Help My Roommate Uses All of My Bandwidth!

I could have titled this little gem with “Brother”, “Cousin”, “Son”, or any number of family members but I thought that Roommate would be shorter than trying to include every family member in the title of this … I haven’t had to do this before but I’ve gotten really close on a couple of occasions. I started to write this as a comment on a friend’s blog but it got too involved.

He, like many people, have run into the situation where one person on their home network (usually not so tech savvy) is doing something like gaming, watching movies online, or file sharing, that is sucking up lots of bandwidth and said person doesn’t realize how inconsiderate that is for those of us trying to get some real work done.

There is a solution but it’s not for the non-techy because this ‘could’ mess up (called bricking) your router. But I’ve flashed everything from old external modems to pentium computers. So, if you have any related body of experience to pull from you should be able to do this as well.

If you’d like to have the option of either beefing up your bandwidth or segmenting only a certain portion of your bandwidth you could buy the Linksys WRT54GL and then setup QOS where you can Prioritize the bandwidth by MAC Address. Once you flash your router there really is a LOT more that you can do with this than I could easily cover in a quicky article like this. But this is one sort of home network traffic shaping that would be an option.

There is also more than one option for the WRT54GL firmware. I’ve read the most about Tomato firmware and DD-WRT. You’d have to go through the features and functionality of those two to see what you’d want … If you’ve never done anything like this before, it sounds harder than it is. It’s just “a bit different” from what many people are used to. But if you’ve flashed a BIOS before you should be able to handle this without a problem.

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