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View Full Version : who uses how much of my monthly internet quota



bjocque
15-03-2012, 08:17 PM
Hi Chasps,
just wondering if some body could suggest a way of monitoring our monthly ISP amount to tell which computer uses how much of our plan????? I'm not worried bout content really, just more interested in which pc used how much data per month so i can proportion out the extra charges if we go over our limit.........

We have 3 wireless laptops (homestays and wifes) and my LAN connected PC,

any other info required, i can easy supply i guess lol,

cheers
Terry

Disco_Dan
15-03-2012, 08:37 PM
You will need to install a program on each laptop to monitor traffic. Only other option I can think of is to use a router that logs traffic directly. Got a negear one that does that.

wainuitech
15-03-2012, 08:47 PM
Try Networx (http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/) - Download links are on the left near the bottom of the page.

We use it here and its accurate, and gives live reading -- you install it on every PC/ Laptop, and it will tell you exactly how much was used and what times etc, hourly, daily weekly or monthly.

As an example on my Office computer - the 1st graph below, the 8th took a larger download compared to the other days, click on hourly and it will tell you what time as well. ( nabbed if I was looking for usage) My workshop PC's take a hammering, far more than this ;)

3656 3657


Good thing also if someone disables it, and you know they were on the net, then there would be a period of time missing -- So what are they hiding ????

psycik
15-03-2012, 09:47 PM
Or if you want a bit more control you could look at putting gargoyle on a router ( gargoyle-router.com ) Allows you to see usage and apply quotas - either to cut off the offending machine, or slow them down.

Chilling_Silence
15-03-2012, 09:50 PM
I'll second what psycik said, it's the only sure-fire way to know which device is using it, considering my family used to just kill off the bandwidth meters etc when they were firing up downloads ;)

plod
15-03-2012, 10:25 PM
Legally you are only able to have one wife, I suggest you get rid of the others.

wainuitech
15-03-2012, 10:35 PM
Only one problem with gargoyle, not all routers can run it. Also its easy enough to bypass once you are in the router settings.


considering my family used to just kill off the bandwidth meters etc when they were firing up downloads Not setup correctly then -- as said if you knwo someone is on th net and the meters are not recording then its obvious they are upto no good and cant be trusted. Some meters can be protected so it cant be disabled without proper passwords etc, even from config settings.

I actually know someone who has a gargoyle router, and one of the sons is managing get around it - its setup with a password that only I know, so hes not entering the settings, and it is set to MAC filters. I think I know what hes doing, just have to catch him at it.

MushHead
15-03-2012, 10:51 PM
Also its easy enough to bypass once you are in the router settings.

Like it's hard to just not install software in a PC if you don't want it to be logged? Remember the OP doesn't necessarily own/control all the laptops...

As long as you password protect your router, then people using your connection don't have any choice to not be monitored without going through pretty serious hoops.

WarNox
15-03-2012, 11:14 PM
I was thinking about this the other day. If you configure a switch with a SPAN port and send all the traffic to a dedicated network management PC it should technically work. But I don't know of any software to capture this traffic, analyse it and display it with nice colours and graphs?

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2012, 08:15 AM
I actually know someone who has a gargoyle router, and one of the sons is managing get around it - its setup with a password that only I know, so hes not entering the settings, and it is set to MAC filters. I think I know what hes doing, just have to catch him at it.

Then he's just changing the IP Address because you've not told Gargoyle to block connectivity from anything it hasn't given its IP Address to (Which matches the IP to the MAC address in the DHCP table, getting around the issue of quotas-by-MAC). Pretty sure there's just a tickbox somewhere you've left off ;)

Granted you could still change your MAC Address if you wanted, but that's a damn sight harder to do than firing up task killer to knock off the app, and then restarting the PC after said download is complete ;)

wainuitech
16-03-2012, 09:40 AM
Then he's just changing the IP Address because you've not told Gargoyle to block connectivity from anything it hasn't given its IP Address to (Which matches the IP to the MAC address in the DHCP table, getting around the issue of quotas-by-MAC). Pretty sure there's just a tickbox somewhere you've left off ;)

Granted you could still change your MAC Address if you wanted, but that's a damn sight harder to do than firing up task killer to knock off the app, and then restarting the PC after said download is complete ;) Maybe I can explain better ( didn't want to hijack the thread) -- As I said "I think I know what hes doing, just have to catch him at it" Its actually nothing to do with the router that has gargoyle on it or his PC directly.

