Share – 1.the full or proper portion or part allotted or belonging to or contributed or owed by an individual or group.
April 2, 2009 10:49 AM   Subscribe

One internet connection shared between three computers. One jackass who uses the entire download limit(!!) and gets our speed capped(!!). So, what software or hardware solutions might there be?? Secrecy isn't a concern. That they are too stupid to be trusted is. Is there maybe something that monitors where the data is going? And also a way to hobble their line speed, once they've reached their 'share'. (I'd prefer not to just yank their cable out completely, but whatever.) I have no idea (keywords to google??) so I'm completely open to suggestion on this :) Thanks!

*Other info...?
Our ISP only records a grand total. The modem (Dlink DSL-G604T) only keeps a 24hr log. (Of whatever info it is that it does collect??)
The computer in question runs XP and connects to the modem via a standard ethernet cable. It's also the only one that really needs its data being counted, if that makes it any easier?
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
One way to attack this is with rate shaping - the open DD-WRT firmware can do this if you are willing to flash the right hardware. There are details on this page - it's not for the faint of heart. It may be easier with the Tomato firmware.
posted by jquinby at 11:04 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

One Google search to try is "traffic shaping". There are appears to be at least one freeware WinXP tool to control bandwidth usage, Traffic Shaper XP. I never used it, so caveat downloader.

You could also look at nontechnical means to deal with the problem. If simply talking to the miscreant hasn't worked, and if you have more than one way of getting Internet access (e.g., both cable and DSL are available), maybe you could put the bandwidth hog on his or her own service.
posted by metaquarry at 11:07 AM on April 2, 2009

The search terms you need are things like

bandwidth throttling
rate limiting
Wiki entry on bandwidth throttling

This links to some software you can run on windows to limit bandwidth. Might be worth researching.

Personally i would go for the approach jquinby is suggesting and throttling using a firewall, that might be a little overkill for this situation though
posted by moochoo at 11:07 AM on April 2, 2009

What you want to do is throttle bandwidth at your router by MAC address. That should give you some google-fodder.

There are a number of third-party (open-source, I think) operating systems that you can install on routers that give you this kind of control if your router doesn't already have it. OpenWRT (which can only be installed on certain routers), XORP, or dd-wrt gives you an insane variety of configuration options, but it would take some noodling around to get everything working right.

This page from the dd-wrt wiki describes how you can prioritize by MAC address. So you'd prioritize your machine and your non-jackass user's machine above the jackass'.
posted by adamrice at 11:08 AM on April 2, 2009

You could do rate shaping with a linux box between your modem and the rest of your network as well.
posted by pombe at 11:11 AM on April 2, 2009

How about making Jackass get his own connection, since he's effectively stealing the money you're paying for service every month? If your roommate ate all your groceries, you'd get pretty mad, right? How is this different?
posted by buzzv at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you can get Netlimiter on his PC when he's *ahem* not looking, its very easy to configure. You can set an overall throttle or just for various apps. If he's not particularly computer literate, he may never know. Saves messing around with routers.
posted by daveyt at 11:39 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another method, depending on how everyone is plugged into the router, is to hard-set his port to something obnoxious like 10 Mb/half-duplex.
posted by jquinby at 11:59 AM on April 2, 2009

+1 for Netlimiter. I use it on my small LAN to do a similar thing to what you're aiming to do. If I recall correctly, later versions can be remotely administered.
posted by Solomon at 12:11 PM on April 2, 2009

What everybody above is suggesting is the avenue that you're looking for. Just be prepared for your roommate to start asking "Hey, guys, you notice the Internet is getting wicked slow lately?" It'll probably drive them nuts. Just be prepared for them to want ask to call the ISP to get them to fix it.
posted by General Malaise at 12:40 PM on April 2, 2009

Look, talk to them about this.
Confrontation is sometimes good.
Address the issue rather than
coming up with another passive
method of dealing with them.

But if you really prefer that method,
how about the two non-hogging people
pull out and get their own connection
to share? When the hogger has to
pay for everything he uses, he will,
no doubt, cut back.
posted by Sully at 1:24 PM on April 2, 2009

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