Guest WiFi bandwidth exceeding 500 Mbps - put a cap on it?

Hi there, first post :smiley:

Been a Super Host for 3 years now for two studios on the same property we live on.

Currently we’re hosting a couple of young brothers (20-ish) who apparently love being on the interwebs.

I do try to provide excellent service both in accommodation as well as amenities - high speed WiFi included.

Anyways, it’s a first for us that the guests brought a PlayStation with them (according to my router’s log/info) and to my surprise the PS manages to stream/download at speeds beyond 500 Mbps resulting in approx. 400 GB in data within a couple of hours last night.

Since it’s been decades since I last used a gaming console I had to read up on the current game requirements etc. to figure out whether such internet traffic is legitimate or sketchy.

Thus far it looks pretty unlikely that the guests ‘only’ downloaded new games which would be the only plausible reason for such a continuous download bandwidth (upload stayed at about 10Mbps).

We regularly welcome guest who have to do remote work and especially for those we want to provide a flawless internet experience.

However, there seems to be the need for us to put a certain limitation on the guests’ network to keep not so legal traffic (Torrents, P2P, botnets) at a minimum.

When Airbnb offered to publish the WiFi’s speed test in their app I was focused on tweaking the WiFi to keep up with our competition and advertised these 500 Mbps on the Airbnb website.

I have no clue yet, whether my ISP might reach out to us at some point because of this situation (specifically with the current guests) but in order to provide a great WiFi experience what would you do, both in terms of addressing this to these guests right now and how to inform future guests the way our WiFi is supposed to be used?

Over the years we (unfortunately) found out that (some) guests do require verbal warnings because they refuse to read the house rules (or acknowledge the info stickers we plastered the studios with :man_facepalming:). So this might be now another ‘thing’ to be mentioned when we welcome our new guests…

*English isn’t my native tongue - If anything sounds unclear, just ask :slight_smile:

I know nothing about bandwidth but I agree that guests don’t read rules. Mention it when they book!

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Does your ISP charge for bandwidth? I found your question to be a bit confusing.

First, you need to differentiate between the amount of bandwidth being used and upload/download speeds. There is a big distinction and different countries and companies manage this differently.

Upload/Download Speeds of 500mbps: Your ISP caps the speed at 500mpbs for you. Do you know if they charge more for additional upload/download speeds?

BANDWIDTH: This is the important part. Your speeds of 500mbps are what you pay for. Your guests are “hogging” the data stream (regardless of the PlayStation’s ability to stream at faster speeds) and thereby “throttling” any other users on your wi-fi.

My son-in-law brings his PlayStation and it uses a lot of bandwidth (amount of data being used) even when just streaming “Paw Patrol.”

Does your ISP charge for the amount of data you stream? Some countries/companies cap your bandwidth/data usage. For instance, do you get 8gb of data at 500mbps or is it unlimited data and a capped speed?

This isn’t an issue for you to solve unless you want to spend a LOT of time configuring your routers to limit ISPs and block things like DuckDuckGo and bitTorrent or VPNs. Which in a WFH offering won’t… work.

So, is the current amount of data having a detrimental effect on anyone else streaming on the same wi-fi network? If so, speak to the guests who may be online gaming and then work on streaming guidelines so that the rest of the users can have speedy wi-fi access.

Did you speak to the guests and ask them what they were doing that used up 4gb of data in a few hours? I suspect online gaming, not just downloads.


Hi, thanks for your input. I think I have to clarify a few things - again, English isn’t my native tongue so maybe I was expressing myself not clearly.

My ISP is not charging me extra for any amount of data or bandwidth used, that’s why I didn’t include that info as it is irrelevant.

I’m subscribed to a 5 Gbps fibre optic connection and our property is covered with WiFi using 5 AP (access points).

The guests have a separate WiFi network (SSID) which is separated from our home network and only allows internet access.

I’m not worried about the amount of data used but rather the relatively large amount of data of 400 GB (not 4 GB as you mentioned) which were downloaded within two hours in the middle of the night. As per Google, a 4K movie requires a maximum of 16 GB of data per hour.

Since my understanding of current gaming consoles is limited, I had to google a little in order to find out what could create such a big need of bandwidth (500 Mbps) which is not the usual bandwidth when downloading stuff from the internet.

All I could find out that perhaps the guests downloaded all the latest games which could run up to 120 GB max which seems to be somewhat unlikely as they would have had to bring a newly purchased Playstation and pretty much set it up right when they arrived at our place.

That itself would not worry me either - but the fact that this traffic rate kept going even when the guests left the accommodation was a bit odd.

To make a long story short, I’m concerned that such bandwidth usage could indicate that they are using some sort of file sharing software like Bittorrent clients or worse a botnet server.

Streaming any sort of movie or show in 4K Ultra HD only requires about 25 Mbps but I doubt that they have 20 movies running simultaneously in 4K resolution in order to achieve a download bandwidth of 500 Mbps :man_shrugging:

So, back to my question, how would you handle this? I will try to just ignore this as long as no government officials show up on my doorstep :joy:

But would you just put a bandwidth limiter on the guest network and tell the guests that our internet is not super fast because we try to prevent illegal activities? LOL this is so awkward to explain to people…

If this data usage costs you nothing extra, why are you concerned?
Is it impacting your ability to use the internet?

Also curious as to where you live, if you are worried that a “government official” could show up on your doorstep if you download a movie or two?

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Dang I wish my PlayStation 5 could download at 500 mbps! Videogames are huge now (100+ gigabytes) and take forever to download or install off the disc. If they are setting up a new PS5 they could end up downloading a terabyte.

Is the issue that your ISP caps your monthly data? Are other users being slowed down on your network?

