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how to limit roommate's bandwidth without him know

Last response: in Networking
February 23, 2005 9:57:10 AM

Hi, we have a huge problem. I live with 3 people since rents are expensive and stuff. Anyway, we pay $60/month for 512k/256k cable, I realize it's a tad expensive for the speed but that's the only provider we have available here in my area. We have 3 computers hooked up to a Switch, which is hooked up to the cable modem.

Ok the problem is this. One of the roommates (let's call him roommate2) sits around all day downloading stuff. He downloads 24/7. That is ok during some certain periods of time, but then at peak hours it affects my gaming and housemate3's gaming as well. I realize connection at peak hours are generally slow, but i know for a fact that turning off his downloads help on our connections.

To try to solve this problem we've talked to him and assigned download hours, which in about a month he forgets about them.
We also have downloaded Netlimiter, and i had to remove it since it was causing some weird error when i closed programs. Roommate2 also deleted it and took my problem as an excuse.

We have thought about getting a router, but roommate2 doesn't want to spend any money and I'm not working atm and neither is roommate3.

Is there a way i could tamper with Roommate2's bandwidth and limit it without using some obvious program he could simply deactivate? He's pretty much a computer noob, he knows the basics and stuff... I just don't want to fight over cable, he's a good friend but a bit stubborn at times.

Thanks for your help.
February 24, 2005 6:12:43 AM

The only way I can think of that you can limit the bandwidth usage transparently is at the gateway. That would require either buying a router or setting up an old computer to be a router. A few newer home routers can do bandwidth limiting and nearly every linux router distro can (to setup on an old machine). Then bandwidth limiting is done by IP address transparently to the user. You would want to assign his machine a static ip though just to make sure the limiting sticks with him.

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February 24, 2005 10:35:48 AM

Thanks for your reply.

We bought a router yesterday, a Netgear rp614v3. We can't set it up because it detects that our connection has static ip config, when that's not true. We called the ISP to make sure. Already we went to the store to return the router in case we had a bad one and got another one of the same model but it does the same thing. Our modem is a motorola SB5100 (it isn't a router modem). Not sure what to do, i'm thinking of getting a refund and buy a Linksys cause i'm sure it's the router.
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February 24, 2005 1:36:14 PM

Return it and buy the Linksys.
Your cable provider is locking on your MAC address and locking that DHCP assigned IP address to the first NIC it's finding. The standard release time is 4 hours but you should be able to call them up and have them reset it. You can also use the MAC spoofing feature in the linksys router but you would need to know what address it has. Get the linksys, hook it up, call your ISP and tell them you had to switch out your NIC and you can't connect, they'll know what to do from there. They have to release the MAC address on their end and pick up the new one (the router) and from that point you should be good.
As far as limiting your roommate. This great feature called QoS (Quality of Service) is heard of, but few know what it's for. Here's a step by step to do exactly what you want to do:

February 24, 2005 1:47:35 PM

Wow thanks, I knew it had something to do with the mac address, and we called the ISP but the people there seem uneducated and they say they dont use the mac addresses anymore. Obviously they don't know what i'm talking about or they are lying.

When we installed the cable they specified that up to 3 mac addresses may be conected so im sure that has to be it.

We also tried getting them to reset the mac adresses thing overthere but they just made excuses and such.

But anyway ill try disconnecting the stuff 4~6 hours and work on it. Or call again to see if someone that knows answers.

Good stuff on the QoS feature will try it :) 

Thanks for the help!
February 24, 2005 5:49:54 PM

Ok I solved the problem. Thanks for all the help guys!
February 26, 2005 12:47:38 AM

Thats pretty cool... Ill do that!

"If youre paddling upstream in a canoe and a
wheel falls off, how many pancakes fit in a doghouse? None! Icecream doesn't have bones!!!"

"Battling Gimps and Dimbulbs HERE at THGC"
February 26, 2005 12:59:47 AM

Umm... Its not working.. I set it to 99% and it does not limit it at all. Same thing for 1% just in case. I did a restart after each. Any ideas?

"If youre paddling upstream in a canoe and a
wheel falls off, how many pancakes fit in a doghouse? None! Icecream doesn't have bones!!!"

"Battling Gimps and Dimbulbs HERE at THGC"