I found this thread, but am hesitant when it comes to screwing with my network settings.

What I want to do is limit the rate that people can download files from my webserver remotely. LAN connections should still be able to transfer at full speed, but anything outside of the local network should be limited to 200Kbps per connection. Is that even possible? Can I limit the number of connections per client (probably by IP)?

If this can't be done at the OS level, is there any way I could script it using PHP? Maybe read X bytes into a file and then sleep...

Thanks in advance!


I'm sure something like this is achievable since there are file storage/sharing sites that limit download speeds as well as simultaneous downloads. I personally do not know how to implement this type of thing, but I can hopefully point you in the right direction.

Take a look at the Token Bucket and Leaky Bucket algorithms.

I believe there are apache modules you can install and configure to help with this sort of thing. Try looking into mod_cband and iptables.

Good luck!


If you're looking for a way to do it via PHP, you could try this (source):

// local file that should be send to the client
$local_file = 'test-file.zip';

// filename that the user gets as default
$download_file = 'your-download-name.zip';

// set the download rate limit (=> 20,5 kb/s)
$download_rate = 20.5;

if(file_exists($local_file) && is_file($local_file)) {

    // send headers
    header('Cache-control: private');
    header('Content-Type: application/octet-stream');
    header('Content-Length: '.filesize($local_file));
    header('Content-Disposition: filename='.$download_file);

    // flush content

    // open file stream
    $file = fopen($local_file, "r");

    while (!feof($file)) {

        // send the current file part to the browser
        print fread($file, round($download_rate * 1024));

        // flush the content to the browser

        // sleep one second

    // close file stream

else {
    die('Error: The file '.$local_file.' does not exist!');
  • Looks like cband is gone. :( – GameCharmer Jan 17 '13 at 23:08
  • ah, that's a bummer... any luck with iptables? at least you know you have a fallback with PHP, but certainly not ideal, especially given your need to handle LAN connections differently. – mason81 Jan 18 '13 at 14:39

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