I have network of more than 50 users and I want to monitor all of machines for there downloading stats. How much(in MB's or GB's) been downloaded or uploaded by every machine. Every user has Administrator access to there machine so dont want to install any kind of SNMP or client but also not skeptical about that too.

I am linux/unix admin so looking for a centalized monitoring tool like OpenNMS,cacti,mrtg etc.. But if windows monitoring tool fulfills my requirements I can use that one too..


  • Are you interested in LAN bandwidth, internet bandwidth, does it matter?
    – cwawak
    Sep 14, 2010 at 13:46

4 Answers 4


ntop is going to be your friend here. - id suggest sticking an ntop server between the main internet traffic and the network. Or setup port mirroring / use uplink ports on a switch and hang it off there.

  • I have used Ntop but its just always show my the highest bandwidth usage for the host machine only and also not showing all the hosts which are live in the network. I think We are close to my requirement. Can you please make your point bit brief.. will really helpful for me.
    – ramesh.mimit
    Sep 13, 2010 at 14:20
  • 1
    well you need the network card on the monitoring machine in promiscious mode so it listens to all traffic. and you might run into issues if you put it upstream of any NAT setup (itll only list one IP that way) -- when i used ntop i hung it from a switch and used port mirroring so all traffic went to it, not just those addressed for the machine itsself.
    – Sirex
    Sep 13, 2010 at 14:45
  • Just to follow-on from Sirex: I've gotten by with just putting a hub on the link between the firewall and the office switch(es). Connect the ntop server to that hub and now you can see all traffic coming to and from the internet.
    – Chris_K
    Sep 13, 2010 at 16:40
  • ^^ yea that'll work, to be honest i didnt mention that because i thought its getting pretty hard to find a true hub these days :) you can also force a switch to perform as a hub via a bunch of methods but i wouldnt recommend it - go for a real hub if you have one.
    – Sirex
    Sep 13, 2010 at 22:09
  • Thanks Sirex, Really appreciate your help. I will try to put my ntop server's ethernet in promiscious mode.
    – ramesh.mimit
    Sep 14, 2010 at 3:56

If you're running on a purely wired network (i.e. no wireless devices) you should be able to make SNMP queries to your switch to get bandwidth usage directly, provided your switch has SNMP capabilities. There are a number of monitoring tools such as Cacti and MRTG that can perform the SNMP queries and then generate graphs and reports on usage.


If you're interested in all traffic (LAN also), you can get what you want from the switch, but remember this probably includes a lot of traffic not generated by a user. A machine (especially a Windows box) sitting idle but turned on still generates quite a bit of traffic.

If you're talking about Internet traffic (or anything out-of-subnet), this is something that should be done on the router. What type of router are you running? Cisco? Something *nix-based?


It looks like Bandwidthd may be what you are looking for, but here is a link to an article with more discussion and options: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/bandwidth-monitoring-tools-for-linux.html

As others have mentioned you are still going to need a tap, rspan, netflow, router/firewall logs, snmp or some other means to get the data to whatever tool you choose.

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