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"Simple" Network Monitor?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey all...
Recently my Network is getting larger and larger. I have at this post, close to twenty items connecting at various times. I have the majority connecting via Static IP's, with a short range of DHCP licenses above my static range. (My wife's work PC has to be on DHCP, because her VPN Tunnel does not play nice with my network.) My tween daughter's Droid, and my work tablet are coming and going...so I do not have static IP's for those...
I would like to monitor what is on, and when...Everything I see on Sourceforge and CNET seems to be for Enterprise and Virtual Network stuff...I don't need to "Capture" and view packet transfer, but if it is "extra" that is fine.
Can anyone recommend something simple...preferably FREE?
post #2 of 13
Your router/DHCP server should be able to tell you what's online. With a large network like yours, I suggest building a linux-based router using something like ipFire, pfSense, Smoothwall, etc. They can give you better logs than a SOHO router, and offer tons of better features.
post #3 of 13
What exactly do you want to monitor? I have messed with the likes of IPCop and Smoothwall and it was a pain to set up.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Your router/DHCP server should be able to tell you what's online. With a large network like yours, I suggest building a linux-based router using something like ipFire, pfSense, Smoothwall, etc. They can give you better logs than a SOHO router, and offer tons of better features.

I fell like that is a bit beyond my scope....
Quote:


What exactly do you want to monitor? I have messed with the likes of IPCop and Smoothwall and it was a pain to set up.


Well, I would like to make sure nobody is tapping in to my wireless...I have a good firewall, and good password protected security....
I have a couple resources. My router, that I can tell (Linksys WRT54G) does not "monitor". My switch (HP Procurve Pro Series) tells me which slots are connected...but that's it...
I have Mcaffee Total Protection, that includes a quick diagram, with IP's....but nothing else... I guess I am looking for something "in between" Enterprise and the most basic stuff I have now....
post #5 of 13
I've used pfsense, smoothwall, and now ipFire... all three are extremely easy to setup. IPFire even has a step by step installation guide on their website.

Skim through this and see if it's too hard: http://wiki.ipfire.org/en/installation/start


But... since you have a Linksys WRT54G you can flash it with better software like Tomato or DDWRT. They are very similar to the ones I suggested. They have tons of great features and will do what you are looking to do. There are tons of guides on the tubes for this flashing process.

This stuff isn't that hard, and I don't believe it's beyond your scope if you have 20 devices on your network. You will learn a bit in the process and discover new uses for your router that you didn't even know you could do or even needed.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well...I REALLY want to make Tomato work, I tried it, successfully installed. was up and running....then, I lost all connectivity for my wife's work PC. Installed on a Saturday. She logged in on Saturday night, and was unable to connect. (as mentioned, she runs VPN in to Jacksonville. and connects to Hospitals all over the country.) I spent all day the next day trying to get her up and running. I posted on Tomato forums, here, no leads worked. I had to re-flash with the Linksys firmware. re set everything, and had all my connectivity back. I can't have her not being able to connect.
post #7 of 13
That's really odd... sorry it worked out for you that way. What sort of VPN does she use? Is it something as simple as just opening a port on your router?

One thing to consider is to put your wife's PC on the DMZ zone. This puts her PC outside of the firewall, so there would not be any interference from the router/firewall you use. As long as her computer has basic windows firewall, she should be ok... especially when she's on the VPN connection.
post #8 of 13
If you have an iPad, iPhone or Android get the free 'Fing' app: http://www.over-look.com/site/ Fantastic for finding out what is on your network and where. For your PC you might still be able to find a copy of Look@LAN from which Fing evolved or the command line Fing 1.4 (but no GUI at present).

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

That's really odd... sorry it worked out for you that way. What sort of VPN does she use? Is it something as simple as just opening a port on your router?

One thing to consider is to put your wife's PC on the DMZ zone. This puts her PC outside of the firewall, so there would not be any interference from the router/firewall you use. As long as her computer has basic windows firewall, she should be ok... especially when she's on the VPN connection.

Not sure what program it is, all of the stuff her business uses is IBM based. I think it is Cisco Agent, or something like that...
I can't put her in the DMZ, that is reserved for my 360... Thanks for the help, though...

Quote:
If you have an iPad, iPhone or Android get the free 'Fing' app: http://www.over-look.com/site/ Fantastic for finding out what is on your network and where. For your PC you might still be able to find a copy of Look@LAN from which Fing evolved or the command line Fing 1.4 (but no GUI at present).

Thanks, will check it out
post #10 of 13
Or the network app from iNet , available in the App Store (just search for iNet).
post #11 of 13
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

Not sure what program it is, all of the stuff her business uses is IBM based. I think it is Cisco Agent, or something like that...
I can't put her in the DMZ, that is reserved for my 360... Thanks for the help, though...

You can have multiple computers in the DMZ. Your default firmware on your Linksys may not allow more than one... but the enhanced firmwares like DDWRT and Tomato would allow more than one.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone, for all the help...
Puwaha, I will definitely give Tomato another try, when I have longer to mess with the setup. I liked that I could bump up the wireless signal....I was hoping to check out other features. But, as I said, it's pretty vital that my wife is able to connect to her work.
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