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Author Topic: Newb - Question about monitoring activity on a network  (Read 2286 times)
capnjeff
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« on: October 21, 2011, 08:59:42 AM »

I'm flinching as I post this.  I'm very new to the forums and am sure I'm posting this in the wrong section.  However, this is how I'll learn.    undecided  I have a simple home network and would like to analyze the activity on that network.  Where should I begin?
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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 09:16:28 AM »

First, tell us which operating system you're using. Then let's go from there.  smiley  (and if you're using Windows, which version)
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capnjeff
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 09:20:13 AM »

Hi,
I'm using Windows Vista Home Premium. 
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capnjeff
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 09:22:27 AM »

Also, I would like to monitor the PS3 activity, dishnetwork and other computers on the network.  (Spouse, kids, etc.)  Thanks for your interest.  cheesy
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 09:28:30 AM »

Do you want to do this in order to monitor for performance and usage reasons (if you don't have an unlimited internet plan); or are you more looking for keeping and eye on who's doing and saying what and where?
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capnjeff
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 09:35:09 AM »

It's more about the 'who's doing and saying what and where'.  But I'm not paranoid...  Grin
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capnjeff
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 09:35:52 AM »

And to a lesser degree, I would like to track the usage & performance.  I am inquisitive. 
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zridling
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 02:28:31 PM »

I'm a linux guy, wouldn't know. You might try unplugging the PS3 and see who whines the loudest!  Grin
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capnjeff
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 03:10:45 PM »

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is the full potential of URL Snooper.  Will it monitor activity on my network or just my computer?
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wraith808
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 03:22:13 PM »

There's a couple of articles on eHow.com that show how to do this for free... not the best tools, but they work:

Monitoring Each Computer Separately
Monitoring the network from a central computer
Monitor Network usage per computer

Other free software I've found that might help in one way or another...

IPAudit
iTrafficMonitor
Fiddler
Networx

None of these are "fire and forget"; you'll have to do some work.  If you want something that just monitors (and something that monitors non-pc devices), I think you'll have to pay for it.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 05:01:41 AM »

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is the full potential of URL Snooper.  Will it monitor activity on my network or just my computer?
URL snooper will only capture the network activity of your computer.
There are a few tools that might help you see other people's network activity, such as wireshark.

However, ultimately, your ability to do this depends on your network configuration. If all devices were connected to a hubw, all network packets will be flooded to all machines in the network (and thus your computer may get and listen to other people's packages). However, you most probably have a network routerw, which means you probably have a switchw, which sends the packets only to their correct destination. If so, then your best shot is looking in your router's configuration page to see if it has any way of getting a log of the traffic that goes through it, or installing a new firmware that allows you to do it (this might not be the best option, if you are not comfortable with doing it).
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capnjeff
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 05:22:00 AM »

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is the full potential of URL Snooper.  Will it monitor activity on my network or just my computer?
URL snooper will only capture the network activity of your computer.
There are a few tools that might help you see other people's network activity, such as wireshark.

However, ultimately, your ability to do this depends on your network configuration. If all devices were connected to a hubw, all network packets will be flooded to all machines in the network (and thus your computer may get and listen to other people's packages). However, you most probably have a network routerw, which means you probably have a switchw, which sends the packets only to their correct destination. If so, then your best shot is looking in your router's configuration page to see if it has any way of getting a log of the traffic that goes through it, or installing a new firmware that allows you to do it (this might not be the best option, if you are not comfortable with doing it).

Fairpoint installed their all in one wireless router/modem this summer.  I will get the model information today and do some research.  Again, thanks to all for your help.  Also, I'm not looking so much for free, but whether what I want is available here.  I will be donating. 
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IainB
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2011, 05:43:40 AM »

+1 for what  wraith808 said.
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