how to get set up to monitor my home network

rustycp
rustycp used Ask the Experts™
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I've recenlty upgraded my home network by purchasing a linksys WRT54G2 wireless router. My kids both have laptops with wifi cards and hook up to the wireless router.  I want to use wireshark to monitor what my kids do on the internet.  I'm familiar with wireshark but not familiar with the exact network setup I need to get all the network traffic to my monitoring laplop.  I've gathered from my googling that I can add another router and a hub to my setup, but I need details on how I'd do this.  Is this correct? What brand and model do I need to buy at best buy or ebay?
Sorry if this question is so open ended, I'm not really sure what to ask to get to the end result I'm looking for, so any other ideas would be appreciated.  Like I said, I'm building this little network from scratch, so I can do pretty much anything I need to do.
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Commented:
What exactly are you looking to monitor.  Wireshark is probably not the tool you want to use if you want to see what your kids are doing.  If you want to see what they have installed and make sure updates are being done you can install spiceworks on your machine and it will grab their info.  If you want to see where they are going and block sites you can install k9 webprotection on their machines, you can get it here http://www1.k9webprotection.com/getk9/index.php.  if you let me know what exactly you are trying to capture I can help you more.

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Commented:
I want to check lists of websites they visit, and monitor instant messages or emails with their friends.  Wireshark seems to do this well on my own PC, monitoring my own traffic as a test. I just need to set up my home network so that I can use it to monitor all the traffic at my house. I don't want to install anything on their PCs because they are not ours - they belong to the school.

Commented:
The only reason wireshark works that way is because it is installed on your local pc.  You are going to need a device that connects in front of your router that can do the sniffing or content filtering if you don't want to install any software.
Your setup would then look like this
linksys router -> capture device -> dsl/cable device -> internet
Without installing software on their machine this is the only way to grab what they are doing on the network.
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Commented:
OK so my understanding is that I need to get the following setup:

wireless router -> cheap hub -> router -> cable modem

The wirelsss clients will all get their IP from the wireless router, the wireless router will get it's ip from the router, and the router will get it's WAN ip from the cable modem.  I will plug my monitor PC into the hub and it will get it's ip from the router.  The hub will allow it to monitor all the traffic sent from the wirelss router to the router. Does that sound right?

Commented:
As long as the cheap hub can do port mirroring so your machine gets a copy of all the traffic that passes through the network, then yes that will work.  
Commented:
well my thought is that a cheap hub should send all the packets to all the ports.  I'm planning on going to bestbuy and buying a hub from the list on the wireshark website:

http://wiki.wireshark.org/HubReference

Commented:
I got what you are saying and yes by not getting a switch you put the entire network on one collision domain.  Just remember this is going to really slow down your network but will still achieve what you are trying to do.

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