Free or cheapish solution for distrubuting data allowance for a flat/home

I have a problem with the flat I live in where we have some people using excess data every month. We currently get 50GB of data per month and within the first 10 or so days it is gone. This results in our internet being capped at a slower rate (56k speed!)

We have 5 people in the flat and I would like to divvy up the 50GB into 10GB blocks. Most of us are students and it really has a big impact on our studies not being able to access the internet at a high speed.

We have a spare computer that could be run as a server and I have a bit of experience in this area with small business server etc - I was ideally looking for a free easy care solution? Any Suggestions?
cawthronAsked:
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drakesheCommented:
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jaydee-cdgpCommented:
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cawthronAuthor Commented:
Net Limiter looks good, but it looks like Its just for 1 PC? How would I set it so I can monitor around 6-8 PCs/devices?
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sherenianCommented:
I think you're looking more for something of this caliber.  This software runs from a central point such as a server and does not require client software on the other PC's in the network.  You can assign quotas on bandwith or transfer rates and assign penalties or alert rules for each individual machine.

http://www.softperfect.com/products/bandwidth/
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drakesheCommented:
It'd be fairly difficult to do something like this for a home solution. Some modem routers offer services like these but come at a price.
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SysExpertCommented:
I think that you need to run this through a linux proxy server and have it do the bandwidth monitoring and limits.

I hope this helps !
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cawthronAuthor Commented:
@sherenian I downloaded that product and it is exactly what I am after - I knew there would be something out there! The Quota Allocation feature is the most important feature I can't seem to see that feature in the other products suggested.
Next problem: Implementation.

I have a windows xp machine running this sfotware with the IP address 192.168.2.2 and then my router is set-up on 192.168.2.1. I have all PC's set to look at 192.168.2.2 in the DNS settings.

If some one slightly clever sets up their PC to look at the router rather they would bypass the quota allocation correct? So what's the easiest way to get around this?

I was thinking install a 2nd network card in the machine with a different IP range and make it unaccesible from the other IP range. E.g. the only way to access the router is from that one computer which will be locked with a password etc. If that computer is turned off their is no access to the internet.

I have also thought perhaps an easier way is to only let the MAC address of that computer access the router and block anything else? Any suggestions?
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sherenianCommented:
Cawthron, you're on the right track.  I would add a secondary network card to the PC running the Monitoring Software and create a seperate subnet like a 10.10.1.1 or something.  That way the PC running the software becomes the gateway address on that subnet.  Then you can give the router the address 192.168.2.254 or something random and no one will suspect it.  At that point, even if they change their DNS to something else it won't matter because their traffic will still have to flow through the gateway which will monitor bandwidth and cut them off if they pass their quota, regardless of public or private DNS usage.
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cawthronAuthor Commented:
Thanking you - great recommendation. Was the exact product I was looking for - wish there was something slightly cheaper but happy to pay the price for a solid product.
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