOS on a router lets you limit bandwidth.
credit: antpkr/iStock/Getty Images

Limiting Bandwidth on Linksys

Step

Log into your Linksy admin panel by typing the router's IP address in a browser window and entering your admin username and password. The IP address varies by model, but most Linksys routers use 192.186.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. If neither of these IP addresses work for your router model, consult its documentation.

Step

Click the "Applications and Gaming" tab, then select "QOS." Click the "Priority" drop-down box next to each listed device and select a priority for the device. Linksys routers can limit traffic by device MAC address, Ethernet port or Application port.

Step

Scroll down to the next section and select the "Priority" drop-down box next to each Ethernet port and assign a priority.

Step

Select the"Priority" drop-down box next to each listed application and assign a priority for HTTP, FTP, Telnet and SMTP.

Step

Click "Save Settings" to save the QOS settings.

Limiting Bandwidth in the Netgear Configuration Utility

Step

Log into the Netgear Configuration Utility and enter the Administrator user ID and password. Click the "QOS" tab on the top navigation bar.

Step

Click the drop-down box labeled "Device" and select the device and MAC address to set. Click the "Select Priority" drop-down menu and select the desired priority for the device. Repeat this procedure for each Ethernet port and Application port.

Step

Click the "Apply" button to save the changes you made.