What I suspect is, hes home alone most afternoons during the week, he knows the parents dont get home till 5.30pm, you can see anyone coming up their street from where his PC is - What I suspect hes doing is actually when alone, unplugging the Gargoyle router from the ADSL, and the cable to his bedroom, plugging in another router hes got someplace, hence open season. As soon as its time for someone to come home, changes it back - takes less than a minute. While this IS extreme, the traffic around the times hes home is next to nothing on the router logs, but when others are at home its got normal usage.

What mushHead wrote
Like it's hard to just not install software in a PC if you don't want it to be logged? Remember the OP doesn't necessarily own/control all the laptops...
I can see one hell of a fight happening if it were only going by the router logs.

Heres an example: Lets say you have three visitors with laptops, all on the internet at the same time, two people reading and general surfing one using large amounts of data, watching movies, music on youtube - the router will issue an IP address to each Laptop, and not always the same IP every time - unless the owner (the op in this case) assigns an IP address to each laptop, which means going into each laptop and setting it as static, or insists on knowing all three peoples MAC addresses, and then setting up the router as required, who do you charge extra for the over usage, unless you are looking consistently over peoples shoulders to see what they are doing ???

Thats why I put Networx on all the computers here - there once was a large download around dinner time 15GB, no one was doing anything of course :rolleyes: So on it went to monitor - I informed everyone it was there on all computers, and also advised if it was disabled and the logs showed a "dead time" that there would be questions asked as to why and it had better be a bloody good reason. After a week I found the cause, and its been sweet since.

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2012, 10:24 AM
Gargoyle always assigns the same IP to the same MAC via DHCP, no need to statically set anything up :)

It's a lot harder to make an excuse for why a router has only 30 minutes uptime vs a PC having only 30 minutes uptime. PC's get rebooted all the time. Routers shouldn't. Theoretically it's possible to plug directly in to the modem itself, but if you're clever you'll also disable DHCP on the modem and pop it on an abnormal IP Range etc ;-)
It's certainly more foolproof IMO than having it on a PC...

CYaBro
16-03-2012, 11:58 AM
Maybe I can explain better ( didn't want to hijack the thread) -- As I said "I think I know what hes doing, just have to catch him at it" Its actually nothing to do with the router that has gargoyle on it or his PC directly.

What I suspect is, hes home alone most afternoons during the week, he knows the parents dont get home till 5.30pm, you can see anyone coming up their street from where his PC is - What I suspect hes doing is actually when alone, unplugging the Gargoyle router from the ADSL, and the cable to his bedroom, plugging in another router hes got someplace, hence open season. As soon as its time for someone to come home, changes it back - takes less than a minute. While this IS extreme, the traffic around the times hes home is next to nothing on the router logs, but when others are at home its got normal usage.

What mushHead wrote I can see one hell of a fight happening if it were only going by the router logs.

Heres an example: Lets say you have three visitors with laptops, all on the internet at the same time, two people reading and general surfing one using large amounts of data, watching movies, music on youtube - the router will issue an IP address to each Laptop, and not always the same IP every time - unless the owner (the op in this case) assigns an IP address to each laptop, which means going into each laptop and setting it as static, or insists on knowing all three peoples MAC addresses, and then setting up the router as required, who do you charge extra for the over usage, unless you are looking consistently over peoples shoulders to see what they are doing ???

Thats why I put Networx on all the computers here - there once was a large download around dinner time 15GB, no one was doing anything of course :rolleyes: So on it went to monitor - I informed everyone it was there on all computers, and also advised if it was disabled and the logs showed a "dead time" that there would be questions asked as to why and it had better be a bloody good reason. After a week I found the cause, and its been sweet since.

