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free network monitoring software


looking for a good and free or cheap network monitoring software that we can use to:
1. see how much bandwidth is being utilized at different periods of time on the LAN
2. see bandwidth, uptime, etc on a web server in the cloud (with Rackspace).
3. see which computers are using up most of the bandwidth
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1 Solution
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Do you have a managed switch where you can setup mirror ports?

Do you have a proxy server where you can install said free network monitoring software?

Linux or Windows?
seven45Author Commented:
Windows based network (win2008r2).
No managed switches with about 25 workstations on the LAN,
sonicwall router (has a very limited report of data usage unless you pay for additional).
   no proxy server in house.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Well, if you do not have a point where to insert a monitoring station, then you have a problem.
All the monitoring software needs to actually see the traffic to be able to monitor it.
If you simply connect a station to a switch port it will see only it's own traffic and broadcast.

The cheapest way to solve the problem would be to search for an ethernet hub with 100Mb speeds. The difference between a hub and a switch is that the hub sends all traffic to all ports. So if you connect on your hub the router, the switch and the  monitoring station, you can capture all packets intended for outside. Put it between a station and the switch and you'll be able to capture all packets from that station.

Alternatively, you could try a flood switch. This still broadcasts all traffic to all ports, but supports auto speed negotiation. Something like this: http://www.ccontrols.com/ctrlink/eiskd.php

Sorry, I missed that you have unmanaged switches.  

In this case Dan is correct.
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