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Internet bandwidth usage

Posted on 2011-05-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I work with a small company that is experiencing Internet bandwidth issues.  I've confirmed there are no viruses and the circuit is fine.  I know some users are streaming Internet radio.  What I'd like is some graph/chart that would explain bandwidth consumption based on Internet radio/video streaming.

I understand this won't be exact (based on many different factors) but I just need some sort of baseline to give end users to deter them from some of these activities.
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Question by:emauch
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:MISOperations
ID: 35730162
Just block sites that stream video or audio. Hulu, Pandora, Youtube, those are the major ones.
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Expert Comment

by:saastech
ID: 35730163
you can run a speed test from http://www.speedtest.net/

if someone is using the bandwidth dramatically, you can tell from the speedtest what you current download/upload speed is. If someone is hogging up bandwidth, the speed test will be a low number than your ISP provided.  

that's how we initially discovered that someone must be hogging up bandwidth in our office.


Good Luck!
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jkratzer earned 2000 total points
ID: 35730225
Are you looking for an application to put in line, or do you want a report from your ISP?

Depending on your ISP they may be able to give you a trafic graph per site/trafic type.

Else you will need to install some type of server that will track usage.  

There are many options that are low/no cost but will require some setup and confuration.  

I have used Squid very successfully for a simular situation.  It has a plugin called squidguard that can also do content filtering.

http://www.squid-cache.org/
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Author Comment

by:emauch
ID: 35730237
They don't want to block those sites and the speed tests won't give me the info I'm looking for.  What I'd like is to have some sort of range (or data) where I could tell them, "If you do these sorts of activites, this is how it will affect your connection".
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by:c0s
ID: 35730259
you should put up a squid server to monitor the traffic
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by:jkratzer
ID: 35730304
Squid will also speed up access to sites that your users visit frequently.  

It will cache much of the site information thus not having to download all information from each site every time.

It will no cache streaming services though.
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by:jaredcall
ID: 35730420
The only to know for sure what type of traffic is being sent to your ISP is to have some routing device/switch, either yours or theirs, inspect that traffic and provide reports based on that inspection.  That will require that you either have a router or switch capable of such logging.  

Other than that, the only other option I can think of is to install some software agent like a LANDesk agent on each PC/Mac to report on what software is being run.

Bottom line -- you've got to be able to inspect the traffic in the pipe (router/switch) or at the source (workstations/servers) to know what the traffic really looks like.  Other than that, all you have are semi-educated guesses.
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by:jaredcall
ID: 35730441
proxy servers like Squid will also only work for protocols (HTTP/FTP over HTTP) that typically go your browser.  It will not catch P2P traffic for example.  You could also install a proxy server like Squid and then set routing policies on your router/firewall that block all HTTP traffic that does not come through the proxy server.  This is not foolproof, and there are many ways to bypass that type of a networked obstacle, but it's a start.
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by:MISOperations
ID: 35732156
How can they work while streaming videos?
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Expert Comment

by:jkratzer
ID: 35733124
Thwy will track the connections to the video servers.

You may also need to use a packet sniffer between your network and the internet.

With some you can get graphs of what is being accessed by address and port/datatype.
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