I would like to know how to prioritize traffic from various applications. Specifically I want to know if there is a way to give web traffic higher priority over bit torrent traffic. OS : Windows XP Browser : Firefox Bittorrent client : uTorrent

Can I somehow shape the traffic such that, when I am browsing, bittorrent traffic gets suppressed (but not completely) and once no web traffic is detected , it is allowed to continue at full speed ?

8 Answers 8


Try NetBalancer*.

Browse and do any internet activity comfortably even when your download manager or torrent client downloads huge files from internet - just lower their network priority with NetBalancer.

You can use NetBalancer to set download/upload transfer rate priority for any applications and monitor their internet traffic.

*Free version is limited to 5 process priorities/limits at a time. I think 5 is quite enough.

  • +1 Thanks, I think this app is just what I needed.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Mar 29, 2010 at 22:35

You'll want to look into a setting on your router called QoS (Quality of Service). If your router is capable of supporting 3rd party firmware, I'd suggest DD-WRT. It has an excellent QoS engine among tons of other great features. Bitorrent and HTTP traffic can easily be prioritized with the presets they give you.

See the Services Priority section:

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  • I don't have access to my router. The only device provided by the ISP was a cable modem. Dec 14, 2009 at 5:36
  • The modem probably has something built into it. Have you checked it's administration page? likely or or similar.
    – John T
    Dec 14, 2009 at 5:41
  • I have a Webstar DC2100 cable modem. I guess is the admin page. But there are no configurable options , just some operation statuses . Dec 14, 2009 at 6:46

If you want true per application traffic shaping Cfosspeed is a good solution. I agree that the best solution probably is traffic shaping through the router but a router cannot distinguish between applications, just ports.

  • 1
    Looks like a shareware app. Are any freeware apps like this one for Windows?
    – geek
    Dec 13, 2009 at 14:56
  • Not to my knowledge. I'd say Cfosspeed is quite cheap though, I used it before I got my Linksys router and it actually works.
    – CGA
    Dec 13, 2009 at 20:29

What you are talking about is called "traffic shaping".

This generally needs to be supported by your router. However, if you want to build your own router at home, pfSense supports traffic shaping.


Traffic Shaper XP is free and looks like it will do what you need:



You can shape your traffic with inbuilt limiter in utorrent...you can right click the torrent and select upload and download limit..or you can adjust your bandwidth priority...

to know more about torrents visit:


  • That’s insufficient because it sets global limits to the P2P application. For example, if you reduce your transfer limits, it is still going to be reduced even when you are not browsing the web. A dedicated piece of software (or hardware) is better so that it can automatically adapt the settings as needed (which from what I have seen, P2P clients cannot do).
    – Synetech
    Jul 2, 2011 at 0:52

Use your router settings to do that and port detect and distribute priority.


As others have stated, you can likely adjust QoS settings to make HTTP traffic have priority, within your local LAN.

Some notes however:

  • You can't affect the priority of the traffic until it hits your local network. Any QoS settings you make in the outbound direction are going to be ignored/overwritten by your ISP.
  • If you have any kind of modern LAN infrastructure in your house, chances are good that you have plenty of bandwidth from the cable modem/DSL to your PC's. Congestion management only applies to situations of congestion. If the 100BaseT Ethernet hardware from your cable modem to your PC can keep up with the traffic (and there's a very high chance it can), then may never be used.
  • You could arbitrarily traffic-shape certain types of traffic to a low-bandwidth, but then you're hurting those applications during those periods where perhaps no HTTP is occurring.

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