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Shaping/Controlling/Trottleing INBOUND trafic (cheaply)

Having (very) limited bandwith, and a 20-30 user lan can be very frustrating. I have to fix it somehow, so here is what I have found so far:

Possible solutions ?
1) cache ! Good idea, but what if the bandwith muncher is not http of ftp ?
Rare I know, but this happens ( 2 me 2 mutch ;-)

2) Shape/throttle. Ok... BUT this is only 'easy' on outbound connections, and my outbount trafic is NOT the problem !

I need to controll (and log/investigate) the flow in. "As policy" the ISP "does not get involved" ( cant switch ISP - 3rd world )

I did STFW over and over and what I found is that:
1) there is GNU software/methods that can limit incomeing flow by droping packets to slow down connections, but this is not recomended since it is wastefull ( total trafic over the wire not= trafic into lan due to (lots of)droped packets)

2) There is software that can manipulate the TCP window size, but this is WAY out my budget. ( as is hardware solutions )

BUT, new stuff comes out every day, hopefully there is something that I havent come accross yet.
AND I'm still relatively new to linux, and I've only spent a week Google'n on this stuff.

What am I asking ? ADVICE, Educated oppinion, and genraly just a kick in the right direction.

What are my options ( appart from what I already mentioned ) ?

Thanks so much for any help/contrebution that you may offer me.
2 Solutions
Solutions for you are:
Squid to cache visit
tc - traffic control to shape the connection
visit  everything you need for traffic control is there

XorbAuthor Commented:
Like I said, I am not asking about cache. Cache just covers FTP and HTTP, and there is allot more trafic than that on my network.

I am reading thanks.
I am busy looking for the same kind of solution myself...

Seeing that any incoming data is already at your modem (local) by the time you want to manipulate it (it already used the bandwidth) , there can be no real effective solution to do this.

Anyway, look at for some for info.

They have quite an effective solution and explanation.

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XorbAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I was hoping that article was outdated. Most of what I said in my opening is based on that dock. ( well, what I said about droping packets and the TCP window size )

XorbAuthor Commented:
I just chaecked out your user info ... South Africa eh ? Me 2 !! Anyhow, seeing as you probably have a software budget, I can point you to a good solution to do what we are talking about ( it's the solution that I refered to as out of my budget ) <- these guys have a software solution that ( depending on your hardware ) is good up to 10Mbit, and hardware solutions that can handle up to 16 Gbit ( aledgedly )
Thanks Xorb,

Good to see some other South Africans here too ;)
Seems like all people in SA are facing this problem... hehe... with our AMAZINGLY cheap and effective solutions available for Broadband internet connections....(notice the sarcasm)

hehe... anyways, i work in Angola, but i'm looking for this solution for my internet connection at home... Sentech

Thanks for the info though, i'll keep it in mind.

Allows shaping and throttling inbound connections, although it does assume most clients are well behaved.
XorbAuthor Commented:
Cool .... I'll read up all the docks and maybe even try to set it up. Sorry if I dont get back to you ultra soon, but I will get back to you.

XorbAuthor Commented:
This question has been open way to long, and has long gone cold.

Pitty, would love to know if there has been any new software/solutions released since this date.

In the spirit of EE, points for everyone that showed intrest, sorry about the low rating but we dident get close to a solution.... guess it was just a impossible question.
Well I would suggest that you get a Cisco 877 router.  That was easy wasn't it !

You can do everything you like with bandwidth control IP prioritisation per client IP inbound and outbound and it is pretty cheap too considering what it does.  I use them for VOIP / bandwidth sensitive applications where the client has zero bandwidth (you know what I mean there).  You can fragment packets too into really small chunks which really smooths the flow out whilst reconstructing on the way out to your favorite MTU.
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