How can I track number of wireless users

Posted on 2011-10-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
How can I track the number of wireless users accessing our library?  We need to know how many unique users access our wireless network per day, month, year.  We have 4 wireless routers throughout the library.
Question by:cog62
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Could you provide some more info about your wireless routers? brand, model, etc

    Author Comment

    Two routers are D-Link DI 524 and two routers are D-Link DIR 655
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Hi cog62,

    what comes in my mind is that those routers might have a list of computers connected to them but you than must check on every single WLAN router which IPs are connected. It would be simpler to have a linux box between the WLAN network and the rest of the network doing routing between them. Than you could check with "arp -n -i [WLAN-INTERFACE]" for all IP and MAC adresses that are on the WLAN side of the network (WLAN interface on the linux box). The linux box could also have a third network card for the WAN. The routing linux box would than need three network cards.

    Another attempt would be to have one DHCP server and monitor all assigned ip adresses from the logs..

    hope i could help you a little bit

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    are  snmp ready those D-links?
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Guys, keep in mind this is a library, they won't be installing any new systems to do something that's already in place.

    Your best bet is snmp as mentioned by pistanu, find the oid for wireless clients, retrieve all mac addresses connected every 15 minutes or so and sort by unique mac-addresses.

    OR, you can take a less complicated approach, put a password on the SSIDs, and request people to come get the password from the front desk and count how many people come in (less accurate :)

    I also like the dhcp server idea from Jelcin, since it can run on any existing machine
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    A lot of times that is what a "splash page" or "captive portal" webpage does.  If you can get the wireless client to go to a launch page, you can count the page vists that way.  A Simple unix firewall distribution on a CDROM on and old computer with a 2 NIC card could run the distribution pfsense

    You could count DHCP leases, but you would want the DHCP lease to be short so you are counting Today, rather than yesterday and such.

    Author Closing Comment

    Splash page is a great idea!  I am sorry my response took so long, I am not in the Library very often.  Thank you all for the comments!

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