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free network monitoring software

Posted on 2014-02-10
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Last Modified: 2014-05-01
Hi,

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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Question by:seven45
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39848022
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?
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Author Comment

by:seven45
ID: 39848823
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.
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Expert Comment

by:Infamus
ID: 39848948
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Accepted Solution

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Dan Craciun earned 2000 total points
ID: 39849220
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

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Infamus
ID: 39849829
Sorry, I missed that you have unmanaged switches.  

In this case Dan is correct.
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