Monitoring network usage with multiple SSIDs
October 12, 2012 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Please help me solve my router management issues. At my house I want multiple SSIDs (at least two), AND the ability to monitor network traffic by device or by SSID.

My house consists of two adults, one teenager, and approximately 11 devices that connect to the internet through our wireless router. We currently use an Encore ENHWI router which allows us multiple SSIDs so we can turn off the teenager's internet as necessary. Our ISP limits our bandwidth, and there are days when our bandwidth goes over 10gb. I want to be able to monitor which device or which SSID is the main bandwidth culprit.

I've seen previous questions about monitoring traffic, but those solutions (Tomato firmware and DD-WRT) don't support tracking on multiple SSIDs. Our main computers all run Windows 7, and I'd rather not buy a $300 router.
posted by rhapsodie to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If your router doesn't log the information itself, you will most likely run software on your PCs.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:02 PM on October 12, 2012

You don't see any way to do this because its the wrong way to solve the problem. Tomato can monitor usage by device. Setting up separate ssids is absolutely the wrong way to do this. You can put a Mac filter on your router and block the offender that way.
posted by empath at 3:31 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree with empath -- a more straightforward solution is to assign static IPs to the devices, and then control access by IP address. Then no need for separate SSIDs.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 4:01 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

One way you could do it is to run a router such as Smoothwall. Set up your wifi adapter as an access point and use the smoothwall router to track usage by IP. You can also do static IP assignments and set up QOS and traffic monitoring and so much more.

It doesn't require much hardware, you could probably find a computer on the curb that will run it.

This doesn't strictly answer the question as asked, however - but I don't think that there is any good (easy/robust) way to do what you want with what you already have.

I suggest this because it will do what you are asking for - bandwidth/traffic monitoring and shaping - and it will be inexpensive.

But it will require you to find a PC with a couple of network cards to install it on, and there is some learning curve to run it. On the plus side, this will be far more feature full than your current set up and provide you with the possibility of a lot more control over your network.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:23 PM on October 12, 2012

Why not just buy two routers to run Tomato or DD-WRT and get your two SSIDs that way? Even new it'll cost maybe a hundred bucks through Newegg and getting used routers - which is what the open source software is usually designed to run on, older models - would run less all the way down to free if you can get hold of someone who's throwing old equipment out.
posted by XMLicious at 2:11 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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