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Unit649
I B U, Who U B?
Premium
join:2000-01-22
Stockton, CA

4 edits

Bandwidth Monitor for Computers-Suggestions?

Mod Note: Will Comcast provide a bandwidth meter? jlivingood See Profile says "yes." Here ---> »Re: Bandwidth Limits - Meter

December 2, 2008 update: »Comcast To Offer Bandwidth Use Tracker In January

»Exclusive Screens Of Comcast's New Bandwidth Meter


Ok, since its happened, and there are tons of choices online, can anyone suggest a good total consumption monitor I can use for each computer, that I can set to reset and record my usage each month, since Comcast suggests to do so on your own?

Feel free to move this if you wish, but everything I'm finding by "google search" as suggested so far only seems to record what you're doing while you're on, once you shutdown that data is lost.

Thanks for any input! Oh, and I would prefer XP/Vista compatibility since I have both OS's running on my LAN.

I don't think I'll ever get close, but since its part of the AUP now, I guess I probably should monitor my usage. I appreciate any input!

Think with this too it might be time....for broadband router makers to include consumption monitoring too



linky

@comcast.net

1 recommendation

I'm using NetLimiter 2 Monitor (Free), it has lots of great features. You can view your bandwidth within any time frame. You also can see how much bandwidth each application uses.

Or you can flash your router with a 3rd party firmware like Tomato (better for bandwidth monitoring) and DD-WRT (compatible with more routers). This way you can monitor all devices connected to the router including consoles.



inferno4

join:2008-07-06

If comcast does not provide their own built into their website, people will just say "Screw the cap"



bondo

@comcast.net
reply to Unit649

I've been trying out this freeware called PRTG traffic grapher, it monitors my whole network by looking at the SNMP on the router. so far seems pretty good, because I have about 7 computers hooked up to the router.



Nerdtalker
Working Hard, Or Hardly Working?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-02-18
Tucson, AZ

1 edit
reply to Unit649

Excellent, excellent, excellent thread. You beat me to it by a tiny bit honestly!

A lot of these posts have focused on client-side monitoring, but this isn't robust enough.

Client-Side:
• Linux - vnstat »humdi.net/vnstat/ (very basic, linux based bandwidth reporting and monitoring)
• Windows - DuMeter »www.dumeter.com/ (very popular, excellent set of tools and reporting, but also only for individual clients. Nice prediction features)
• Windows - BandwidthMonitor »www.bwmonitor.com/ (haven't used it, but seems robust and similar to DuMeter)
• Windows - BW Meter »www.softpedia.com/get/Network-To···er.shtml (seems pretty good, similar to the last two)

Router-Side:
• WRT54G/GS/GL/e.t.c. - Tomato »www.polarcloud.com/tomato (Excellent real-time, last 24 hours, daily, weekly, and monthly bandwidth reporting for every interface. This is what I use and recommend the most since it works so well and represents all traffic passing the WAN)
• Server - MRTG »www.mrtg.com/ (Basic, seems depreciated by cacti, but still works, doesn't give an actual bit-statistic of use though)
• Server - Cacti »www.cacti.net/ (very comprehensive tool for bandwidth monitoring via SNMP, evolved from MRTG)
• DDWRT?
• PfSense/m0n0wall
• Others I don't know about?



Unit649
I B U, Who U B?
Premium
join:2000-01-22
Stockton, CA

1 edit

No problem

The only reason I'm asking is because I have more than myself to support also. Flashing the router, though something I may eventually do myself, will probably not be something that some of the friends I have would want me to do

Part of the reason that I was asking out here. I know we're all a bit more on the advanced side, but for "Joe Schmoe" I'd rather just have an easy software solution that can sit in the tray and be easily checked.

Thanks for the tips so far everyone, I'll be checking back and checking out whats been presented so far. I think this is a good idea-I'm sure the publicity created by this happening will probably be drawing people to this site, and invaribly, here.



Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3
reply to Unit649

Another vote for Tomato firmware. I've been using it since.. forever.. and besides the fact that it's fast and has so many extra features that I use, the bandwidth monitoring section is superb.

