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What's the best software for monitoring network bandwitdh/congestion and why?

Every couple days, internet appears to be slow on our LAN. Switching ISPs (we have 2) sometimes makes no difference. Not really looking for solutions here. I would like to procure a tool for pinpointing the problem myself, each time it occurs. Please let me know your suggestions and why.

P.S. I want something that's relatively easy to use. Ethereal and Wireshark will take too much time for personal training.
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It depends on what router and/or firewall you have.  For example if it's Cisco, you could try Netflow.  Or for most firewalls/routers, some SNMP-based solution such as PRTG (http://www.paessler.com/prtg) would work in an MS Windows environment.

Can you provide more detail about the network equipment, topology, etc.?

It looks like you want a fairly simple approach so I won't get into adding a transparent bridge between your firewall and your Internet connection ;-).

Also have a look at your internet usage graphs from your ISP for those times of slowness. See if there is unusually high activity that way too.
For bandwidth monitoring, I believe "WFilter" will be your choice. It can monitor all connections protocol type, bandwidth, ports, ip in real time.


Thanks for your comments!

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