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Stop Steam From Hogging All of The Bandwidth

Updated on March 18, 2013


Any gamer out there knows that we have a problem. Any college student that has roommates that like to game and download these games from Steam, know there is a problem. Steam is a great client, but there is a slight problem when you are trying to download a game from your library. Steam LOVES bandwidth. It loves it so much, it will destroy any other persons entertainment if they are on the same network. Today I have a solution for everyone. I will walk through how to limit Steam from hogging all the bandwidth.


There are a few clients out there that give the customization that I need to limit Steam. The best one I have found is called NetBalancer. NetBalancer has a free version and a paid version. The free version restricts the program to only have a set amount of rules to apply to other applications. The paid gives an unlimited amount of rules and restrictions. However for this example we only need the free version.

  1. Download the program (free or paid)
  2. Install the program following through the prompts (It may require a restart)
  3. After you have restarted see below


For this step be sure to have steam running!

Fig 1
Fig 1


Once you have installed the application and restarted if needed, run NetBalancer.

  1. You will be presented with the main window
  2. Find the Steam application
  3. Right click the Steam application
  4. Go to "Create Rule.."

You will then be presented with another window specifically creating a rule for Steam.

Fig 2
Fig 2

Rule Setup

The window that displays is the rule window. The amount of features that are available are unreal.

  1. The first thing we need to do is select what interface we would like to limit. In my case I selected Ethernet
  2. The next thing I did was changed the portion in blue. Downloaded and uploaded to Limited. For my connection I have a 35 MBs down and 5 MBs up. About 250-500 KBs is good enough to not lag the network and still get the download done quickly. For upload I set it to 30 KBs.
  3. After this click OK

Unless there are any more settings that are desired like what day and what time of day you would like it to run, this is about it. It is super powerful and I love it.

Final Comments

This should limit Steam, to test this, start downloading an application. It may go up above your limit but it isn't accurate. If it is hovering around the limit you have set, it means it is working. Congrats!

If this guide helped you in some way, rate it as such below! If there are any questions leave a comment below! Thanks!


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