Monitoring internet usage

my firewall has only basic monitoring capabilities (it shows the top 10 visitied websites, web traffic amounts based on IP, etc.

i am looking for some way to monitor the amount of time someone is actively surfing the internet.  it would be a bonus to also be able to see the urls visited (although not required).

i have 5 remote locations behind a VPN, so i am hoping for something that will not require hardware because that would mean i would have to travel to install it (if hardware is the only solution, i would travel)
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAsked:
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David-HowardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
For 1-9 licenses at about $40.00
http://www.track4win.com/Monitor_Internet_Usage.asp
Displays time on the internet and visited URL's.
:-)
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
any idea if it shows active internet surfing?  someone could pull up a site and then minimize it, and i don't really want to count that as "internet time".  i guess i could look at the combination of sites visited + internet time to determine about how much internet surfing someone is doing?  because there are things like streaming radio that really shouldn't count as active web surfing...
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Ron MalmsteadConnect With a Mentor Information Services ManagerCommented:
I use Cisco PIX with Websense.
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austinstaceCommented:
Sounds like what you are looking for is something that will track the windows that have focus and, ultimately, calculate how much time the browser has focus and for how long on which web site. I'll see if I can find something like this. Anybody else have ideas?
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David-HowardCommented:
Zephyr,
The link that I provided above states that it tracks web pages visited, etc. It does not specify how it tracks time if the window is minimized. Perhaps you could forward this question to their support team.
Support@Track4win.com
:-)
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kgreeneitConnect With a Mentor Commented:
agree with xuserx2000, Websense (www.websense.com) is a really good monitoring product that integrates well with active directory. You can download a 30 day trial free of charge from their website.
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younghvCommented:
For this kind of work, we have been using iPrism by StBernard software for about 5 years.
It does involve an appliance at your final access point to the Internet (ours is a Foundry Switch).
Outstanding product.
Allows real time monitoring of all activity, plus 24/7 logs of all activity.
Extreme granularity of controls/reports.
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Danny_LaroucheCommented:
you may use any corporate firewalls such as: Fortinet, Sonicwall, Nokia/checkpoint, Watchguard.  All of them use syslog server and/or their own reporting software.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
danny-
i have a sonicwall.  the reporting in the sonicwall is really generic or perhaps i am missing something?
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younghvConnect With a Mentor Commented:
zepher_hex,
You really need to take a look at iPrism.
I'm fairly sure they have a trial program.
The granularity of controls will knock your socks off.
A similar question came up a few months ago and there were 3-4 of us using iPrism.

We had WebSense before and it doesn't begin to compare with this - either from a user or an administrator viewpoint.

Read about it at http://www.stbernard.com/products/iprism/products_iprism.asp

Vic
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
the problem with the iprism, or any kind of appliance, is that i would need to purchase one for each location.  we have 5 remote locations that house only 2 or 3 employees each.  i'm not sure we could justify the expense of 1 device for each location.

we currently have sonicwalls at all locations... so if there is a way to get better reporting done out of it, that would be ideal.

but i will look at the other solutions suggested, and i guess it's always possible that getting 1 appliance per location will be approved.  it depends on how important the monitoring is to the VP.
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younghvCommented:
Where is there final access point to the Internet?
If they VPN into you, then out to the net, it would only take one appliance.

Vic
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperAuthor Commented:
nope.  they each have a sonicwall that leads to the internet.  the sonicwalls are tunnelled (VPN) to each other.
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