Any way to limit bandwidth?

Discussion in 'PC Support Archive' started by xbh1h2, Dec 20, 2008 with 9 replies and 421 views.

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  1. xbh1h2

    xbh1h2 Getting There

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    Alright every time i go to play my 360 my mom gets on youtube and starts lagging everything up. Its like she does it on purpose. Im not about to tell her to get off, because then Id probably get yelled at. Anyway is there a way to limit her bandwidth using zonealarm or some other program?

     
  2. Distorted Hope

    Distorted Hope Enthusiast

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    my brother did the same thing to me. after hours of searching google i got frustrated and put youtube in the blocked sites list in internet explorer and, it will still let you go there but it wont let you watch videos, says that javascript is disabled, i told him it was some kind of virus that did it.
     
  3. OP
    xbh1h2

    xbh1h2 Getting There

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    Can you do that with firefox?
     
  4. boom365

    boom365 Enthusiast

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  5. IncorrectUsername

    IncorrectUsername Newbie

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    Assuming the two of you are sharing the Internet connection via a router of some kind, then the best way to do this (where "best" = "least obvious, most efficient/effective") would be to log into the router's config page -- usually located at http:192.168.0.1, but google is your friend if that address is not -- and look for an "advanced networking" tab or menu, which is where most modern (1-2yo) consumer routers keep the settings for DMZ, network priority, QOS, and I've even seen a few D-Links that offered a "Gaming IP" option, which allowed the user to essentially say "This IP address belongs to my Xbox, give it priority over Mom (And everyone else)."

    But let's assume that you (like me, and most people) don't have a one-button, turnkey "fix gaming lag" option in your router's interface. :smile:

    Back to the other options I mentioned -- placing your Xbox in the DMZ is the method many people use to finally get all those "Strict NAT" errors to go away w/ Xbox Live. Essentially, the system (in this case, your Xbox) is placed on a different segment from the rest of your computers/devices, and this allows it to act much like it's connected directly to the Internet, ****d, with no firewall or router to "protect" it -- which isn't necessary for the Xbox, so this isn't a bad side effect. But long story short, the "DMZ" setting is located *somewhere* in every consumer router (Wired and wireless) I've run across in the last 5 years or so, and only once was it even named differently (one netgear router referred to it as "client isolation" -- which really meant "everyone OTHER than that client is isolated/safe" but I guess that didn't sound as cool and trendy hehe).

    I know, I know -- "But I never asked how to get my ports open and WAH WAH WAH," yeah, okay, I'll actually answer your *real* question now -- I was getting to it, I swear! :smile: Basically, a side effect of placing your console in the DMZ is that almost all consumer routers will end up prioritizing it. Or rather, since everyone else is going through the firewall, NAT, etc, etc -- the rest of the network can seem fairly slow (since every packet is being analyzed, passed along by a "middleman" so to speak, involving more CPU time in the router) while the gaming traffic is merely "handed over" to the console in the DMZ, which is a fairly insignificant operation. What that meant in English, of course, is that "non-DMZ network go slower, have more overhead, Grog not happy" while "DMZ system (your console) go hella fast, Grog happy, Grog thrust sharp stick into air in celebratory gesture!" Well, you get the idea.

    I mentioned the DMZ method first because it's (1) ubiquitous; ie, no matter who makes your router, this option is *there* even if you have to search for it; and (2) typing your Xbox's IP addy into the field labeled "DMZ" is a fairly quick and painless action. QoS (quality of service) and network prioritization, throttling, etc, are all topics that are beyond the scope of this (already too-wordy) reply. But remember, google is your friend, and so is the help file that undoubtedly accompanies your Router's configuraton page. Look for those buzz words (QOS, etc) and if you see them, read what options your make/model router offers -- although these can be a bit more complex than the DMZ option, you'll have a *LOT* more control over things. Network prioritization can be used to literally put a bandwidth "cap" on a particular port, or a particular IP address, so that Mom's computer never gets more than X% of the bandwidth whenever the xbox is on...

    ...which is a nice way to (1) fix the problem, while (2) not being so obvious about what's up. I mean, we've all noticed laggy connections to youtube in the past...and the Internet is slow all the time, it's standard faire to complain about (And accept as fact) when it comes to connection times. But if mom wants to check out youtube and she litterally can't get to the site, period, then she's going to get drunk and start sleeping around -- well, that's based more on *my* mom, your mileage may vary.

