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Monitoring Internet usage / bandwidth

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
Hi.

I'm a network admin for a small company running 30 Win XP clients and
a few Windows 2003 server machines.

Our last few internet bills have been pretty hefty (the most recent was 10GB over our cap!!).
I'm suspecting that one or two users are abusing their internet priveleges a little.

What I'd like to do is monitor internet usage (e.g. X MB downloaded this month) on a  
per user and possibly per machine basis- and impose  restrictions / quotas
at the system level (if the friendly emails suggesting they cut back on downloads don't work).
It would be good to monitor usage regardless of protocol e.g. FTP, HTTP, P2P file sharing etc.

A solution that integrates fairly easily with our A.D. user accounts would be great.  Has anyone experienced
the same sort of problem or aware of a suitable solution?  

We're currently running a Linux distro called IPCOP for our gateway / proxy /  firewall.
I would open to suggestions to either replace this or augment it with proprietary software.

Cheers.
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Question by:farfo
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LVL 3

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by:wingspin
wingspin earned 100 total points
ID: 17059378
I would probably start with something free like MRTG.

http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~oetiker/webtools/mrtg/ 

That will give you some useful information.  

If that isn't enough, look for a compatible web filtering / reporting software such as SurfControl, SpectorPro, or EBlaster.

http://www.surfcontrol.com/
http://www.spectorsoft.com/

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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:ded9
ded9 earned 50 total points
ID: 17059711
Check out this awesome software

www.gfi.com

Also can try nmap

http://www.insecure.org/nmap/

Reps
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:georgecooldude
georgecooldude earned 50 total points
ID: 17061691
Maybe look at a proxy server? Maybe bluecoat? It might be above your budget for the size of your company.

I would look at trying a proxy server though. With things like MRTG you can only monitor the info output from SNMP on the routers. This doesnt give you a break down of the traffic types, but only volume of data pushed.

A proxy server would enable you to zoom down to high levels viewing websites viewed, type of media downloaded... streaming, http, ftp etc.

Maybe contact some companies. Most will be willing to offer you 30 day trials.
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LVL 79

Assisted Solution

by:lrmoore
lrmoore earned 100 total points
ID: 17062857
Here's what I recommend:
St.Bernard Sofware's iPrism appliance. Bandwidth control, AD integration, and monitoring/blocking web sites by category...
http://www.stbernard.com/iprism
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
mattbcs earned 100 total points
ID: 17063985
I use surfcontrol, mainly for the filtering aspect, but it will integrate into AD and give you an exact breakdown of bandwidth by user, and you can generate all sorts of nifty reports, like top 10 users by bandwidth, top 10 sites by bandwidth, and just about anything else you can think of.

It's a great product, and if you need to filter content as well, I would definitely take a look at it!

Cheers,
Matt
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