12 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2006 4:51 AM by Tim Haigh
Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
At work we have a small Mac network (1 server, 4 workstations) and a 1MB broadband connection shared across all machines via a router.

I do a lot of web design and need to have a consistent, steady connection to the internet to be able to work effectively. One of the other guys in the office tends to hog a lot of the bandwidth by downloading a lot of large files all the time. I'm fed up of telling him to pause his downloads as it makes me sound like a record with a scratch!

Is there any way I can throttle his bandwidth, either on the router or on the server?

Home: G4 Dual Processor / Work: G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Tim Haigh Level 7 Level 7 (24,190 points)
    Do be honest downloading is not really what slows an internet connection down across a network. It is the opposite that hurts more that is uploading.

    If one person is using p2p software that would have more impact on your network because if your upload bandwidth is maxed out that leaves no room for ACK data and this would significantly slow down your incoming bandwidth. This would have the effect of really slow web browsing, slow to receive emails, internet vidoe streaming would stutter etc.

    If you setup a router with Quality of Service that would solve the above problem.

    Otherwise look into installing carrafix on this users mac, this will throttle both his incoming and outgoing bandwidth however he could overide those settings.

    You could setup your server as router and route all your internet through it that would make traffic shaping easier.

    What kind of router do you have?

    BTW you can get 8mb or 22mb connections these days for about £25 a month.
  • Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I understand why you might think that it's my uploading slowing things down, but the reality is that it's a couple of html files here and a couple of jpegs there every minute or so - nothing that would or should make any difference to our bandwidth. I need to then check what I've just done and it's really frustrating waiting for 20-30secs for a single html file to upload then another 20-30secs for the page to load in my browser - it's like going back to dialup, only worse!

    The 'user' doing all the downloading is downloading all the time using P2P software! That must make more of a difference than my uploading!?

    I can't install any software on his machine, because as you say, he would simply turn it off. I need a more stealthy approach! I don't want to be a meanie, just fair.

    Our router is (I think) a speedtouch 510, but if we can set up the server as a router that could be a good option as well. Nobody else in the office touches the router or server, so I can basically do what I want.

    Our office is in the sticks, so we can only get a 2MB connection max.
  • Anthony Brade Level 3 Level 3 (715 points)
    If he's p2p-ing then he's almost certainly uploading as well (particularly if he's using bittorrent). It is the u/l component of that that kills internet browsing.

    The cheapest solution (i.e. free) is to have him open his p2p client and dial down the u/l speed (and maybe the d/l speed as well). If you're running BT and throttle back u/l to 80% capacity then you will actually enhance your d/l speed b/c you're no longer inhibiting connection with other clients so it might help both of you.
  • WBW Level 4 Level 4 (1,260 points)
    You could make sure the ports his p2p app is using are closed. Some routers even let you set up allowed time for specific machine on the network.

    Since this is work, and p2p is not work related, I would just tell him to stop or go find another job! ahah
  • Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm not sure if our router is good enough to configure in that way (I think it's a Speedtouch 510). Does anyone know? We do have a server (OS X Server 10.4.5). Can this do anything in terms of throttling, or blocking ports/IP addresses?
  • Tim Haigh Level 7 Level 7 (24,190 points)
    I'm not sure if our router is good enough to configure in that way (I think it's a Speedtouch 510). Does anyone know? We do have a server (OS X Server 10.4.5). Can this do anything in terms of throttling, or blocking ports/IP addresses?


    The speedtouch 510 is not the most user friendly of devices to configure and as far as I know does not support Quality of Service.

    OSX server can do throttling and block ports etc.

    You would have to use your server as a router/firewall you would have setup your speedtouch router as a bridge. You ideally would have a second network interface installed. The second interface would connect to a network switch.

    Then you would need to configure the DHCP server and the firewall . The setup is way beyond the scope of this thread. Unless your prepared to spend some time learning to be server admin you would have to employ someone to come in and set this up.

    Or on the other hand you could just replace your speedtouch 510 with something more sophisticated.

    I set up one of these for a client last night. I was amazed that a £30 box boasted features such as stateful firewall and Quality of Service. So you could get a 4 port adsl router that suppored QoS and had a stateful firewall and you would then have the tools to restrict your network.

    It is important that though that whatever device you use must have a log so you can monitor things.
  • Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for all your help guys, I really appreciate it.

    Apparently the Speedtouch 510 does support QOS and I've just downloaded a PDF all about it, but it's completely beyond me... I'm just a lowley designer, not a network administrator.

    Whilst my colleague was out of the room earlier I quietly changed the settings in his P2P software - limited the number of servers it connects to, limited the number of concurrent downloads/uploads and limited the upload bandwidth to 10% of the available bandwidth.

    Naughty I know, but he may not notice

    Let's see if it makes a difference...
  • Tim Haigh Level 7 Level 7 (24,190 points)
    Apparently the Speedtouch 510 does support QOS and I've just downloaded a PDF all about it, but it's completely beyond me... I'm just a lowley designer, not a network administrator.


    Ah yes I am just reading their CLI reference manual it has ATM quality of service but you do need a good understanding of their CLI synstax. Something I am not going to get into. I do not like alcatel/thompson products.

    Whilst my colleague was out of the room earlier I quietly changed the settings in his P2P software - limited the number of servers it connects to, limited the number of concurrent downloads/uploads and limited the upload bandwidth to 10% of the available bandwidth.


    If your outgoing connection is 256k that is about 32kbytes/sec If you had a global setting across your network that you only used 28kbytes/sec of your outgoing bandwidth this would allow enough room for ACK data on your network and thus not slow down your incoming connection.

    Therefore if you had router that had an easy to use GUI to setin place global QoS rules then you would not need to configure your collegues torrent settings.
  • Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Is that an easy thing to do? Can this be set using the routers control panel?
  • Tim Haigh Level 7 Level 7 (24,190 points)
    Is that an easy thing to do? Can this be set using the routers control panel?


    I use a linksys wrt54gs (vers 1.1) with firmware from Sveasoft.

    I can setup rules in the Web GUI to restrict access to certain services. look at the following screenshot.

    Access Restrictions


    And setting up QoS rules is easy see the following screenshot. Notice that you prioritise the individual ports on the router. Or by MAC address.

    quality of service
  • Matt Bailey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hmmm... I can't see anything like that in my router's control panel.

    There's IP Addresses, IP Routing, NAPT, DHCP, DNS etc. But none of them seem to have anything to do with QOS or access restrictions.

    Maybe we will have to invest in a better router.
  • Tim Haigh Level 7 Level 7 (24,190 points)
    Hmmm... I can't see anything like that in my router's
    control panel.



    I didn't expect to see that in your router config pages, your router does not support this functionality.
    I was showing an example of what you could do if you got a router that had these type of functions.

    There's IP Addresses, IP Routing, NAPT, DHCP, DNS
    etc. But none of them seem to have anything to do
    with QOS or access restrictions.


    The QoS in your router is done at the ATM layer which is something completely different.

    Maybe we will have to invest in a better router.


    I think you will.

    Just make sure you get one that boasts features such as SPI firewall Qos, System logging etc.