    However, let me conclude this admittedly *ridiculously* long reply to a simple question by saying: If you really just want to block mom (or anyone) from visiting certain bandwidth heavy sites, and you don't really care if they can access them at all, then there's a ridiculously simple way to cut a system off from the site(s).

    The firefox plugin is a great suggestion, but if mom (or roommates, or whoever) uninstalls it, then there goes that plan. And even if they don't know how to do that, they probably know they can click on the big blue 'e' and get another browser, and obviously the firefox plugin isn't going to limit Internet Explorer, or Safari, or (insert obscure browser name here).

    In Windows XX (where XX = XP, NT, 2000, 2003, 98, 98SE, ME, and probably Vista, but I've never touched the latter so I YMMV), grab the mouse with your feet and click:
    Start --> Search for Files
    Select "advanced options," tell it to search for system and hidden files (off by default) and then search for the following file: hosts

    Depending on what version of Windows you're running, the file can be located in about sixteen billion places, though I might exaggerate (mildly). On my (XPpro-SP3) machine, the hosts file is in the following (IMO) odd location:
    c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
    But yours may be different (hence my suggestion that you search for the little guy). Once you've located him, open 'em up in notepad (or some other *PLAINTEXT* editor, ie: not wordpad, Word, PowerPoint, Mathlab, Flight Simulator, etc).

    Scroll down to the bottom and append the following line to the END of the file:
    Code:
    127.0.0.1        youtube.com          #evil anti-youtube block
    127.0.0.1        bleepbloop.org        #some other place blocked
    Replace "bleepbloop.org" with any other site that you'd like to censor, you evil hater of freedom and robber of dreams!

    Save the file, and make sure notepad doesn't add an extension (eg, "hosts.txt" instead of "hosts") when you save. Now, when you fire up IE, Firefox, or anything else for that matter, any attempts to visit Youtube (for a video, for text, for a cookie, or even for love and happiness) will be blocked, regardless of whether it's directly from youtube.com or merely embedded in someone's myspace profile.
    Side note, only if you're curious:
    This works because
    the hosts file is like a tiny, local DNS -- it provides IP addresses and instructs the computer to assocate those IPs with various names, etc. But the hosts file overrides any DNS settings, for every internet program on your computer -- so when you tell it "YouTube.com is located at 127.0.0.1," you're essentially saying "Whenever I ask for youtube, I want you to just redirect me to my own computer." Since your computer isn't youtube and probaby isn't even running a web server, that means Mom can hit Reload for days -- but 404 Not Found is all she'll ever get -- and unless you tell her what's going on, you can do all this without ending up with a lump of coal in your stocking.

    And all you had to do was edit one tiny little text file.


    ...well, that, and you had to read this absurdly long post. But reading is good for you, damnit! Yeah...this isn't me being longwinded; I'm just promoting literacy!

    Anyway, do some of the stuff mentioned in this post or not, but if you do, then I'm glad it helped, and if you didn't, I'm glad I helped encourage literacy.


    Cheers and good luck!


    ps - of course, if your mom is anything like my mom, you can keep her off the computer by just handing her one or two more cups of eggnog, but once again, I fear I might be digressing, so away with me!

     
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  6. OP
    xbh1h2

    xbh1h2 Getting There

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    Wow. Thank you that was so in depth my jaw just hit the floor. I wish I could thank you more than once!:w00t:
     
  7. Distorted Hope

    Distorted Hope Enthusiast

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    my god, that helps me soooo much, this should be stickied.
     
  8. MunneY

    MunneY Enthusiast

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    very very thorough... maybe a little over kill but hey, it gets the job done... nice job bud
     
  9. Bac0n

    Bac0n Seasoned Member

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    If you have a good router, you should be able to limit the bandwidth to each device. Just split it 50/50 :biggrin:
     
  10. Haxalot88

    Haxalot88 VIP VIP

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    even the new linksys routers have a control to allow you to limit transfer rate on LAN-based access. Since everyone's but mine and my brother's computers are hooked via a LAN cable, I just set the priority to Low, and then I set all xbox-related ports to a High-priority.
     
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