3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 1, 2010 12:56 PM by baltwo
Shahin Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
Is there any utility out there that would allow one to manage bandwidth on an application by application basis?

I have never understood why this is not built into all applications that are network intensive (specially Internet) related. Many applications such as download managers, bittorrent clients, etc. allow you to do this, but the most common applications such as Safari (or any other flavor browser) and iTunes, do not allow for this.

I use download managers when doing large amounts of downloads, so at least I can “tame” Safari or Firefox and bypass this issue when clicking on downloads while browsing. Unless I am in a hurry, I set the download manager to never exceed 50% of my total bandwidth. But iTunes is one of the worst offenders that I deal with. I like to have iTunes set to automatically download updates to podcasts, etc. A lot of times I forget about this, and I launch iTunes for many different reasons to just listen to music for example, and don't realize that it has started downloading in the background, and I am wondering why my browsing has come to a grinding halt. Yes, I understand that I could/should turn automatic downloads off, but that is not “fixing” this problem (and yes, I do no allow simultaneous downloads).

So I am wondering if there is a way to manage bandwidth on an application specific basis. It would be great to be able to allocate certain bandwidth to any network intensive application, and thus be able to have them all running at the same time without any one of them hogging the bandwidth.

I thought there may be a way to do this based on protocol, but that seems very clunky.

Any ideas?

iMac 24" 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.3), 4 GB RAM, 1TB HD
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,945 points)
    If you want to request this from Apple's engineering, send an enhancement request via its Bug Reporter system. To do this, join the Mac Developer Program—it's free and available for all Mac users and gets you a look at some development software. Since you already have an Apple username/ID, use that. Once a member, go to Apple BugReporter and file your enhancement request. The nice thing with this procedure is that you get a response and a follow-up number; thus, starting a dialog with engineering. Alternatively, you can file Mac OS X Feedback or Product Feedback, but that usually goes through support and marketing; when it'll get to engineering is anyone's guess.
  • Shahin Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Thanks. I have actually been meaning to do this, so I took your advice and went ahead and signed up in the developer section.

    I think there should be a System Preferences panel (or a subset of the Networking panel) that allows you to add any application to a list and designate max bandwidth or (% of bandwidth) that each application has access to. Also the order in which the applications are displayed in the list should indicate which one has priority over others. That way if you have multiple things happening, you could have decided which one should be given priority, so for example you are browsing is Safari it is not affected by a download by iTunes, but as soon as you stop browsing, then iTunes could ramp up and download at full speed. I have seen this type of behavior on the update managers that Adobe uses. There is a checkbox that says something like “only download when there is no activity.”
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,945 points)
    Thanks for the feedback. Good luck.