Internet activity tracking hardware

Posted on 2008-11-14
Medium Priority
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

Expert Comment

ID: 22965556
Have used Websense with good success. Not sure if this is what you meant by "piece of hardware"


Author Comment

ID: 22965576
Thanks...that looks like a software solution.  I need a piece of hardware because of the layout and usage of the Net.

Expert Comment

ID: 22965782

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
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LVL 21

Accepted Solution

Rick_O_Shay earned 500 total points
ID: 22967336
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
[ALLOW:bp2.blogger.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
[ALLOW:bp1.blogger.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
[ALLOW:bp3.blogger.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
[ALLOW:bp0.blogger.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
[ALLOW:www.google-analytics.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:05:48
[ALLOW:sb.google.com] Source: Saturday, 15 Nov 2008 07:07:18


Assisted Solution

robdijo earned 500 total points
ID: 22969623
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

ID: 22971255
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

Mysidia earned 500 total points
ID: 22972186
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 - http://www.ironport.com/   
Bluecoat - ProxySG + Reporter http://www.bluecoat.com/
Packetsure - http://www.palisadesys.com/products/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


Assisted Solution

dkarpekin earned 500 total points
ID: 22976419
I would recomend www.solarwinds.com  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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