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How do I restrict internet traffic?
August 31, 2009 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to limit download/uploads through my internet connection?

My house has Comcast cable internet, and every month, we are very close to the 250 GB bandwidth cap. This is primarily due to my roommates running bittorrent and leaving it up all day.

I am running a Linksys router with Tomato firmware. Ideally, my goal would be to block bittorrent traffic once the total uploads and downloads equal about 7 gigs per day. That is, up to 7 gigs a day, the internet connection is undisturbed, and after that point, other internet functions like http would still work, but bittorrent would be disabled.

Is there a way to completely block traffic through a specific protocol with QoS, and is it possible to set up a rule so that this would only happen after the 7GB limit is reached?
posted by LDL707 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is there a way to completely block traffic through a specific protocol with QoS, and is it possible to set up a rule so that this would only happen after the 7GB limit is reached?

I've used both Tomato and DD-WRT, and as far as I can remember you could not get that detailed with the QoS settings, although I never had a reason to have a hard bandwidth limit. You could set a low enough bandwidth limit for their BitTorrent ports that they can't cumulatively download 7GB per day, but that wouldn't be ideal for them if they want their downloads underneath the cap to be fast and want to use up all of their limit without literally leaving their clients running 24/7.

Also, while a router-based solution is a clean way of implementing this, are you just trying to do it that way because you know they'll ignore you if you try to get them to stop going over the limit? If so, know that modern BitTorrent clients are specifically setup to circumvent this kind of protocol-based QoS from ISPs, so if they really want to get around the limits and know how to configure their clients you'll be fighting a losing battle. If you could get them to voluntarily set some reasonable limits in their BitTorrent clients (or, you know, have them stop downloading so much crap) that will probably be easier to enforce no matter what technical solution you come up with.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2009


>Ideally, my goal would be to block bittorrent traffic once the total uploads and downloads equal about 7 gigs per day.

Good luck with that. Your roommates will just use different ports. Heck, their torrent client probably randomizes the port every time it starts up.

Essentially, youre looking for a technological solution to a purely social problem. You should ask them to throttle their speeds using their client. If they are unwilling to do that then they will find a way to go through whatever block you put up. Not to mention its rude to shut off a service. Id rather have an adult conversation with my roommates than deal with you turning off the spigot at 7 gigs or whatever.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:41 PM on August 31, 2009


I should have mentioned--they are open to this limit. They tend to turn it on and forget about it, so it uploads all day. They would not set it up to avoid the limit.
posted by LDL707 at 12:46 PM on August 31, 2009


I also don't want to have to check the bandwidth constantly. The benefit of a router-based solution is that it's set and forget, which is preferable to constant monitoring.
posted by LDL707 at 12:48 PM on August 31, 2009


I'm pretty sure most clients, definitely uTorrent, have the ability to set limits like you're asking about. That's definitely the easiest, most reliable way to do this, since you have their participation.
posted by odinsdream at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2009


I don't know of a consumer router that has this policy setting; like burnmp3s, I don't think Tomato can do it. BitTorrent is particularly problematic to traffic shape because clients are actively trying to avoid being classified as BitTorrent.

My solution to this kind of problem is to set a global bandwidth rate limit in uTorrent. That lets you control the instantaneous rate. If my math is right 250 gigabytes / month is about 100 kilobytes / second. It's not ideal, but if you get 2 roommates to set their upload bandwidth to, say, 40kBps you should be fine.

BTW, there are plenty of ISPs in the world that don't have Comcast's user hostile policies.
posted by Nelson at 1:40 PM on August 31, 2009


Leech moar. Slow down the upload speeds by a whole lot.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:41 PM on August 31, 2009


If they are running Azureus/Vuze get them to install the speed scheduler plugin and have them shut off torrents once they are done.
posted by srboisvert at 3:23 PM on August 31, 2009


uTorrent also lets you specify a different upload rate for when you are not actively downloading. If they can't be trusted to monitor their own use, get them to set this way down.
posted by Sparx at 4:45 PM on August 31, 2009


I haven't used Tomato, but I have looked at it.

It seems flexible enough that it could be queried by a script that could e-mail you a daily summary or total of transfer, so you don't have to remember to look, or know what day it is?

An e-mail with the subject: "216Gb down (4 days left)" doesn't even have to be opened, and just glancing at it once and awhile will let you know what's happening.
posted by rokusan at 11:35 AM on September 3, 2009


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