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How do I stop people connected to a wireless network from downloading large files?

I have set up a wireless network at my gliding club. The network is pretty simple - a Dell desktop computer using XP, and a D-Link DI-824VUP+ wireless router. Our internet connection is via a wireless broadband modem. We also have a VoIP phone connected.

We provide onsite internet access to club members as well as to visiting pilots, so we have not secured the network with WEP/WPA at this stage. The site we occupy is very remote, so we aren't concerned about "unauthorised" users - the nearest public road is a mile away. Nevertheless, we are having problems with increased usage - we are now regularly exceeding our monthly plan allowance. In rural Australia, with our appalling "broadband" services and high costs, that's breathtakingly expensive (try 15c per MB).

Is it possible to continue to provide our members and visitors with unsecured access to web weather and flight briefing services, webmail and similar resources, but to stop them from downloading large files (audio and video, for example)? I can't see how we could use the router's URL blocking/domain filtering settings - it just doesn't seem practical to try and identify and block sites, there are just too many of them. Restricting access using WPA is possible, but won't guarantee against misuse. Logging usage is also possible but difficult - as with most volunteer-run organisations, it's hard to get people to spend time analysing router logs when they could be out flying!
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deusxmac
Asked:
deusxmac
2 Solutions
 
JohnjcesCommented:
I am a fan of ClarkConnect, a multi-faceted network appliance that you can build from an older PC with 2 network cards. ClarkCOnnect is a Linux distro easily installable from the CD ISO image and the ClarkCOnnect Community edition is FREE.

With cc, you can not allow certain file types, throttle bandwidth, block users if you have to and you could even have a local web page served on it for your club.

CC has good documentation and may not do exactly of perfectly what you want but pretty close.

One NIC woould go to your wireless accesspoint or router aand the main NIC eth0, goes to your broadband/Internet router.

Worth looking at and playing with. Also a great way to learn a bit of linux.

http://www.clarkconnect.com

Docs

http://www.clarkconnect.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

forum

http://www.clarkconnect.com/forums/ubbthreads.php

Without some type of network appliance, you will not be able to do what you want and most of them a re pretty expensive.

John
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deusxmacAuthor Commented:
John, hi
Thanks for the quick response. Sounds very promising - I'll explore the links later to-day. One potential difficulty: the wireless modem we are forced to use is a USB device - it has no ethernet port. (It doesn't support networking, so I have worked around that byusing ICS and  making the Dell a server, and connecting the router directly to it). Is there a workaround for this set-up that you can suggest?

Thanks
Ian
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JohnjcesCommented:
Ian,

Hmmmm... So this wireless modem is connected to a PC and this PC connects to your broadband connection?

I am confused as to how this hooks up. Is you broadband Internet wireless? And you share this to other users? Or is your PC connected somehow to your broadband wireless connection?

Need a good "picture" of this. USB is a problem especially if you are using Windows ICS (Internet COnnection Sharing) or something like that.

John
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Darr247Commented:
You should be able to setup the filters to allow access to only the sites you specify, rather than entering all the sites you DON'T want them accessing.

To hook your 3G USB device directly to a router, check out the Draytek Vigor 2910.
http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/vigor2910.html
(or possibly draytek.com in Oz).
I believe there's another new one that takes a USB adapter, but I can't remember if it's a DLink, Linksys or Netgear.

If you'd rather just try software in your current setup, there's WebScout (~$50 http://globalpatrol.net/) or NetPeeker ($25-$50 http://net-peeker.com), which can both limit transfer speeds (I suggest 10kb/s... fast enough for surfng and small files, but only twice as fast as dialup), unless you're using a linux box in which case there's probably some open source or liberal license freeware available.
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JohnjcesCommented:
I am interested in this Qs outcome.

Points should be split.

John

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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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