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All our computers are connected in a MAN. We have a server and all computers are connected to it. Is it possible to track internet usage and identify which computer it was and how is that done?

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Which operating system is your server using ? – Iain Dec 7 '10 at 18:07
@iain - If the server is not doing proxying for their internet connection, the OS doesn't matter because the server is irrelevant to this question. – mfinni Dec 7 '10 at 18:13
@minni: If you know the server OS then you can give advice on the proxy to use rather than vague arm waving. – Iain Dec 7 '10 at 19:57
This depends a lot on what you mean by "We have a server and all computers are connected to it", and how your network is structured. – mattdm Dec 7 '10 at 21:15
@iain - still not quite right. If the server is Win2k3, but Anne didn't tell you that it's their exchange/CRM application that is held together with spit and duct tape and running at 90% CPU, it wouldn't be appropriate to install ISA or Squid on it. – mfinni Dec 7 '10 at 22:26

Yes it can be done via utility PRTG. Please refer for more info, it is best to monitor to internet traffic.

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I can think of a couple of ways to quickly accomplish this goal depending on your current equipment. First, depending on what you are using as your router to route traffic out to the Internet connection, you may be able to have the router log the traffic and then sort it based on IP address.

Another way would be to install a transparent proxy server and use it to log traffic as it flows from your workstations through the proxy and out to the Internet. Squid proxy can do this and is free.

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NTOP will be a good solution. It tracks and displays a whole bunch of data which will give you a pretty good picture of your internet usage.

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And then there's the "in the cloud" (I hate that term) solutions, like MessageLab's Hosted Web URL Filtering Service. There are other providers of such services.

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Yeah - there's software or dedicated appliances to do this. There are multiple options and multiple ways of setting it up. You can install a proxy with logging software and force everyone to use the proxy, or just set it up transparently. You can also do this without a proxy, some software can be installed like a packet sniffer and log web/internet traffic that way. In both cases, this device/software needs to be on/near your internet gateway, or be able to get mirrored traffic from the gateway or its switch port. You can also install software on every client machine to log everything, but that's inelegant and potentially something that the users could disable or break.

Edit- My answer is how to get a detailed view of what the traffic is. If you just need to know bandwidth per client, my answer is a heavier-weight solution than something like NetFlow or NTOP, as others have suggested.

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Yes there is a variety of options available to you. If you are a Microsoft shop you can look at ISA. There are also proxy servers which can do this which are open source or very in-expensive.

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ISA = proxy. IAS = RADIUS server. – mfinni Dec 7 '10 at 22:26
Thanks, I always get them backwards. – mrdenny Dec 7 '10 at 22:31

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