I noticed yesterday that the popular live streaming software Sopcast was using all of my computer’s upload bandwidth. The program uses P2P technologies to distribute the live stream to all connected users, just like the newly announced Bittorrent Live does.
Using all of my computer’s upload speed, 10 Mbit in total, put a lot of strain on other programs that used the Internet connection (I discovered this with the help of Netspeed Monitor).
This can cause problems if you share the connection with other users, or run programs in the background that require a certain amount of upload speed to function properly and without lags. Maxing out your upload bandwidth can also cause problems with your ISP as they may limit your connection or ask you to upgrade to an account that is more expensive.
I first tried to find an option in Sopcast itself to limit the upload bandwidth, but there was none unfortunately. Research on the Internet revealed a handful of commercial programs, and solutions for Linux, to limit the upload bandwidth of a program. There seems to be only one free program for recent versions of Windows that can limit the upload of selected programs.
Netbalancer Free lets you limit the upload and download speed of all processes running on the system. You can read my previous review here: NetBalancer, Internet Traffic Monitoring, Controlling Software.
Here, I’m only describing how you can utilize the program to limit a program’s bandwidth use under Windows. NetBalancer displays a list of all processes running on the system on startup. Each process is listed with its name and the current download and upload rate. You can now limit the rate of a process by right-clicking it, and selecting one of the available options from the context menu.
You can select one of the pre-defined values (low, normal or high), block the program completely from sending data, or use the limit option to set a custom limit in Kilobytes per second. Once you have configured the upload limit, you will immediately notice that the program won’t go over that limit anymore when NetBalancer is running.
I configured Sopcast’s upload limit to 500 KB/s, which resolved all the underlying issues I had with the program before.