How to Restrict Bandwidth in a Linksys Wireless Router

by Jeff Grundy

Modern broadband Internet connections provide fast download and browsing speeds. In fact, sometimes people may be able to download or stream too much data, too fast -- at least from the perspective of the Internet service provider. Virtually all major ISPs place bandwidth limits or restrictions on consumers and businesses. Consequently, if you download too much data, the ISP may charge you extra for going over your allocated bandwidth amount. If you have a Linksys wireless router, the device can help you control data downloads by allowing you to limit or restrict bandwidth usage for network computers based on several variables that you can select and configure yourself.

QoS Basics

In computer networking, Quality of Service refers to mechanisms and methods used to ensure high performance for prioritized applications and systems. Linksys wireless routers provide QoS settings to allow administrators to prioritize certain applications or bandwidth for specific computers or devices. The QoS settings in Linksys routers also let administrators limit the bandwidth for certain types of applications and users of certain workstations. Like all other configuration options for Linksys wireless routers, you can find the QoS settings in the router's Web-based setup page.

The Linksys Web Interface

Because all of the important configuration settings for your Linksys router are on the Web-based setup page, you'll need to use a browser application to log in to the device. The Linksys Web-based configuration page works with all modern Web browsers; you can access the Web-based setup page by typing “” into the address bar of the browser and pressing the “Enter” key. Once you reach the login page for the router configuration page, simply enter your router username and password. If you have not changed the default login details for your Linksys wireless router, leave the username field blank and enter “admin” as the password.

Ways to Limit Bandwidth

Once you log into the Linksys router configuration utility, clicking the Applications and Gaming link will display the QoS sub tab. On the QoS tab, you can set device priorities based on the Media Access Control address, Ethernet port priority and application priority. If all of the computers connected to the Linksys router have wireless capability, you'll probably find it easier to set device priority based on MAC address rather than Ethernet port, since Ethernet ports require cables. You can find the MAC address for each individual computer by opening a Command Prompt window, and then typing “ipconfig /all” at the prompt. You can open a Command Prompt window from the Start menu by first clicking “Run,” typing “CMD” into the Run field and then pressing the “Enter” key. After you determine all of the MAC addresses for wireless computers on your network, you can then set their access priority to “High” or “Low.” Additionally, you can set access priority by application as well. Therefore, if you have certain applications you don't want using up your bandwidth, you can enter them and the ports they use as well.

Other Solutions

In addition to being able to set up bandwidth priorities with a Linksys wireless router, you can also deny access to certain websites. With a Linksys router, you can block access to selected websites all of the time or just during certain time periods during the day. Your Linksys wireless router makes blocking access to websites relatively simple, and you can access the settings for doing so from the Access Restrictions menu option on the main configuration page. To block access to a website, simply select the MAC address for the computer you want to block, then enter the name of the website you want to block and the hours during the day when the user should not be able to access it.

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.