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

Posted on 2012-08-16
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

    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 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    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 56

    Accepted Solution

    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.


    Author Comment

    Will this do what I need?

    I would need a report by user or IP on hours/mins spent on specific websites.
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    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.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment


    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    I've often see, or have been asked, the question about the difference between the Exchange 2010 SP1 version, available as part of Small Business Server (SBS) 2011, and the “normal” Exchange 2010 SP1 Standard. The answer to the question is relativ…
    Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration. My first tip Migration Tip #1 – Source Server Health can be found here: http://www.experts-exchang…
    In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…
    Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    20 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now