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HI guys. I have a client who is in a bit of a pickle at present. The basic story is this: they have students staying at their house from overseas ...
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  1. #1
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    Network monitoring and limiting with linux router


    HI guys.

    I have a client who is in a bit of a pickle at present. The basic story is this: they have students staying at their house from overseas (Uni students) and the students have their own internet connection. The problem is that one of the students keeps using most of the bandwidth talking to their boyfriend back in Japan all night on skype. This causes problems for the other students as their plan is "shaped" and by about 1/2 way through the month they are stuck with a 64kb internet connection.

    What they're after is a system whereby they can limit the amount of bandwidth available to each student. they have been given many options which are either too expensive (double the bandwidth) or not actually possible (QoS; using a Netgear DG834v3 modem - this just isn't available as far as I can see).

    I know that using Linux as a router can be quite effective (both literally and on cost) and so I'm after some info from you knowledgeable people here on the Linux Forum (where's the "sucking with the golden straw" emoticon? uke: )

    What sort of equipment do you need? I know what ever pc you use has to have 2 NIC's. As for the pc, what does it need to have as far as processor is concerned. For example, can an old pIII or pIV be used? Say a PIII 833MHz with 64-128MB RAM? Or does it need to be newer than that.

    Next question. Is firestarter capable of doing the things we need it to do? (being monitoring the network as well as putting a cap on bandwidth being used - which I assume would have to be done on mac address rather than ip address as ip addresses would be given out via DHCP). The idea isn't to block access, rather to limit the speed with which it can be used.

    Anyway, any help would be most greatfully accepted.

    All the best guys,

    Tim.
    Last edited by Timbothecat; 03-24-2008 at 07:01 AM. Reason: grammatical suction!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Lazydog's Avatar
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    Hmm... a quick search would bring up this Thread

    Google is your friend!

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    Robert

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    Thanks for the reply Lazydog. There was some great info in there.

    I still didn't find a lot in there on hardware though. I do have an ebook on linux toys which -iirc- has something about building a router. I just thought there may have been people out there who have done it and could offer some do's/don'ts as books don't talk back when you ask questions.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Lazydog's Avatar
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    Presently I am running a pIII-700 with 256M of ram as my firewall/router for 3 networks at home. This is an overkill for this task. Firewalls don't have to be powerful. I would say that they should have more then 64M ram to ensure they can track things they need to easy.

    Normally I would not suggest the firewall/router do anything more then this, but in a home the traffic shaper could be placed on this box also. Again you have to think about what the system needs to keep track of and ensure there is enough ram installed. Maybe 512M or more.

    Not knowing exactly what you are up against the following is what I would be looking for:

    Minimum pIII (or what ever you can get a hold of cheap)
    Minimum 10G HD (are these still available)
    Minimum 512M Ram (check and see what the traffic shaper requires)
    Minimum 2 Nics


    This is where I would start and add/build up as needed.

    Regards
    Robert

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  5. #5
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    You don't really need any hardware at all to run a router.

    I used a 300 mhz celeron with 192mb ram and it worked full speed (6 mbps connection), and one of the NICs was even an ISA card. You could get by with less ram, I'd say 32 min, processor matters not really at all, you could use a P1.

    You pretty much only need 2 NIC's, the only advantage to running a faster box is the times when you need to restart it or power goes out or whatever its gonna take long for an old machine to reboot.

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    Thanks guys.

    This is awesome stuff. It sounds like we're on the right track here so I'll get a machine built and let you know how it all pans out.

    Thanks again for your help.

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