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When using bandwidth intensive applications like FTP/bittorrent/newsgroups these will often use all available bandwidth and consequently things like web browsing/video streaming/skype calls will become stuttery/unresponsive.

I would like to allow the bandwidth intensive apps to be deemed lower priority, and only to use as much bandwidth as is not currently being used by higher priority applications.

I don't want to have to manually pause a download when I start watching iplayer for example.

Is there some way that I can do this? Currently most of my bandwidth intensive stuff happens on one machine and the video streaming happens on another, but both machines are used for browsing, so I would like a solution which works by giving priority not traffic on the same machine as well as traffic from different machines.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are some routers that can handle this. I think D-Link refers to this feature as 'GameFuel', and the pre-sets prioritize one-line game traffic over others, but you can always adjust the settings. D-Link seems to have a set of 'Gaming' routers (like the 108G) that contain this feature.

By putting the feature into your local network router, I think you'll have the best experience, once you figure out the appropriate ports to prioritize (or de-prioritize).

Caveat: I haven't actually done this, I'm just saying that it appears to be possible with this equipment.

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You can also run OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato/similar on a capable router and fully tweak these settings, which port/protocol has higher priority and suchlike. – brandstaetter Nov 24 '09 at 13:52
this sounds interesting, thanks. – Sam Holder Nov 24 '09 at 14:25

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