Monitor Router Traffic

Posted on 2006-04-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I want to find out how much bandwidth individual users on our small company network use accessing the internet. We have a highspeed wireless router(Linksys) that relays the signal over to office. It has to pass through our VPN firewall router in the office (Netgear FVS318). I thought I might try monitoring the VPN Router with Passeler's Traffic grapher or Alchemy Network Monitoring software but it seems they both operate on SNMP and for the life of me I can't find that feature in either router.

What's the best way to monitor employee bandwidth?


Question by:yokeybrown
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Assisted Solution

by:Naser Gabaj
Naser Gabaj earned 500 total points
ID: 16471444
NTop is a high quality open source protocol analysis and traffic flow tool, try it it's great and beside it's FREE:



LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 16471525
this is another good tool, but not sure if it will accomplish what you want
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 16471531

Enable SNMP on Linksys:
Through Web interface - Advanced > SNMP

Enable SNMP on Netgear:
Unfotunately, its supported on this model (FVS318).

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Expert Comment

ID: 16471642
enable snmp on the linksys router, set a community string to something only you would know, like a password

download pessler prtg traffic grapher

install, enter the IP of the router, and the community string you chose

with this program you will be able to monitor the in/out bandwidth of the internet router
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Expert Comment

by:Naser Gabaj
ID: 16471764
believe me chris, prtg, mrtg is great tool i know, but it's not straight forward, as ntop, I've tried both but nothing is simple and easy to uselike ntop, no configuration needed just install it , and then use your default browser and enjoy....:)

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Expert Comment

ID: 16472046
>> I want to find out how much bandwidth individual users on our small company network use

Unfortunately I don't think any of these solutions will give you the level of detail you require, I think the best way may be to setup a proxy server and force your users to connect through the proxy. Can't advise on a specific proxy but once you get your users all passing data through one machine then you will be in a position to log things like bandwidth usage by each user. Most business stength proxies should provide the level of logging you require.

Router SNMP tends to be too simplistic to give the detail required.

Sniffers struggle with traffic on a switch as most of the Web traffic will be routed directly to the Internet without being seen on other ports where a sniffer would sit. You would need to use a hub rather than a switch but this would impact on the efficency of your network.
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Expert Comment

ID: 16472350
Routers route traffic.  They keep some cursory statistics on bits, packets, errors, and such.  They don't break things down as detailed as you wish though.  You'll need to look at other off-the-router tools.  I haven't used NTop; various netflow tools should be useful as well.  If you're really into this, check the NANOG website for some sample netflow tools.
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Expert Comment

by:Naser Gabaj
ID: 16472368

>>Unfortunately I don't think any of these solutions will give you the level of detail you require
Have you checked the software i recommended, if not please read this:

"When all is said and done, network traffic is a collection of computers talking to each other. ntop will show you - in an easy to digest form - a detailed breakdown of the conversations."

I hope you will understand that you are totally wrong about your assumptions.

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

snerkel earned 200 total points
ID: 16472536
ANY network monitor can only truly monitor traffic it sees, as the router will have a built-in switch and any other network distribution device is likely to be using switching technology then traffic going from say PC1 connected to port 1 of the router to the Internet will not be visible on any of the other ports of the router.

The only traffic that would be visible on all ports is broadcast traffic.

If the network was connected through a hub (without switching technology) then a sniffer could see all the traffic, however hubs are becoming rare and if used will affect the network throughput.

Expert Comment

ID: 16473730
the best way is having this device, I use it on a ISP and believe me it works great. it's called packeteer from http://www.packeteer.com/solutions/, You could monitor or manage Banwidth be IP range, by ports, application.. and even prioritize VoIP and Video traffic.

It's a little expensive but it worths it. here u might find it cheaper " http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?cgiurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Fws%2F&fkr=1&from=R8&satitle=packeteer&category0=

check the manual and video from the site and you'll see what it is like.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Naser Gabaj
ID: 16498372
Read this white paper "Understanding bottlenecks and bandwidth utilization"

It will be more helpfull for you understand about bandwidth and utilization:


Good luck,


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