How to Restrict Bandwidth in a Linksys Wireless Router

Access your Linksys router settings from your Web browser.
... Jupiterimages/ Images

Restricting bandwidth on your Linksys router can help prevent a single computer or device from bogging down your Wi-Fi network during periods of heavy use. The method for restricting bandwidth entails assigning a priority level to each computer or other device such as a gaming console or mobile device. When two devices attempt to access the router at the same time, the device with the higher priority gets more bandwidth. You can also limit the upload bandwidth for all devices to prevent slowdowns during large file uploads.

Enter "" (without quotes) into your browser's address bar to access the login screen for the router's Web-based utility. Leave the User Name field blank, and enter "admin" (without quotes) as the password. If these settings don't work, check for the correct settings in the router manual or on a sticker attached to the router.

Click the "Applications & Gaming" tab on the setup page, and then select the "QoS" subtab.

Select the "Enabled" radio button to activate bandwidth prioritization on the router.

Change the first drop-down setting to "Manual" if you want to restrict the upload speed of all computers and devices on the router. This setting is useful when you regularly upload a lot of image or other files, and you don't want to bog down your entire Wi-Fi network during the process. You can set the maximum upload speed to anywhere from 1 to 512 Mbps. Leave the setting on "Auto" to use the maximum speed of 512 Mbps.

Change the second drop-down setting to "MAC Address" to begin restricting the download bandwidth of individual devices on the network.

Make up a name for the first computer or device you want to restrict, and then enter the device's MAC address.

Change the Priority setting to either "Low," "Normal," "Medium" or "High," depending on what bandwidth priority you want to give the device.

Click the "Add" button. The setup utility creates an entry for the device in the lower half of the page. You can go back later and edit the entry if you want to change the device's priority.

Create priorities for other devices on the network using the same steps. Click "Save Changes" when done.

  • You can find the MAC address of a Windows PC by opening a Command Prompt window and entering "getmac" (without the quotes). The MAC address will look something like "DC-1F-A1-7B-04 -55". If you see multiple addresses, ignore any with "Media Disconnected" next to them.
  • Locate the MAC address on a Mac computer using the following menu sequence: "Apple" | "System Preferences" | "View" | "Network" | "Wi-Fi" | "Advanced." The MAC address is next to "Wi-Fi Address" or "AirPort Address."
  • Find the MAC address on an Android device by tapping "Settings," selecting "Wireless and Network," and then tapping "Wi-Fi Settings."
  • On an iOS device, tap Settings," select "General," and then tap "About." The MAC address is listed as "Wi-Fi Address."
  • On gaming consoles and other Wi-Fi devices, the MAC address is usually listed in the advanced network or wireless settings.

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.