My router allows me to make a guest network and throttle the speeds, although I haven’t needed to. I have gigabit internet and Deco brand 6E mesh wireless. Enough internet to go around for our household so far.

I don’t really worry about guest downloading torrents or monitoring their internet. If I get the scary warning letter I may change my tune.

We live in Western Europe and please apologise my phrasing that “we might get a visit from government officials” :rofl: - I’m just very cautious about the stuff that happens on our WiFi network. As I’m the subcscriber to the internet access - also for our guests - I’m afraid that I will be held responsible if any illegal activities happen on the guest network. In the past I was reading about parents having to pay damages for music that was downloaded by their kids etc.

Since this “bandwidth matter” seems to have ended already it does look like that these guys just set up their PlayStation as the internet traffic on the guest network has normalised.

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Thank you for your response. It helps me to much better understand how these things operate! I thought that PS5s usually only come with 1TB of hard drive space. It’s crazy to see what kind of traffic these little buggers can create!

And yes, it was the PS alone that went just above 500 Mbps on a WiFi6 network.

My ISP is not capping anything. No clue however, if they would intervene at some point when traffic really gets out of hand.

Limiting the bandwidth would have been my last resort as we do want to offer a flawless WiFi experience especially for all the folks who need to work and want to play games and stream video.

As long as we would only get a “warning letter” it would be ‘ok’. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Just curious - why would someone come to your area and rent your property and then just play games all day?


That is a great question. Beats me.

I was hoping to see on this forum what kind of interesting stories other hosts have…

We do get ‘funny’ guests sometimes, that, after check-in, disappear inside the accommodation until check-out day. I wonder how they survive sometimes but that’s none of my business LOL.

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Happy to help! Yes, the PS5 comes with a 1 TB drive. It fills up pretty fast so a lot of gamers will get additional internal or external hard drives for their console. Otherwise they have to delete and reinstall games frequently.

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Ok, now I understand your position, and good to hear it seems to be resolved to your satisfaction.

However, what consenting adults do on the internet is no different anything else they might do behind closed doors.

If they did something else illegal in your property (let’s say “drugs” for example) would the authorities hold you responsible? Do you monitor your guests’ behavior for signs they might be snorting, injecting or popping pills?

Not only that, but if you decide internet usage should be limited, where does it end? Do you now also need to log which sites they visit and draw conclusions based on that?

Well… kind of and let me explain why that is.

First, we have a 6 year old daughter and I honestly would prefer NOT to have guests who hang out on our property high on “snorted, injected or popped substances”. I hope I’m not taking a far leap to assume that any parent would have no issue whatsoever, sharing their garden with guests who are under the influence of bespoke drugs.

Obviously, I cannot control that - however, we always do welcome our guests personally to make sure that they appear to be in an acceptable state of mind to follow our quick tour through the accommodation in order to avoid any misunderstandings with the listing’s description or to answer any other questions they might have.

After having a guest nearly pass out in our garden after three bottles of wine, falling and breaking our garden lighting as well as deciding to start smoking in our studio with the front door open I do reserve a right to check up on the surroundings of our home to ensure the safety of my family, other guests and the neighbourhood.

I’m not the police and people can do what they like behind closed doors as long as they are within our house rules, which basically only restrict smoking and open flames indoors.

I guess I would have to ask some legal council how any illegal online activities would be pursued if they happen within my WiFi network. Like I mentioned before, there have been cases reported where internet subscribers were held responsible for illegal activities that happened on their WiFi caused by someone else. I don’t know if these things are still being handled that way but I just would like to be aware of where my responsibility ends regarding a guest’s actions. That’s all.

Kindly note, that perhaps it might sound a bit off when I’m trying to explain the situation as English isn’t my native tongue.

I get it. Heavy internet bandwidth usage immediately correlates to out-of-control drug and alcohol abusers. I had never made that connection before - thanks so much for the information!

What is the ‘tipping point’ for bandwidth? Is it a solid number, in gigs, or is it a slope - up to x = wine abusers, up to y = pot for instance?

Again, thanks. I had lowered my paranoia lately (it seemed to make my life a bit happier) but it’s ramping up nicely, thanks to you and your post!



While the OP’s isn’t, not everyone has unlimited internet. I used to have only cell-based internet- it was metered and expensive. I made it clear in my ad that while I did have WIFI, it wasn’t fast or unlimited and wasn’t suitable for those who need to work online, uploading or downloading large files, gaming, or streaming.

That was a great explanation of your problem. The big red flag is that the network is still pulling huge amounts of data after the guests have gone.

Do you have new guests in place?

You need to reset your guest network right now, change passwords, router name, and run diagnostics because your network is being used remotely for … who knows.

Shut it down, check for viruses, trojans, bots, etc. reset all hardware to factory settings and check the registrar.


I have had these same experiences and had to close for a (booked) week because I couldn’t get rid of the smell of pot.

Yes we do have new guests again.

It turns out that the data-hungry guests did actually set up their PS5 and just downloaded everything they could because our “internet connection so was unbelievably fast” :joy: So they left the gaming console running while they went out for the evening, hence the continued high rate of traffic.

It’s not something I care about as long as I know that I cannot be held responsible for my guest’s activities online.

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Curious to hear how you managed to get rid of the smell. Just amazing to experience all these guests who seem to misunderstand the non-smoking stickers on the windows who decide to smoke indoors regardless. Just book a place where it is allowed to smoke inside…

So… just this? No ‘bots’ left in your system, no bitcoin bs etc lol? Then this is a ‘win’ for your airbnb.

Then I would find a way to make sure you advertise the fast download capabilities - it may attract others simply for that. Similar to advertising a hot tub or a laundry room, this could be a big selling point.

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