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We have two internet connections to our office and our current setup is like this:

The internet connections require PPPoE log-in. I take a cable and plug it into a WIFI Router and configure the router to log in using PPPoE. I Then connect a cable from the router to a switch and distribute the internet throughout my office.

I'm not able to monitor who is hogging internet usage and what he or she is actually using it for.

We also have a NAS setup which is routed through another switch.

Could someone please throw a little light on how I should restructure this setup for easy monitoring and better transparency?

Each WAN router is connected to a different switch and is distributed to users accordingly. We have around 40 users in the office. We want to setup a single Linux box to which I want to connect the two WAN connections as a gateway for our users... I'm looking for a solution where we do not have to invest more that buying a single PC and a couple of NICs.

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2 Answers 2

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So you've got two WAN routers with two Internet connections both plugged into the same switch - are you using DHCP on either or both, or are clients configured statically? If the former then I suspect you're probably not getting best use out of your diverse connections.

What you really need is a more sophisticated router on the edge of the network to either sit in front of your WAN routers and distribute traffic to them as required, or (even better) to replace them entirely and take over all of the edge routing out of the network.

With a reasonably specified dedicated router you can have all the control of traffic going out of the network you could want, including logging and keeping an eye on which IP addresses are utilizing the most resources, you could even throttle it per connection or for specific addresses as @Chopper3 suggests.

While you could buy a low end box from Cisco, Juniper or $otherRouterVendor it's a steep learning curve to just get the thing working and it's an upfront cost which probably isn't what you're looking for.

From the question, I'm assuming you've not got a great deal of users, so I'd suggest getting a firewall distribution and putting it on an old PC/laptop/server. Popular ones are IPCop and PfSense. They're free and out of the box will both allow you to monitor current bandwidth and graph historic trends, rate limit per connection, and add additional packages to log traffic type per IP address or implement a proxy as suggested in another answer.

Out of the two I'd go with PfSense, it's really fast, and the documentation is good including this neat piece on using multiple WAN connections which fits rather well with what you might want to do.

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hi james, each wan router is connected to a different switch and is distributed to users accordingly.. we have around 40 users in the office.. we want to setup a single linux box to which i want to connect the two wan connections and from there distribute it to all our users.. i will look into pf sense.. im looking for a solution where we do not have to invest more that buying a single pc and a couple of nics –  Prakash Sep 4 '12 at 9:06
    
You should probably add that information about your objective to the original post. It does sounds like PfSense might be a good fit for you, the only investment required is a box and some NICs (or only one NIC if your switches support VLANs) with the option to add additional boxes for redundancy. –  James Yale Sep 4 '12 at 9:11

You need a proxy, ideally with per-user throttling capability and caching, something like Squid should do just fine. You could then implement the throttling as described HERE.

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