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Affordable Bandwith Usage Cap on wireless router

Posted on 2007-08-06
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I currently live in a shared house where we are hoping to get broadband. However, the ISP doesn't have a cap on the bandwidth and as such our landlord would run the risk of someone running up the bill and running of before the he gets the bill and can split the cost among the inhabitants. On the side, this would also be unfair for those of us who just use it casually for email and such.

Everybody coming in will have to bring his/her own computer as this is not part of the lease. As such a software solution seems out of the question.

In order to prevent this we would need to cut of the WAN line when we get near the XX Gb limit that is being purchased. The ISP won't do this (they just charge outrageously for every Gig over the limit) so the landlord has asked me to investigate doing it on the wireless router (I'm pretty sure this should be possible, right?).

My problem currently is that I wouldn't know what questions to ask or google for to find out if a router were capable of doing this, so I turn to you fellows :)

So, in order to solve my problem I would need an answer to any (or all) of the following questions:
- Is there affordable wireless routers available that can be set to a specific usage limit per month? (Make and model would be nice)
- Is there optionally a router that would be able to do this using alternate (open source?) firmware (Some asus models have an alternate linux distro I think?).
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Question by:mreuring
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by:thur6165
ID: 19642558
I think your going to have to do this with a software package.  I'm not sure there is a hardware solution, or at least a cheap one.  Check this out.

http://limit-traffic.qarchive.org/
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by:mreuring
ID: 19643235
Software is simply not an option, there is no permanent resident on the grounds to run it and a dedicated machine just for this would be a waste of money and electricity.
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by:thur6165
ID: 19659623
There is just not enough demand out there for this feature even on open source firmware.  Most ISP's don't put data transfer limits or quotas on their networks, only bandwidth limits so the majority of people don't care.

Bandwidth limiting is something that is widely impliemented on most consumer routers out of the box and open source firmware I've seen imporves these features.  People like to be able to stop P2P from eating all their bandwidth and to stop other people they share internet with from hogging the connection, but they don't care if the go over 20 GB in a month, so nobody is spending time on providing features that a very small percentage of people are going to use.

Hope this helps explain the situation, even though its not the answer you were hoping for.
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by:mreuring
ID: 19659675
Hmmm, that's more or less what I was getting afraid of. As an alternative, are there any devices out there that have an easily access-able log-file with usage per ip or mac-address?

That would at least make it possible for the landlord to check the usage at the time any of the inhabitants leave. And, when someone goes wild it'll allow him to figure out who's been on a downloading spree and charge that particular user for the excess instead of getting the rest of us angry at having to chip in :)

Thanx for your honest answer though.
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by:mreuring
ID: 19659679
BTW, if there's an open-source firmware running on linux could I not create a bash-script to shut of acces based on the usage for the month? With that running at a steady interval maybe the limit might be exceeded slightly but at least not unlimited...
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thur6165 earned 1420 total points
ID: 19667000
No problem.  I have one running on a linksys wrt54g and Its only based on linux,  nothing like the operating system.  But...with the lastest version of ddwrt you can run linux.  Their are some requirement, and this wik explains how to get started.  The guys on the forums over there seem to have some cool stuff going.  You might be able to get some good ideas over there.  Sounds like a great project, you could do some interesting stuff.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Optware
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by:mreuring
ID: 19674376
Well, that make and model is certainly affordable, and lookig around at the different 'distros' available for it I would say that it's highly likely I can have a scipted solution running on it in no-time. At the verry least with the tomate firmware I'll get an easily accessable overview of the log-files.

This should give my landlord a fairly 'safe' solution :) Thanx for getting me off in the right direction!
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