DD-WRT is also an excellent firmware (with the ability to have different SSID/VLANS), but the bandwidth monitoring section of Tomato out performs DD-WRT IMO.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.US



EG
The wings of love
Premium
join:2006-11-18
Union, NJ
kudos:9
reply to inferno4

said by inferno4:

If comcast does not provide their own built into their website, people will just say "Screw the cap"
That's prudent behavior... LOLLL !!!


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to Nerdtalker

I think that some routers also have UPNP interfaces that might report back these statistics. I haven't looked for UPNP tools in a couple of years -- anyone have any favorites?



Vchat20
Landing is the REAL challenge
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Columbus, OH
reply to Nerdtalker

said by Nerdtalker:

• Windows - DuMeter »www.dumeter.com/ (very popular, excellent set of tools and reporting, but also only for individual clients. Nice prediction features)
Netmeter: »www.metal-machine.de/readerror/
A freeware clone of DUmeter. Not AS feature packed, but pretty darn close.
said by Nerdtalker:

• DDWRT?
The newer v24 RC builds include a bandwidth tracker. Those builds are pretty damn stable for basic home setups that I have seen.
said by Nerdtalker:

• PfSense/m0n0wall
Pretty sure these have some facility for this, yes.
said by Nerdtalker:

• Others I don't know about?
Smoothwall, which is another *nix based router distro like the above, has a user-built mod built exactly for tracking cap usage and can track usage by IP on the LAN side. Check the forums for more info.
--
I swear, some people should have pace-makers installed to free up the resources. Breathing and heart beat taxes their whole system, all of their brain cells wasted on life support.-two bit brains, and the second bit is wasted on parity! ~head_spaz


jerry666
Premium
join:2002-12-12
Canada
reply to Unit649

another vote for du meter . works well free updates . lots of good features


lightzout
Premium
join:2005-07-29
San Anselmo, CA
reply to Unit649

This was the first question on my mind as well. But why wouldn't Comcast just add it to subscriber's account information? It seems pretty unfair to people who may be on the high side not to give them a chance to know when to back off. My wife and I both use up bandwidth well beyond the average user but I have no idea whether its close to 250 gigs. I use an apple base station. If anyone knows a good compatible mac or pc application please share any recommendations. At the very least they could email customers if or when they were past 200 gigs so people could reduce use or just accept the over-cap fees. This probably doesn't apply to business accounts right?


thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL

3 edits
reply to Unit649

The best I have used is built into Kaspersky Internet Security 2009. It has a Network Monitor that keeps track of application bandwidth usage per day/week both incoming and outgoing. So you can check out which of your programs use the most.

Note though, if you enable it to report feedback...you should know that just participating will use up a bit more traffic...not too much but it makes the internet use by Kaspersky notable in the bandwidth meter. If you enable extended statistics it will make Kaspersky the top bandwidth user of all your applications for every single day, no matter what other programs you are using. This has the potential to drive up your internet traffic a great deal...so I would recommend not enabling extended statistics. Example: Over the few days I've been using it I had one day that stood out. I used up 3.5 GB on the download side...of that 2.3 GB was from Kaspersky...the next closest application was iTunes at 764MB.

Aside from the bandwidth monitoring I find it to be a very good internet security package. For me it replaced BitDefender (previously my favorite) after I had some incompatibilities between BitDefender's firewall and Vista Ultimate 64 Bit. The only problem I have with Kaspersky is that the active scans (not the normal background monitoring it does) don't pop up any type of window when they run...so they can sneak up on you and slow down your computer if you're in the middle of using it when they run. I highly recommend it as an internet security package.

I think I'm going to pick up a WRT54GL sometime Saturday and try out some of the firmwares available to it (starting with Tomato I think). I haven't been able to find anything for the router I have, a Linksys BEFSR41 4 port wired broadband router. Kaspersky is great...but only covers 2 computers that I have it loaded on. We have 6 other internet enabled devices (computers, DVR, cellphones on Wifi) that need to be tracked as well...a router based monitor is pretty much the only way to go. I'll keep the old one just as a backup though, in case something goes wrong with the firmware.

