Feature Request: Dealing with Bandwidth Caps

I have never had to worry about bandwidth caps until the past year. My ISP allows 1.25TB per month and the past several months I have been getting close, and twice exceeded it (for a $10.00 USD fee). I blame larger game downloads, more streaming services in our household and in general, greater bandwidth requirements as streaming services improve.

-can the Net-Traffic page be modified for different monthly start/stop dates? Currently it shows monthly bandwidth from start to end of each month. My ISP measures from the middle of the month to the middle of the next month. If I could modify the start/stop dates for each month, I can have a more accurate real-time picture of my bandwidth usage for that billing month.
-Is it possible to set up something in IPFire that at least can monitor bandwidth in a custom range and warn if caps are close to being exceed, or if possible, even throttle bandwidth if it detects a bandwidth cap may be exceeded?

I have a feeling these answers are NO :slight_smile: but I thought it worth asking because I have a feeling bandwidth caps may become more prevalent moving forward.

I hope this is not true.

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Apparently I exceeded this month by 7GB. LOL.

It looks like your increase started at close to the same time as mine. Strange.

This might be slightly difficult on the web UI, but vnstat generally supports queries for specific dates like so:

vnstat --days --begin 2024-04-02 --end 2024-04-06 -I red0


change capital I to small i

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Yeah, I figured that out too :slight_smile: It’s actually kind of useful as long as I don’t mind keeping a putty window open all the time.

I actually turned my QoS back on hoping the bandwidth reduction will slow things just enough to keep me under my cap by the end of each month. I’m paying for 300Mbps/25Mbps. I’m using QoS to throttle bandwidth to 150Mbps/15Mbps by setting it to 200Mbps/16Mbps.

In my graph above that is at 25mb / 25mb

I have the same cap and fight the same battles (overages cost $10 per 50 GB more data)

Changing the QoS will not help as it will only slow the speed and not slow the amount of data used.

Yeah, intellectually I know, but part of me hopes there’s just enough of a slowdown to roll a tiny bit of data each day to the next day, which makes some tiny bit of difference at the end of the month. LOL.

I ended up:

  • turning off all on-line (internet) backups,
  • not doing any software updates,
  • turning off all computers except for the one I was using,
  • changing cell phones from wi-fi data to cell data only
  • not streaming any video content.

it is a boring few days!

Cox? :wink: Those numbers look super familiar to me.

This is very interesting because this used to be a common request in the past. Since then it seems that they have gone away. That said, they used to be a very US-only thing as far as I know.

Even the QoS is falling out of fashion more and more because uplinks have become very fast and really slow internet connections with a whole office with lots of people in them have also disappeared quite a lot.

So this is somewhat surprising for me to hear. Have the caps never gone? Or are they coming back? Is this to keep rural internet connections working because of high congestion or is this a very common thing to get a cheaper connection regardless whether you are living in a large city or somewhere in the country side?

@ms Speaking from South Africa, the only internet connections that still have data caps are LTE/5G home connections, fibre is uncapped for the most part. Not sure what kind of connectivity is bring used by USA ISPs, it would be interesting to know.

Thanks for the feedback, just to clarify what my image of the situation in Europe is:

  • Yes, 5G/4G/etc. is pretty much always capped. However the caps have gone up so much that most people don’t have to worry about them any more.
  • I am not aware of a single DSL/Cable/Fibre provider that has a capped plan. I am sure there are some niche ISPs that offer some niche product for some niche customers, but overall they simply don’t exits. Neither for business nor consumers. If anything, you choose your bandwidth.

If your only internet connection is via mobile subscription, caps are a thing.
I have a branch office connected via IPsec which use mobile connection with cap. I configured on the appliance (indeed old, EOS since 5 years and on the market since 12) that connection has budget, reset date of the month and reporting for statistics via SMTP. Also speed has tuned to “reduce” possible issues.

For the branch: it’s a small warehouse with only one person. VDSL was not fast enought to make worthwile the option.

I have never had any caps from any of three ISP’s I have used in the Netherlands.

They just cap the speed, dependent on what speed you agree to pay for.

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I can only speak for myself, but I have used the same ISP for 14 years, and as far as I can remember, the 1.25TB monthly cap has always been there. I just never came close to hitting it, until December of last year. The same three people have lived in our home all that time, with similar online behavior. That is why I guessed:
-game installation downloads are growing
-streaming services are starting to expand their services which in turn uses more bandwidth

Our household has forsaken cable or satellite TV because of how overpriced they are and we’re using streaming services exclusively for several years now.

@ms My ISP caps at 1280GB. For every 50GB you go over, you are charged $10. They have other bandwidth tiers you can pay extra for: +500GB per month for $30 extra, or unlimited bandwidth for $50 extra.

Further information on data caps:


@bloater99 Sheesh, some of those caps are ridiculous!! I kill 100GB in a DAY!! :joy:

Windows you can change the bandwidth
Used by updates. Not sure how affective this is. But maybe usefull in a household full of Windows PC’S. The perfect application for Squid updates accelerator. But probably useless today. With everything HTTPS.
Makes QoS less affective too.