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My 4 roomates and I have a problem:

One of my roomies is downloading torrents all the time. When somebody need make a call or doing something like you tube or a quiz using the internet conection. The internet is very slow....

I can not create a network using a computer as a proxy. I just need a good router (and in the budget no more than $50)..

I just want to split a 16MB connection into a separated 4 x 4 mb (theoretically)..

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Have you tried simply asking your roommate to cap his torrent client at 4mb? That's a lot easier and cheaper than buying a router or running a virtual box. –  Lawton Jun 20 '12 at 14:23
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5 Answers 5

Get a router that supports Tomato (http://tomatousb.org/), and set up QoS on that. You can set up classes of traffic covering different machines and allocate them different percentages of the total bandwidth.

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I am not aware of a direct method for equally distributing your bandwidth using only a router, but you can assign bandwidth priority for certain applications (web-browsers, bit torrent clients, etc) and that way make sure that you have enough bandwidth to surf.

Have a look at this article it will give some ideas on how to achieve priority based bandwidth management for applications by configuring the QoS ruleset of your router. The article does recommend a router too but you can also look for other routers with the same specifications as the router could be an outdated model.

(Also you can get a refurbished or a used model of the router mentioned in the article for around 50 bucks but I haven't checked up for other models in the same price range.)


Another option is using a firewall OS, you should have a look at PFsense and this article. It has very meager hardware requirements, or you could set it up as a virtual machine (if you don't want to invest in separate hardware for this project) in your own computer and that way all you will need to invest in will be a 1 or 2 extra network cards (depending on your setup) and a little bit of effort in setting it up on your end.

Here are a few howtos for setting it up as a virtual machine assuming you are using windows:

1) Installing pfSense in VMware

2) Installing pfSense on VirtualBox

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Also if you have a DD-WRT flashed router then QoS is easily modified for services like torrents –  KronoS Feb 3 '11 at 17:45
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Pfsense (free and open source) is able to do this for you. You need a separate computer to run pfsense but you can now split your network into separate subnets and/or assign priorities. The traffic shaper may also work better for you than limiting the network to 4mbps.

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Many routers do not have such options. I have a cradlepoint router that does have this option, and here is how I access it:

Advanced > Traffic Shaping
Uncheck "Automatic Uplink/Downlink Speed"
Set "Manual Downlink Speed" to your preferred amount.
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Netlimiter: http://www.netlimiter.com/

You may even install it on your room mates computer, and leave everyone else to fight over remaining bandwidth

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