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1st Published, Dec. 2004
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Can I Monitor my LAN, control the usage of the Internet,
and Network Resources by other computers from my main computer?
In order to monitor, or and Control Network traffic you need to be able to
access and control a central point in the network that passes through all of the
Option 1 (The Pro way).
Buy a Managed Switch that can be controlled by software
residing on the Server.
Option 2 (The Sneaky way).
A simpler level of control can be achieved by putting Network managing software on the main
computer, and client managing software on the rest of the Network's computers.
Take into consideration that any well-informed person can always disable this software.
There are few shareware programs that could control locally TCP traffic, unfortunately I never found a free one.
NetLimiter works well and you can try it for free.
A much "crude" but effective way to control File Download Bandwidth can be achieved by “sabotaging” the TCP RWIN (Receiving Window).
Example: In my computer the optimal setting for TCP RWIN = 256960 Bytes.
With my Cable Internet connection I get a stable Download of 380KB/sec.
Setting the RWIN to 2569 Bytes reduces the stable Download to 12KB/sec.
You can play with the setting to find a spot that yields low Download, and still maintains decent Surfing Experience. (Probably around 20KB/sec. Download.).
To try adjusting RWIN download this free program: DrTCP
Run the program. It will show the current settings of TCP/IP parameters. Write them down.
You can change any variable that you want, click Apply, and reboot the computer, if no good; you can always change to your original values.
MaxMTU - For DSL - 1492 . For Cable - 1500 . For ISDN - 1322 . For DialUp - 576
Tcp RWIN - 256960
Window Scaling - Yes
Time Stamping - No
Selective Acks - Yes
Path MTU Discovery - Yes.
Black Hole - NO
Max Duplicate - 2
TTL - 64
Measure the down load under this condition, and start to reduce the RWIN (you must reboot after each change) and try the download "speed".
Your Mileage May Vary. Do not complain about the outcome, it is your Call.
Option 3 (The Computer Geek way).
You can eliminate your current Routing system, and use a Central Server (as oppose to the regular peer to peer method used by most Home/SOHO users).
Such a computer is performing similar function as the Cable/DSL Hardware Routers. Many Servers have the capacity to control the distribution to other computers by software setting.
You can Go with Style by using Windows 2003 Server and ISA Firewall.
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