Well easy enough to stop them from being able to use another router - change the ISP login password and make sure he has no authority on the account to get it reset again.
He must know the password if he was able to setup another router.
Unless they are with Xtra then it doesn't really matter what username & password you have for the connection. :(

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2012, 12:49 PM
Nah coz there's going to be a modem, such as a 1-port Draytek DV-120, which then goes to an Access Point (Running Gargoyle). The kid is replacing the Gargoyle part but not the modem so change it so the modem won't give out an IP Address and put it on an unusual IP range for its LAN interface, then statically assign the Gargoyle device.

Gargoyle doesn't run on any devices that do *DSL

psycik
16-03-2012, 01:14 PM
Cheapest box to put gargoyle on is a linksys wrt54gl - although they're a little light on RAM they do the job (I have one at home) the only difference is I tend to download the bandwidth file and reprocess it to xml so I have a longer term storage of what the machines are doing (I have a bunch of virtual machines and used to see usage spikes that I couldn't account for).

I think there might be some TP Link ones as well. But you can't get an integrated ADSL modem + router that will run gargoyle - mores the pity. But oh well.

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2012, 03:45 PM
The *cheapest* would have to be either the TP-Link WR741ND (Just becareful which version coz the 2.4 versions aren't quite supported, even though they are supported by OpenWRT), or the Accton MR3201a (1-port). Unfortunately the WRT54GL aren't quite as good with less RAM vs the TP-Link ones which is quite a shame... Coz they were brilliant, but having only 16MB RAM is a bit of a bummer with the latest builds of Gargoyle, really runs best with 32MB.

wainuitech
16-03-2012, 04:38 PM
Well easy enough to stop them from being able to use another router - change the ISP login password and make sure he has no authority on the account to get it reset again.
He must know the password if he was able to setup another router.
Unless they are with Xtra then it doesn't really matter what username & password you have for the connection. :( Thats the one ( highlighted) Thats what looks like whats happening, going by the logs on the other router, but its damn hard to try and catch him doing it.

The actual indicated usage from Xtra, and the router usage dont match, often out by many GB's. If it were someone stealing the wireless it would show via a connection, but thats not happening.

Chilling_Silence
16-03-2012, 05:13 PM
It *does* matter if you're getting a static IP so you might wanna get that for a month or two for $5 ;-)

caffy
17-03-2012, 01:52 PM
Been following this post; what about smartphones who connect to the internet via the wifi - how would one monitor the usage from these devices?

Chilling_Silence
17-03-2012, 04:21 PM
Gargoyle :)

wainuitech
17-03-2012, 08:10 PM
This thread is amusing - While gargoyle does monitor what ever device is on the LAN, and very well at that, one question STILL remains unanswered.

Keep in mind the original post - some are home stays, so they are not there all the time month after month etc, or a permanent resident.

So I'll repeat it in simple terms.

If you have 3 laptops all using the internet at the same time - While Gargoyle will monitor all 3, if one person is using a lot of bandwidth and the other two are not, without actually getting a look at each device to determine who has what IP, or MAC address on each device,or they are being asked to provide details as to what they are doing, WHICH of the three is using the data ?

If someone was charging a person for their usage, they had better be damn sure its the right person. Simple browsing and looking at various sites, wont use anywhwere near the amount of data compared to someone watching HD videos on youtube.

fred_fish
17-03-2012, 08:36 PM
So you set a data cap per IP and see who yells ... :)

wainuitech
17-03-2012, 08:51 PM
All this setting up different restrictions Via Gargoyle would require a lot of "admin"work on someones behalf.. bet that wouldn't last to long before they got pissed off with it.

If there were regular changes of people, with very little work theres a lot easier ways.

Gargoyle is good at what it does, but sorry, its NOT the "be all" to every solution :)

fred_fish
17-03-2012, 09:53 PM
Well, for this problem, it certainly beats the hell out of installing a monitor on each device.

wainuitech
17-03-2012, 10:28 PM
And it STILL comes down to the point WHO is actually using the data if multi users,And who get charged.

