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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 26699 30-Sep-2008 22:48
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Hey there.

We have a rather large flat who all share the internet, however some people use more and some people use less.

Noone can agree or will pay more than 25 bucks a month unless I can prove that they personally used more than their fair share.

I'm not too sure how to do this, however I have seen it done for free.

I have a spare computer and two ADSL wireless Routers and enough cables to set this up.

The idea is to set it up so that each wireless computer sends their mac address and the computer(sever) reads this and then can monitor how much each user uses and can put a limit on how much each user can use. For example 5GB limit per computer But I don't know how to do it.

Is there a really good guide to set something like this up?

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8020 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 168436 1-Oct-2008 19:30
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Option 1: Install a usage monitoring program on each computer (eg: NetLimiter)

- Pros:  Simple
- Cons:  User could close it, disabled it, uninstall it to make their usage seem less.

Option 2:  Install linux or BSD based transparent web proxy software on an old pc.   This will act as a go between in your network between the adsl modem and your users computers.  Examples:  pfsense, smoothwall, monowall.

- Pros:  You get local web caching for free cutting down on bandwidth use, it runs 24x7 and can't be disabled by your users
- Cons:  More complex to setup and get going.  Requires a spare old pc.

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Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 386


  Reply # 168453 1-Oct-2008 20:34
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Here's an example of the Smoothwall Express traffic monitor, very cool.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 168725 3-Oct-2008 00:53
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I use softperface bandwidth monitor.
Its good cause you can tunnel all net through it and add rules based on mac addresses.

e.g. after user x reaches their BW limit they can be throttled down or cut off.

Plus it runs as a service and does not measure network trafic as net traffic (like other software does)

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 169689 7-Oct-2008 20:56
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Hey there guys,

Cheers for your help so far, I decided to go with IPCop for now, but am finding it rather difficult to understand.

I might try some of the other ideas soon

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 169719 7-Oct-2008 22:41
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Smoothwall is REALLY good..

I am going to incorporate it into my network here at home once exams are over hehe

Have used it before and works much better than IPCop to say the least


355 posts

Ultimate Geek

  Reply # 169734 8-Oct-2008 00:05
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I recently spent an entire month of my life researching this. There's just nothing user-friendly or very practical at the moment. By this I'm referring to a modem that correctly monitors and limits.

You have only a few options:

1) Buy an expensive Cisco router and research something called NetFlow. You'll need to keep your computer turned on 24/7 however to monitor all traffic. This method can only nail the culprit, not stop them once they've reached their limit.

2) Buy another computer and install one of the applications already mentioned. This would be my preferred route but the thought of leaving ANOTHER computer running 24/7 makes me cringe. Perhaps if you found a low watt model? With this method you're able to monitor, slow down and even display a cute "BANDWIDTH LIMIT EXCEEDED MOTHER ****ER" message - followed by cessation of said internet service Laughing, all automatically!

3) Buy an even more expensive Cisco router (we're talking in the $1,000's), which have these tools built in. I just don't see why standard home routers aren't supplying these tools yet. QoS is crap.

Hope this helps.

355 posts

Ultimate Geek

  Reply # 169735 8-Oct-2008 00:08
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Oh and before I forget - the method I used isn't even on that list. I installed a proxy on my computer, blocked all traffic going directly to the modem from the home computer and forced the family to set up proxies on their browsers/torrent programs. I left my computer running for a month straight which caught the offenders red handed.

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