This is similar to How can I prioritise network bandwidth on a per application basis?, but does not require control over priorities.
I am working on an Ubuntu 11.04 laptop connected to a rather slow 1 Mbps Internet connection. When there is a connection that saturates the network (such as streaming a YouTube video), I find it difficult to load other pages or otherwise use the network. It seems that Linux is not as smart as Windows when multiple connections need to share bandwidth--in Windows, the system will try to distribute bandwidth relatively evenly across all active connections. This also happens with an older openSUSE-based system I had used as well.
Is there something I can do to make the system share bandwidth across the programs that need it more evenly, so that streaming video does not interfere with other web browsing, for example? I'd like to avoid low-level changes such as kernel reconfiguration, preferring a relatively simple userspace solution.