I'm still going to be paying attention to Kaspersky though as I find it's application-based bandwidth statistics interesting.

I think the most reliable bandwidth meters are always tied to your router....so it catches everything going through. Software based firewalls are less accurate since you can have network traffic that doesn't use up internet traffic. On single computer connections that's not a huge deal...it's more of a problem with connections connected to routers that have a network behind them...such as my situation.



Ripper
Premium
join:2002-02-07
West Palm Beach, FL
reply to Unit649

WallWatcher can track your bandwidth if you have a router that is on there supported list. »www.wallwatcher.com/



pitroad01

join:2006-07-10
Raleigh, NC

1 recommendation

reply to Unit649

Click for full size
Click for full size
I use NetMeter


CT3

@comcast.net
reply to inferno4

said by inferno4:

If comcast does not provide their own built into their website, people will just say "Screw the cap"
And if they do people will say its wrong and they need to fix it... Some people just like to whine, can't get around that.

iddx

join:2008-08-11
New York, NY
reply to Unit649

i use rrdtool/mrtg



fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to CT3

said by CT3 :

said by inferno4:

If comcast does not provide their own built into their website, people will just say "Screw the cap"
And if they do people will say its wrong and they need to fix it... Some people just like to whine, can't get around that.
Not a valid excuse. By that logic, why offer internet service at all, since some people will "whine" about it?
--
***************
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aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
reply to Ripper

said by Ripper:

WallWatcher can track your bandwidth if you have a router that is on there supported list. »www.wallwatcher.com/
This sounds like a good option since it pulls the info from the router which is needed to truly see what the usage is. Just monitoring a PC usage does no good when there are dozens of other devices connecting to the Internet.


53059959
Temp banned from BBR more then anyone

join:2002-10-02
PwnZone

2 edits
reply to bondo

said by bondo :

I've been trying out this freeware called PRTG traffic grapher, it monitors my whole network by looking at the SNMP on the router. so far seems pretty good, because I have about 7 computers hooked up to the router.
I second PRTG. I run it on my windows 2003 servers, works great. You get 3 free different monitors of whatever you want to qualify as freeware, after that you must purchase the product. It's a little more advanced and designed to run in a server setting.

edit: nvm I guess they changed it now they offer 10 free monitors with their new product as freeware.

»www.paessler.com/prtg7


Nerdtalker
Working Hard, Or Hardly Working?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-02-18
Tucson, AZ
reply to Rob

Click for full size
(FireShot capture #1 - '[l33trouter] Bandwidth_ Real-Time' - 192_168_1_1_bwm-real)
Click for full size
(FireShot capture #2 - '[l33trouter] Bandwidth_ Last 24 Hours' - 192_168_1_1_bwm-)
Click for full size
(FireShot capture #3 - '[l33trouter] Bandwidth_ Daily' - 192_168_1_1_bwm-daily_as)
Click for full size
(FireShot capture #4 - '[l33trouter] Bandwidth_ Weekly' - 192_168_1_1_bwm-weekly_)
Click for full size
(FireShot capture #5 - '[l33trouter] Bandwidth_ Monthly' - 192_168_1_1_bwm-monthl)
Tomato is seriously the best option for people who already have 3rd-party-firmware-running WRT54G routers or their derivatives.

I've checked out the DD-WRT firmwares and such, and these are great too, but Tomato just offers a different level of bandwidth monitoring.

I've uploaded some pics of that, forgive my data
--
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I'm testing Gmail's spam filters: Broadbandreports1@gmail.com
Spam: 12900+ messages currently using 406 MB.


Unit649
I B U, Who U B?
Premium
join:2000-01-22
Stockton, CA
reply to Unit649

Glad to see all the responses.

From what I've been reading on here though, my newer linksys N router may not be flashable, but I'm looking into it more. I don't really want to mess that router up, that kind of stuff angers the wife

I think for now I may go for a "per computer" solution. I think Comcast is going to have to step up and provide something. I honestly think I don't even get near 100GB a month much less 250, but being that we're here, who knows, maybe I'll find out I use a lot more or less than I think I do. I know I have lan traffic, but its going to be hard to discern that from other traffic without bringing the router into play.

