How to Set the Upload Speed Limit on YouTube

By Michael G. Sanchez

Even if you have a relatively fast Internet connection, uploading larger videos to YouTube can be an arduous, time-consuming process. Not only can it take a while, but the upload process can easily consume the lion's share of your available bandwidth. The solution to this problem is to limit the percentage of your total bandwidth allocated to YouTube. While this results in lengthier upload times, it also makes other tasks on your computer execute more quickly. Unfortunately, there is no way to control upload speed from within YouTube itself. In order to accomplish this task, download and install a traffic shaping application.

Claiming Control of Your Bandwidth

Traffic shaping applications allow you to manually select how much bandwidth a given program on your computer can use, preventing a singular task -- such as a YouTube upload -- from hogging your connection. Two popular traffic shaping programs for Microsoft Windows are NetLimiter and cFosSpeed. A good alternative for Mac OS users is Throttled Pro.

Using NetLimiter

NetLimiter can be purchased from its official site (see Resources). As of publication, it is priced at $29 and is currently at version 4. A trial version is available for download, too, so you can test it out before purchase. Once you've downloaded the setup file, double-click to install and follow the onscreen instructions. Once installed, launch NetLimiter, then identify the Web browser -- such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome -- that you are using to upload to YouTube. Check the "Limit" box in the Upload column that corresponds to your browser and then enter your desired upload speed limit in kilobytes. The value to enter will vary dramatically based on your connection. Testing a range of speeds is the best way to determine what works best for you. To get started, though, try something in the range of 50 kilobytes per second.

Using cFosSpeed

The interestingly named cFosSpeed was created in Germany. As with NetLimiter, a free trial version is available. The unrestricted program -- which as of publication is at version 9 -- costs 15.90 Euros. To get started, download and install the program (see link in Resources). After you launch CFosSpeed, select "Options" from the menu and then "Settings." From there, select the "Programs" tab. Locate the browser you are using to upload your video to YouTube. If you can't find it in the list, click the "Add" button to manually select it. Unlike NetLimiter, CFosSpeed lets you set a program's bandwidth allocation to low, medium or high, rather than a specific number. This makes it a bit easier for less-experienced users. After adjusting the "Set Priority" slider bar for your browser to "Low," click on "Save Priorities." Now, only a relatively small percentage of your bandwidth will be devoted to YouTube uploading.

Using Throttled Pro

Throttled Pro accomplishes the same basic task as the other two programs, but for Mac computers. The trial version is free and the full version goes for $20. Reducing YouTube upload speed with Throttled Pro is slightly more complicated than with the two above programs, however. Both NetLimiter and cFosSpeed let you adjust bandwidth allocation by application. With Throttled Pro, you have to do it by port number. The first step is to determine which port the browser you are uploading your video with uses. This can be accomplished via an app called Rubbernet (see link in Resources). Install and then launch the program. Find and select the browser you are using to upload, then check what port it is using in the main window to the right. With the correct port number identified, you are now ready to get started with Throttled Pro. Install the program via the link found below under Resources and launch the application. Click on the "Ports" tab at the top of the program window. Scroll through the list until you find the browser's port number. Check the "TCP" box to its right. Then, type in the maximum upload speed you want to to allow in the "Throttled Speed" box. Click the "OK" button. Finally, restart Throttled Pro to activate your new bandwidth settings.