Internet activity tracking hardware

Posted on 2008-11-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
We have a  network (75 pc's) that all use the Internet (no central server - just Internet access).  I would like to install a piece of hardware that tracks what pc's are doing what.  Possible?   Thanks
Question by:kevin1000
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Have used Websense with good success. Not sure if this is what you meant by "piece of hardware"

    Author Comment

    Thanks...that looks like a software solution.  I need a piece of hardware because of the layout and usage of the Net.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment


    Sorry, I'm not familiar with any hardware only, one black box that everything flows through, type of solutions. I don't doubt that they're out there but I've not seen them.

    Good luck
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You can use any of the inexpensive firewall/routers like the ones from Netgear and look at the log to see what PCs are accessing what sites. This drops in between your cable/dsl box and your network easily.

    Here is a short example from a log on a  Netgear WGR614. In this case my inside device is

    Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:47
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
    [] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:07:18


    Assisted Solution

    If you want the best of the best then get a barracuda!

    The barracuda web filter is the best!!!  You can see everything in an easy format and block websites more ways then you ever could with a router from a retail store!
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Do you want to just view or do you want to block sites as well?

    Most hardware web filters will charge a yearly subscription but they will protect your network from PUA and Viruses
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    The least expensive solution may be to buy a low-end server such as a Dell  with two Ethernet interfaces to run a software solution on.

    There is inexpensive or free software that can be configured on such a server to perform the desired monitoring.

    As for dedicated appliances... most of them are either a full blown PC (usually a 1 to 4-u rack mountable PC with special software), very expensive,  actually  log to a remote server (i.e. firewalls/routers that don't have a lot of flash memory),  or keep very little history.

    In terms of appliance solutions
    IronPort -  
    Bluecoat - ProxySG + Reporter
    Packetsure -
    ARA Traffic Sentinel

    Above 3 are somewhat expensive.

    iBoss has a line of products that may be of interest
    There are enterprise units that supports 50-100 users, and higher also.

    For an annual subscription price of ~$1000  for a 1550   after the initial cost of a few $k
    initial cost + $250  annual subscription for the small-business unit
    initial cost + $60  annual for the home unit

    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    I would recomend  SNMP monitoring soft.
    It is not just "internet usage" but much more, will help you a lot for troubleshooting, as well set up alarms on possible any events.
    I'm sure their would be a way have e-mail, SMS, message been recived, if someone will use resources diffrently, than you currne policy is.
    Never tryed that option  yet, but have this type of alarm, base on "device dowon", "interface usage close to 70%, 80%" and so on - it all very easy to config.


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