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Internet Usage (Bandwidth) Monitoring

Posted on 2009-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Here's my situation:  I manage a small (~20 user) network.  All on a single subnet attached to a SonicWALL Pro1260.  WAN connection is a single T1.  From time to time Internet access becomes "slow" (i.e. heavy usage) and this prompts the boss to ask, "WHO is using up the bandwidth?"  

Is there a straight forward way to monitor, in real-time, what bandwidth is being used by each IP address on our LAN?  (Who's browsing a vendor site, who's downloading an iso, who's streaming video -- you get the idea.)
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Question by:slattdog
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by:Ugo Mena
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from within the Sonicwall GUI, go to Firewall section, then to the Connections Monitor. From there you should see the Active Connections Monitor Settings (on top) which will let you filter by IP, source port, etc...

If you just want to see who/what/where all your bandwidth is going, look at the Active Connections Monitor and click on the last column (Rx Bytes) which will sort descending/ascending based on bandwidth usage. From there you should be able to determine who (source IP) what (dest. port) and where (dest. IP) is being downloaded.
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by:slattdog
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Thanks ultralites.  That is what I have been doing.  I would like something more graphical that would show me what percentage of the T1 is being used by a specific user (PC) and would update real-time so that I could monitor it easier.
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Ugo Mena earned 500 total points
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Ok. For that type of graphical representation, you would either need to enable (buy) the Viewpoint add on from SonicWall or implement your own syslog server...

SonicWALL® ViewPoint" is an easy-to-use Web-based reporting tool that fully complements and extends SonicWALLs security products and services. Comprehensive reporting capabilities provide administrators with instant insight into the health of their network including both performance and security. Using both a customizable dashboard and a variety of historical reports, SonicWALL ViewPoint helps organizations of all sizes track network utilization, monitor security activity and view Web usage. (http://www.sonicwall.com/us/products/6031.html)

If you are not interested in spending the money for the sonicwall solution (can be pricey), you can use any number of available syslog servers and just have your firewall send its messages to that instead. Pretty much the same results but may not be as nice graphically ( check out www.kiwisyslog.com and or http://www.netal.com/sl4nt.htm)
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by:slattdog
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I'm giving Viewpoint a whirl.  Great reporting!  Not sure about the real-time data yet.  

I have the Kiwi Syslog, and no problem collecting data, but quite honestly most of it doesn't mean a lot to me.  I am just running the free version.  Is there any sort of an add-on that would help me analyze the data?  I don't see, for example, any way to translate all the information it is giving me into actual bandwidth being utilized, etc.

Thanks again!
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by:Ugo Mena
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not totally sure, but I think you can use Viewpoint to analyze any/all syslogs, just point your device to the Viewpoint server as its syslog server.
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by:slattdog
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Thanks ultralites.  I'll have to play around with it for a while -- but this should get me going in the right direction anyway.
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