I have an appartment with 100 rooms in it and all are given the newtrok connection through DSL router. I dont have the access to this router as it is provided by ISP. I need to know the bandwidth usage at peak time as some tenets are compaining about the speed. There is no proxy or ISA server available in the site.  Please suggest me how i can know the bandwidth usage.
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Here are some tools that are free or free for a time:

Here are several ideas all free. or almost free but more involved

Idea 1.

Join the free service The site will give you bandwidth usuage info as well as content filtering ability but you may not want to block anything. BUT YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT USAGE VIA the dashboard settings and information if you enable monitoring, easy as cheaking a checkbox in your settings.

The hardest part is just going  around to all your tennents and having the put the settings to use OpenDNS in there ip settings, but this is not necessary. You can contact your ISP and say you want them to use OpenDNS in the settings for the DNS resolver (after you establish an account). If they will not do it they should then allow you to take control of the box, OR you could buy your own DSL or Cable modem and set it up, it is not hard via a browser and you will save the rental fee on the box. The box costs between 50 and 100 and is available at best buy or online at

Contact your ISP or check your system with the following command: ipconfig /all
find the DNS setiings and this is the current DNS (website resolver address) you want all your systems to use OpenDNS as there setting,

Idea 2:

Make a Smoothwall Express firewall.

If you are not afraid of putting your hands inside a PC the you could try Smoothwall Express firewall. It is free.  You can use an older pc, core duo and you need 2 network card in it. Download the free smoothwall operating system and install it on the box. The site has very good install and admin pdfs so I do not have to explain it here.

Once installed you set up the ip dns, etc info via wizards, You get this info from your ISP (default gateway ip, subnet mask, dns server). You could also get this info from the box closest to the cable or dsl connection. Google the box model and you will get info about how to connect to it and get system info, usually via a web browser.

when you put this smoothwall firewall between you and the connection you could just choose all open during setup, you do not seem concerned about security, just bandwidth so you do not have to lock the box down but you could if you wanted to block all kinds of malicious behavior, aka hacking attempts on your tenets systems.

You log into smoothwall via a web browser and it has bandwidth usage information based on user ip. It keeps historical info untill you reboot that you can look through to see about time of day usage, etc. You can use as well as lots of other cool features like vpn, proxy, etc etc.

Check out this amazing free system called Smoothwall express at
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The only way you can know for certain is to contact someone with access to the ISP/Router data.  It's likely the ISP could increase the bandwidth if the tenants increase what they pay otherwise they all have equal access to what bandwidth is available.
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Not do-able as you need to be able to monitor the common access point that all traffic passes through and this is the router. if you don't have access then you can't proceed although if you are a subscriber then you should be able to ask the ISP directly for the information.
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If you have access to the ethernet calbles you could place a pc between the switch and the router. This pc have to be configured as gateway. There you can install both bandwidth-monitor and bandwidth-managing software. The first give you usage stats and so on (you can troubleshooting connection problems), the second allow you to manage, limit and shape the traffic.

Some tipp for software (ev. google for it):
The expensive way:
You could setup a PC with Server 2003 and enable routing and remote access. Your DSL would come into the server and then would feed all the clients attached to the network. With this setup, you could get very granular detail, per usage billing to each of your tenants or see who your trouble tenants are.

The cost affective, quick and dirty solution would be to purchase a gateway router, WRT54GL or the like. You could then flash the firmware with DD-WRT or Tomato with bandwidth tracking in it. There may be a chance you can purchase an off the shelf device that already has bandwidth tracking. Then you drop that device between your DSL device and the apartment switch to everyone and you have simplified BW tracking.

The cheaper solution would be to research your device to see if it supports SNMP, which a good amount do, then you could leverage MRTG( to query the gateway device. You could set that up as a scheduled task on just about any machine and view near realtime traffic data. BUT, this will not give you granular detail, only the global device usage.

If you post back your gateway device model, we could give you more specifics.


Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
The inability to read the actual question is just astounding.
You need to ask your ISP for bandwidth usage report.  With some providers where I live they provide mrtg reports that you log in to.  Maybe they have something like that.  

I cannot think of anyway to find out since you don't have access to the router.  And don't have a server or gateway machine to install.
Both Smoothwall Express firewall and OpenDNS add security to the connection. They are a firewall and a content filter. You should use the advanced port and content filtering they provide.
Then my apologies for the post then. credit to "MASQUERAID".
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Losing the will to live.......
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