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How do i tighten up our network to prevent wasteful internet bandwidth usage?

Posted on 2011-05-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I help maintain a small computer network in a small office environment. We are running a mixture of windows xp/7pro pc 's. The internet is provided via a wireless provider and we are on a limited 1.5 Mbps connection. Some users are using the internet for things such as internet radio and if im not mistaken i had a couple of external user laptops connected to the network. Some don't recognize that their torrent programs are sucking up bandwidth as well as this internet radio. So in essence im wondering how to prevent external laptops from network use if this is a security risk and how to tighten up the network so users don't wastefully tie up internet resources. Email and internet web surfing are the primary uses for our company.
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Question by:ShotgunGaper
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atlas_shuddered earned 1000 total points
ID: 35754782
Drop in a gateway/firewall with application/traffic filtering.
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by:jakethecatuk
jakethecatuk earned 600 total points
ID: 35754822
Plenty of freebie products out there to help you with this - Squid, M0nowall, ClarkConnect, Endian etc.

Pick the one that  you can use and deploy it between your internet connection and your network to make sure you cover all traffic.

Make sure that your wireless access point is also included as well.
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by:Ernie Beek
Ernie Beek earned 400 total points
ID: 35754832
First, enable security for your wireless like WPA or WPA2 so that only authorized people can connect to the wireless.
If the wireless is able to, block everything except ports for email (25), and web browsing (80 and 443) for outgoing traffic.
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 35755123
You've already had some good suggestions about limited bandwidth wasting. I want to look at another piece of the puzzle.

1,5 is really a pretty slow connection. How business-critical is your ability to get to the Internet?  If you Internet needs are things like email and perhaps a little web surfing, then maybe 1.5 is OK. But if you really have more need to be on the Internet than that, you might want to look at upping your bandwidth. You should still control what goes on through that connection from a usage standpoint as well as a security standpoint, but 1.5 might really be a little underpowered for business use.
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Author Comment

by:ShotgunGaper
ID: 35755499
jhyiesla:

The frustrating thing about bandwidth is we don't have dsl , cable  accesibility as we are located at an airport hangar. Wireless is our only choice atm and the provider does not provide more throughput. He will be upgrading his system soon. This is somewhat temporary as our company is moving to another location though certain policies outlining internet usage will certainly be in effect.. Thanks
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by:Ernie Beek
ID: 35775625
So, how can we assist you further?
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