[kwlug-disc] Bandwidth monitoring for individual computers in a home network

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Sun May 30 22:53:24 EDT 2010

On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> Nice page.
> Couple of thoughts:
> - it can be tough to remember that data collection, data monitoring, and
> data display, need not all be on the same device. So, it might not be
> necessary to depend upon little ol' OpenWRT, with limited horsepower and
> memory, to do it all. It may perhaps be useful to use OpenWRT as a point of
> collection, and perhaps monitoring, and let another computer do the heavy
> lifting. Assuming, for example, that you want to clamp down an ip overusing
> the bandwidth, vs. an ip having reached it's limit for the month. (The
> former is merely monitoring, the latter assumes data collection and
> summation to make the 'drop the gate' decision.)

fprobe, which I mention on the page, does exactly that. My thought was to
run ntop on a regular server, and have only fprobe on the OpenWRT device.
This way all the graph, HTML generation, and data analysis is on a more
beefy machine.

> - if I read your text correctly, for the Gargoyle to be effective it must
> be your gateway. Many would be reluctant to do so (it it ain't broke ...)
> Mind you, if you're considering OpenWRT anyway, as your gateway, you're
> already there. Or if you already know your in the midst of a problem
> anyways. OTOH - you can't control traffic that you're not in the midst of.

Yes, this is a limitation, and I am willing to go with it when the time is

I would rather use the stock OpenWRT rather than a fork of it (Gargoyle).
What I find intriguing is that the bwmon and qos packages are really written
around iptables and not much else (just a simple bw_convert.c program).
Which means that porting it to stock OpenWRT should be something that is
easy to do (when I have time).

I wonder ... could you just vlan the kids off and rate limit them full time,
> leaving the rest for you? I guess, depends upon the consequences when they
> figure that out? (-:

Yes, I can do that, but need a device that is able to do that (vlan and rate
limit), so we are back to square one. Current router does not do that
(though it is rock solid and never needs rebooting, something I can't say
for my previous wired only router, and the DIR-615 that I got and returned).

> Khalid Baheyeldin wrote, On 05/30/2010 8:40 PM:
>> One of the reasons I was looking for a flashable Linux based router
>> was to monitor bandwidth in a home network and trace the usage to
>> individual computers.
>> While I have not implemented any specific solution yet, mostly due
>> to lack of time to tinker, I gathered some information here for my
>> own reference in the future.
>> The Gargoyle Router, which is a variant of OpenWRT, seems to be
>> exactly what I need: bandwidth monitoring and quality of service
>> (throttling). I looked at the code and it seems to be iptables
>> based, so could be applicable to any Linux based router.
>> So here are the relevant links
>> http://baheyeldin.com/bandwidth/monitoring-bandwidth-usage-individual-computers-home-network.html
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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