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SBS 2011 - How can I monitor website and social networking use?

Posted on 2012-08-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-04-21
I want to implement a monitoring policy to make sure staff are not overusing Youtube, Facebook etc.  Being on facebook for an hour during lunch is acceptable, 3 hours a day is not.   Is there a relatively inexpensive way to do this?
Question by:Cranpa
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 38300989
This is only possible if your gateway/firewall has the ability to log URL traffic.  This is usually the case if your gateway/firewall has proxy functionality.

If it does not, you'll want to install a proxy server that all web traffic will flow through in order to capture the logs.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38301070
To add;  most routers, even inexpensive ones, have the ability to output basic traffic monitoring to a "Syslog Server" (logging software).  There are many of these available, one free one is:
This should monitor the type of traffic and IP.  You will have to lookup the IP (nslookup) to see the domain name of the site visited.
LVL 60

Accepted Solution

Cliff Galiher earned 1500 total points
ID: 38301356
I am a firm believer that even the very small business should have a real edge firewall, not a simple NAT router. Considering the cost, it is a minimal investment for significantly better security.

And a good business UTM device will have this functionality built in. Sonicwall is popular in the SMB space. We'll see if that changes now that Dell bought them. Watchguard is another popular choice. I personally like Calyptix.

If you *really* want to go cheap though, you can repurpose an old PC as a proxy server. Untangle, an open source Linux distribution, will offer the monitoring capabilities you want and is pretty user friendly. While doing such a setup is not my first recommendation, it can get you by in a pinch until you can buy a good UTM device.

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Author Comment

ID: 38301438
Will this do what I need?  


I would need a report by user or IP on hours/mins spent on specific websites.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38301477
I don't believe so.  Though a lot of nice features for the price it seems to offer; bandwith management, site restrictions, and will log access to unapproved sites but appears to only do so by category, such as education, gaming, etc.   This would also only work if the ZyWall service recognizes the site.  There does not appear to be any monitoring of specific sites, users, or IP's.  A proxy server is best for detailed monitoring and reporting such as you are asking for.

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