I'm sure if YOU were charged for something you didn't use you would gladly pay if you were that stupid.

If any one cant see that then they are just plain ignorant and deserve every thing you got.

Its like advertising on TV or paper - you never see someplace advertising and showing the negative sides of a product. I'm simply pointing out using gargoyle is not the only option.

fred_fish
17-03-2012, 10:42 PM
So, you just talk to them.
Ask what hostname / MAC address they have.
Or set up a proxy / captive portal and give them user / pass each ...
It obviously depends on the situation.

wainuitech
17-03-2012, 10:48 PM
give them user / pass each ...
It obviously depends on the situation. Yep, giving each user that would work fine. Thats mostly how cyber cafes do it who charge.

It also depends on the skill level of the person needing to set it up. (cost of any new hardware/software as well) A general home user wouldn't have a clue how to set something like that up.

Edited: FYI - Networxs can monitor all network traffic from all connections on the LAN, Plus it can set quotas and time restrictions for any connection.

Safari
17-03-2012, 11:10 PM
If you guys had Macs you could use the built in Activity Monitor in OS X and you would not have to argue about the different options available.

Chilling_Silence
17-03-2012, 11:58 PM
No but that's the point, anything on the client side is easy to circumvent, especially in a flatting scenario, there is *zero* true accountability because it's dead simple to just kill off XYZ monitoring program, or reboot to a Live Linux CD. Even OSX can't prevent against that.

Again, Gargoyle takes in to account your gripes, and it assigns the hostname where resolvable to the IP Address / MAC Address so when you look it up, it tells you. That, and a simple "ping -a" works a lot of the time too.

Considering how simple Gargoyle is to put on the likes of a WRT54GL, and the protection it offers, I'd even go so far as to say that in a flatting situation you'd be foolish to try and use anything client-based because of it. Simply fire up the Web GUI, choose "Upgrade firmware" and point it to the Gargoyle firmware.

Most of the defaults for Gargoyle include things we've discussed:
a) Statically assigning the same IP to the MAC Address
b) Lookups where possible of the Hostname

And then it's incredibly easy (One tick box?) to:
c) Enable quotas for the whole LAN (Tick box plus inputting a super high limit they'll never reach, just so it starts the accounting)
d) Block access where the IP used isn't one that Gargoyle has assigned


Then to say it's "too hard" to go around to each PC and find out which IP or MAC address it's using, but you insist it's simple enough to install bandwidth monitoring software on a PC.... That just doesn't fly with me, it's the other way around. Start --> Run --> cmd --> getmac is a damn sight easier to do (If for some strange reason you felt the need to) vs having to actually plug in a thumbdrive and / or download + install software.
And finally, the technical know how isn't the issue, because if you didn't know how to do it, you would ask, as has been the case in this instance. Granted money may be an issue, some people can't or just simply don't want to fork out ~$100 for a secondary access point, that's fine, in which case they're then limited in their options. However, if somebody is asking "How do I do this?", they're likely going to struggle as much with setting up software as they will with setting up an access point, so guiding through XYZ steps for either is really a moot point, because the person asking is going to have to follow instructions either way. It's not like they're gonna go "Oh right, software, I just *know* how to setup a quota using this software I've never heard of" yet struggle when told about how to do it on their router.

However, setting up a captive portal is granted probably a lot more difficult than a Gargoyle or client-PC based software monitoring solution.

I would strongly suggest that in all the scenarios provided so far in this thread that a Gargoyle router solution is the *ideal* solution, money depending. If XYZ person in the scenario can't afford the router, then naturally they're left with installing software on each client device. However, in terms of "having the least amount of ways around it", or "Being the hardest to trick and falsify data for", Gargoyle wins, hands down. Ctrl + Shift + Esc is simply too easy to have a client do when you don't have control over said PC or Laptop. It's much more difficult to do that on a router where they don't have access to it.
Can you imagine every week or two in a backpackers or homestay solution having to set it up again on a new computer? It'd be a nightmare, not to mention if they had a friend over... Gargoyle requires one hell of a lot less "admin" work than doing a client-side software solution is all I'm saying ;)