or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › Genius Bar › Need help/advice on monitoring a home network!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need help/advice on monitoring a home network!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi.

I am part of a family which consists of 5 people, all using the internet (both on their computers and iPhones/iPad/Playstation/etc).

The internet in our house is as fast as the cables to the building will allow us, which means not very fast (8MBit) \

With the 5 of us all using the internet especially in the evening, for different purposes (working, browsing, watching youtube, downloading, and playing online games), it is quite common that we get into an argument about our usage and habits.
Especially those who want to play online games or is watching a web steam, often complain about lag or bad quality.

So I though maybe it would be a good idea to see if I could get a program to monitor who in the house is actually using the most bandwidth (or if anyone is using more bandwidth than they claim).

Our internet consists of two airports (in WiFi bridge mode), which is an Airport Extreme attached to our router, then sending the internet over to an Airport Express which is where most of us are connected during the evening.


My question is, I'm looking for a tool to be able to monitor our network and see exactly how much everyone is using. Best would be if I can see a graph that shows everyones usage over a time period. Does such application exists (preferably free!).


Any help or advice will be much appreciated!
- written by a frustrated big brother!
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodersen View Post

So I though maybe it would be a good idea to see if I could get a program to monitor who in the house is actually using the most bandwidth (or if anyone is using more bandwidth than they claim).

Because of the variety and number of devices, you'd really have to put a monitoring device inside your network setup.

You can get a router to do this e.g Draytek Vigor:

http://www.support.draytek.co.uk/kb_...owmonitor.html

or you can put a mini PC (e.g nettop) inline with your network like this:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/30/h...work-firewall/

The router option will be the most reliable as a computer could crash and take out the network.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Because of the variety and number of devices, you'd really have to put a monitoring device inside your network setup.

You can get a router to do this e.g Draytek Vigor:

http://www.support.draytek.co.uk/kb_...owmonitor.html

or you can put a mini PC (e.g nettop) inline with your network like this:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/30/h...work-firewall/

The router option will be the most reliable as a computer could crash and take out the network.

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I think it would be a bit overkill to have to buy new hardware(mini-PC) just to see which family member uses the most internet.

I was hoping that maybe there was a simple application out there that could do this?
The Airport Utility does show a live graph log that is pretty close to what I am looking for, but I can't see the names of the devices on the graph, and can only look at one airport at a time.
And I'm unsure if it is actual bandwidth usage that is displayed.

I'm surprised if there is no software solutions for this kind of monitoring. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does it not only have to check how much traffic is being send to each of the IP addresses connected on the network?

I of course got all admin permissions for all devices.
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodersen View Post

I'm surprised if there is no software solutions for this kind of monitoring. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does it not only have to check how much traffic is being send to each of the IP addresses connected on the network?

The software that measures the data packets has to have access to those packets though and for security reasons, software running on each computer doesn't get access to the packets going to any other computer.

If the Airport Utility graph has dBm beside it, it's just signal strength of the Airport to each device.

The Draytek router above has a bandwidth monitor per IP address so you'd just need to put something like that right at the start of your network and have all other devices connect to it. Of course it will only show IP addresses, not Bonjour names.

There are 3rd party apps that use SNMP to measure Airport stats like this one:

http://download.cnet.com/AirPort-Mon...1_4-46658.html

but that one doesn't do traffic yet. The following does traffic but it looks like it's aggregated:

http://www.memention.com/airportflow/

Same as these:

http://www.smallegan.com/blog/2008/0...mp-stat-graph/
http://theblinkinglight.com/?p=42

Given that you have admin access to all machines you could probably install an app like SurplusMonitor:

http://www.skoobysoft.com/utilities/utilities.html

but there would be no way to collate all the data from each app in real-time and someone could easily turn it off.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hmm okay, thanks Marvin for your reply.
I will try these apps, but otherwise it seems like this is a dead end.

It would be useful if someone made a tool that could easily monitor the bandwidth usage/distribution on a network, with minimal setup and device names.
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
Never Underestimate the Power of
Stupid People in Groups
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Genius Bar
AppleInsider › Forums › General › Genius Bar › Need help/advice on monitoring a home network!