How to Limit Download Speed on a Router

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Updated August 9, 2022

If you are experimenting with the various features of your wireless network, you may wonder how to limit download speeds on a router. Even the best routers can max out their bandwidth, after all, so it is a good idea to know how to manipulate download speeds. Keep reading to find out how.


  • If you have multiple users on your Internet connection at once, all downloading files, you may want to limit the Internet speed to keep your router from becoming overwhelmed.
  • There are a few ways to do this, starting with accessing the router’s dashboard settings and changing traffic priority or bandwidth control options.
  • Other ways to control network bandwidth include adjusting parental control settings or using a third-party software suite.

Why Limit Download Speed on a Router?

If you have multiple connected devices all vying for downloads, you can help maintain the integrity of your wireless network by limiting download speeds. This is the case with all network devices if you are wondering what is the difference between routers and gateways.

For more helpful guides, check out our articles discussing the worth of tri-band routers, how to change the DNS setting on a router, and the best way to boost your wireless router signal.

Insider Tip

On the other hand, if you are looking to maximize the speed of downloads, try connecting your devices via an Ethernet cable.

How to Decrease Download Speeds on a Router

There are a number of ways to decrease or limit transfer speeds available from a wireless router, no matter if you are using a standard commercial router or a more specialized device if you are wondering what is a link aggregation router.

Method 1 – Via the Router Itself

  1. The most foolproof way to limit download speeds is via a router’s default gateway settings or Quality of Service (QoS) technology.
  2. Log in to your router’s dashboard via the means indicated by the instructions that came with the router. (Contact your ISP if you lost the manual.)
  3. Find a settings page for QoS, typically called QoS setup or something similar.
  4. Follow the prompts, entering your computer’s MAC address and IP address.
  5. Set your traffic priority to high, medium, or low.

Method 2 – Use Parental Controls

  1. New routers tend to feature robust parental controls dashboards that go above and beyond just limiting what websites kids can visit.
  2. Log on to your parental control settings page via the router’s dashboard menu.
  3. Find settings options for bandwidth or download speed, adjusting accordingly.

Method 3 – Third-Party Software

  1. There are many third-party software suites that address this issue, allowing users to adjust download speeds at will.
  2. Find your preferred piece of software, download it, and install it on your primary computer according to the instructions.
  3. Head into this software and look for options to change the bandwidth, download speeds, traffic priority, and/or network limits.
  4. Adjust your settings according to personal preference and then test out a download to make sure it stuck.


How do I limit bandwidth per device?

Advanced bandwidth control and options to limit bandwidth per device are typically available via a router’s advanced settings. Look for options listed network bandwidth, bandwidth control, maximum bandwidth, or bandwidth usages.

Can a router limit your Internet speed?

A router can certainly restrict or limit Internet speed. To limit Internet speed, follow the above instructions and change up bandwidth control options or network bandwidth options. This will result in slower speeds and priority levels, including upload speed.

How do I restrict my WiFi usage?

If you want to restrict usage of a wireless network, access parental controls, change the bandwidth limits, or contact your Internet service provider.

STAT: Within a normal home network, the bandwidth is shared by all computers. This means any computer using high-bandwidth applications, for example, torrent programs or other P2P software, will affect the other computers. (source)

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