Remote bandwidth usage

Posted on 2011-10-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am looking for an easy to use GUI bandwidth monitor to isolate bandwidth usage on a remote network.
Question by:jasbday40
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    There are many spots you can monitor and control bandwidth on your network:

    If you have managed switches, you can monitor per-port bandwidth in realtime, alongside with historical graphs. If your switch supports SNMP v2 or v3, you can also monitor it from workstation using MRTG for example (or PRTG if your administrative workstation is on Widnows)

    You can monitor bandwidth on router with built-in software, but what you get depends on router price, to be honest:
    - better routers provide SNMP, and also per-MAC and per-local-IP overview of bandwidth. If oyu have Cisco, NetFlow might be for you.
    - mid-range routers can show you WAN bandwidth, and also per-local-IP number of sessions and NAT connections, from which you might make a clue about what users are doing
    - low-range routers suck

    If you have Linux box for your firewall or router, then it is best of the worlds of monitoring. You might install some monitoring software, for example install nTop and you will be busy 3 days to analyze all the graphs

    You have an option to install on LOCAL windows machine some bandwodth monitoring application, for example DUmeter which will locally show (transparent) graph of bandwidth used, and you can configure it to send you an email, when certain limits are reached. For example, to send you mail when 10 GB of download limit is reached.
    Another already built-in monitor is in TASK MANAGER under NETWORK Tab, where you might observe LAN adapter current traffic. If you want to instantly see what's employing your bandwidth, open command prompt (CMD) and type:
    netstat -an | find "TCP"
    and you will see a list of all TCP connections, which make your LAN adapter busy. For example, this is a good method to pinpoint computers with some SPAM troyans - when mail client is not running, you will see on infected machine at least 1 SMTP connection on port 25 to be active. Probably virus/trojan/spam sender.
    As with any other active device on network, you can also monitor Windows machine bandwidth with above mentioned MRTG or PRTG network monitoring graphers. You just need to play with SNMP service on monitored client, provide some MIBs for your LAN adapter, and you can monitor all Windows clients bandwidth from 1 administrator's machine.

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