But if this becomes more prevelant, some kind of bandwidth monitoring will become a feature for $20 more, I'm sure, on routers

I'd love to use something like MRTG (I have it on my Linode) but I'd have to build another box, etc etc. Not sure if I want to go that far into it.

Probably will use DuMeter (or the free "equivelent") for those few friends who are already on email paranoid about their usage The one I'm still most worried about is my Mom on Frontier who does nothing much, but likely would cross the 5gb threshold by the sheer amount of time she spends surfing. I hope they really get their collective heads out of their backsides over there, I tell you. Next visit I'm going to have to put something on there and start seeing if its going to be a problem or not.

Thanks again for the suggestions and I hope its helping more people out than just me. I can't honestly believe that "google" was the solution presented by Comcast either-you think they could have listed a few. I doubt their NOC facility is so busy that thy couldn't have taken 5 minutes to post some good ones. But who knows

Expand your moderator at work


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:21

1 edit
reply to inferno4

Re: Bandwidth Monitor for Computers-Suggestions?

Stick with the topic, please. This can't be another bandwidth limits topic, either. We already have one designated as the current one.

Stay with the original question.
--
Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .


Der_Idiot

join:2008-02-10
Norwood Young America, MN
reply to Unit649

I use cacti. I had to turn my granularity to 1minute polling, but other then that, it's fantastic.


thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL
reply to Unit649

Ok...got a WRT54GL from Fry's and put Tomato on it. I highly recommend it as well. I have had no issues at all with it so far. The bandwidth monitoring is very nice.


vxbinco

join:2004-09-27
Arvada, CO
reply to Unit649

The easiest way to monitor Bandwidth is through McAfee Security Center which is provided free by Comcast.

Go to the advanced menu, click on tools and the drop down menu of traffic analysis. It will give you session totals, totals for current month and last month usage.

Of course it will only monitor the computer on which it is installed, and traffic that is monitored by McAfee which should be all traffic on your system. However, it is simple just to add up all traffic for all computers on your network.

I have vonage; it will not monitor that traffic but I think it is minimal usage. Comcast own Digital voice will not be included in the cap.

I use my system everyday and my last month usage was 7.00 GB on my whole network. I consider myself more than a light user, with frequent web surfing, some streaming audio and video; but no gaming, no heavy music or video downloads, or peer to peer. This month, I should approach 14.00 GB, this month, because of more than usual downloads.

I do not consider 250 GB an issue. There has to be some control over excessive use.



Unit649
I B U, Who U B?
Premium
join:2000-01-22
Stockton, CA

3 edits
reply to thor793

My old one is a GS, which is limited on flashing from what I'm reading. Typical I couldn't have the hardware on hand

Glad to see a reply from someone who heavily surfs and only used 7gb. Course, if the cap is 5.....oops.

Going to have to install one of these on Mom's computer and see whats going on with hers.

Put DU Meter on 2 of my computers tonight, so we will see how it goes. Its been on 3 hours and I've used.....206MB. Been online for about 4 hours since I got home from work, course the download of it wasn't included in that figure.

The month's figures will tell of course, but I didn't think I was honestly using much, cept for when Windows update pops up....

Expand your moderator at work


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
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reply to aaronwt

Re: Bandwidth Monitor for Computers-Suggestions?

said by aaronwt:

said by Ripper:

WallWatcher can track your bandwidth if you have a router that is on there supported list. »www.wallwatcher.com/
This sounds like a good option since it pulls the info from the router which is needed to truly see what the usage is. Just monitoring a PC usage does no good when there are dozens of other devices connecting to the Internet.
Indeed. We just added a DirecTV HR-21 satellite receiver, and I have already tested the VoD capability. Something running on my HP Pavilion m7590n would only track the BitTorrent and email usage on that computer. I need to watch data movement on that Pavilion, the HP Pavilion a1440n, the HP Pavilion 6745C, the HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One printer (bi-directional Internet access!), the DirecTV HR-21, and the Sony Playstation 2. I'll have to set it up, and test it.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
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