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luongos5hole

join:2014-01-13

System To Track Network Connections

I have a little project that I need to complete and am a bit unsure on how to do it. I am in need of some sort of tracking system for my network. Specifically, I want to track the number of connections to the wireless router. So basically just a system that will increment the total every time a device connects to the router. Ideally I am looking for something to show these totals in weekly, monthly, and yearly formats. I don’t require any other data to be tracked, such as usage; however, it is not a big deal if the program or software used comes with this.

I already expect to replace the current networking hardware in order to do this, so I am not really limited in that regard. As long as the hardware reasonably priced. Best case scenario is there is some sort of firmware and software that can be setup to do what I want. If this is not possible I do have some experience with coding, so I could possible write something to do what I’m looking for.


HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18

said by luongos5hole:

Specifically, I want to track the number of connections to the wireless router. So basically just a

system that will increment the total every time a device connects to the router. Ideally I am looking for something to show

these totals in weekly, monthly, and yearly formats.

You're going to need managed equipment... bar none. Or at least equipment that can be managed via SNMP.
If you know scripting, I suspect you could use that in conjunction to do what you want.

The next question is exactly WHAT equipment you're going to buy.

Also.. and this is just my personal curiousity, exactly what do you hope to do with this data? Are you looking
at some sort of monitoring your utilization, or some sort of capacity monitoring / planning?

Regards

luongos5hole

join:2014-01-13

The project is being done for a small business that needs to track the amount of users that connect to their wireless network every year. They need this information for some yearly survey that has a section dedicated for wireless.

I have been looking into SNMP for a few days now; however, I am still not completely sure how to go about it. From my reading I understand that various data or information types are put into what are called mibs. These mibs will then be used via SNMP to display in readably form on a workstation display. I'm not fully understanding the mibs portion of what needs to be done here. I'm assuming that these are specific to the router, so I would need to find a router that has the required mibs for what I need. Is that correct. If it is what should I be looking for. Sorry, I'm just not to experience with SNMP.


luongos5hole

join:2014-01-13

Turns out that I probably won't be able to purchase any new hardware, so I am left with the current setup. Sorry about the change, it was completely unexpected.

Linksys BEFSR81
NETGEAR WGR614 v9

Is there anything I can do with this hardware to get what I want.


HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:18
reply to luongos5hole

said by luongos5hole:

From my reading I understand that various data or information types are put into what are called

mibs. These mibs will then be used via SNMP to display in readably form on a workstation display.

Think of MIBS as like a menu for a restaurant -- specific to a particular restaurant (ie. device), and can be pulled
by you (ie. the SNMP poller) for information. Each vendor can support generic MIBS, they can also offer custom MIBs
for very specific / proprietary information. Answer your question?

With consumer-level gear, I would say you could get next to no information ... as far as what you're trying to do, OP.
The only other thing is if either device has an option to display the ARP table -- however that necessitates someone
manually logging into the device and pulling it, and the ARP table shows ALL devices the router sees, not just the
wireless.

Regards


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5

your only salvation would be to run third party firmwares on both units and if possible, then choose the variant that has added capabilities for SNMP etc......

Otherwise reject the project given an impossible set of circumstances. (ie requestors do not have two clues)


switchman

join:1999-11-06

1 edit
reply to luongos5hole

How many routers are you having to do this for? Are they at multiple locations or a single location?

If all you want to do is count the connections/ip leases, I would move to an external DHCP server and come up with a way to have the server count those. Otherwise I think you are going to have to purchase new managed WAPs that offers the data you need.

Make sure you use a separate DHCP server for just the wireless network.



sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA
reply to luongos5hole

You could take one of Nir's tools like this one:

»www.nirsoft.net/utils/who_is_con···fer.html

and then export the data on a regular schedule for further analysis.

You'd have to dedicate a client to act as the listener, and you'd have to do all kinds of post processing in, I guess, excel or perl or whatever. So it's obviously inferior to letting a network appliance do all the record keeping and math for you as has been discussed. But it's one hacky way to get at least a cross section of the necessary data.

All in all, there are better ways, I'm just throwing this out there as it sounds like you're grasping for cheap alternatives.
--
Scott Brown Consulting, Los Angeles Computer Security & IT Services