How to Limit Internet Speed

Internet speeds can be controlled at the router level or the computer level. While you can limit speed by itself, you can also use tools to assign different settings for individual programs and set limitations for how much bandwidth they use and how they're prioritized. Built-in parental controls can also set different limits per account on a single computer and provide additional settings for blocking websites, limiting downloads and choosing which programs are acceptable to use.

Transmitter wi-fi
Routers with QoS can relegate bandwidth use.
credit: vladru/iStock/Getty Images

Install Traffic-Shaping Software

Step

Select, download and install a traffic-shaping program like NetBalancer, Traffic Shaper XP or NetLimiter to the computer for which you want to limit speed or bandwidth (see Resources).

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Limit download and upload speeds to your computer overall, or prioritize which applications use available bandwidth first and how much they use. With some shaping programs you can set download and upload limits for specific programs.

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Save your changes and modify as necessary. You may have the best results by testing your program during peak traffic hours when any differences will be most noticeable.

Modify Router QoS Settings

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Access your router's control panel via a Web browser on any computer connected to the router. This is generally accessed by typing in your router's IP address, which can be found either on the router itself or in its instruction manual.

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Open the QoS (Quality of Service) settings if your router has them available. The primary settings to modify are the Uplink and Downlink fields. After enabling QoS, lower the numbers in these fields until QoS takes effect.

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Save your changes, then test your connection. You may need to modify the fields a few times to achieve the effect you desire.

Use Parental Controls

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Open "Family Safety," then select the user account you want to limit. If you have not enabled Family Safety for this particular account yet, do so by opening and editing their account settings.

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Open the options for "Web filtering," "Time limits" and "App restrictions." While you cannot control speed specifically, you can control what apps can be used, what can be downloaded and how much time the user can spend online.

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Save the user's settings and apply to other users as necessary.