Bandwidth Hog on our net - advice please - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Bandwidth Hog on our net - advice please

I am not a computer networking genius, so I thought I would pose this "issue" and seek advice.

I think I may have part of the answer / solution ... but anyway here goes:

We have a definite Bandwidth HOG on our shared home computer network.

We're talking regular monthly usage of 100 to 170 Gigabytes over the monthly plan of 60 GB per month.

Luckily the cost is capped at around $60 bucks extra a month, otherwise that would be very expensive at $2.00 per GB extra over the "PLAN".

We estimate by monthly averaging that this "user" "HOG" is using around 6 or 7 Gigabytes a DAY (!)

We're pretty sure it's GAMING and some VOIP - we hear it all in the user's room. And who knows ... maybe some or lots of Video Streaming.
[User hog has lots of free time and is at home all the time. Not at work, not at school. And probably not looking.]

We run a wired only ethernet network (The router does not have any wireless capability whatsoever).

The high speed modem and router are in a secure, locked room.

The "user" "Hog" has access only to his ethernet connection in his room.
(and perhaps to a machine in the livingroom / public part of the house - but I don't think he can do much high speed bandwidth use there)

So ...

Some ideas we have come up with to try and bring the usage in line are as follows:

1. Talk with the user hog, explain the situation, show the massive usage and extra cost on all the recent bills and try to get him to cut back on his own, or ask him to pay the extra each month. (Cause it's definitely him, and not any of the other one or two users ... (us) )


If "user hog" is not willing to either cut back usage or pay up, or both, THEN:


2. Just cut off his internet access - maybe at the point in time that we reach (near?) our monthly limit of 60 GB. i.e. just Disconnect his ethernet connection at the router in the secure room.

3. Control his speed of internet access with the Router:
I have been investigating the features of our router, and, NOT SURE ... but it looks like with QoS, Quality of Service options in the router, we can limit the speed with which he can use the internet.

Looks like we can enable FLOW CONTROL for his physical LAN port, and set a certain number of Kb/sec - which should control the maximum speed with which data is received on his physical connection.

Also, it talks about MAC address based QoS.
And Application based QoS - so possibly figure out which applications he's using that are so bandwitdth intensive, and specify those "port numbers" and apply QoS there?

Not sure ... as I say, I'm not really a computer networking expert - but I'm pretty good technically at understanding this stuff.


This is serious because the owner is paying the bill ...and is not happy with the ongoing situation.

It's also a serious issue with the individual - spending so much time on the internet, and hogging so much bandwidth primarily / mostly for his personal "ENTERTAINMENT".

Serious because if the ISP actually started charging for the full usage over the 60 GB limit ... that would get very expensive indeed.
(hundreds of dollars extra a month).

So I pose these questions:

Any thoughts or ideas on this issue?

Do my solutions sound like they're going in the right direction?

Any other ideas or solutions?

Thank you in advance for your help, advice and assistance.
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 07:52 AM
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QOS will just equalize the bandwidth between all the users. A router with this individual type of bandwidth management won't be cost effective for this situation so as of now, through my preliminary research:

Does anyone have a spare computer lying around? You would put this pc in that secure room and route everyone's traffic through it, using this bandwidth controller software:

http://bandwidthcontroller.com/

It looks like the package you'd need would be 29.95 for 10 or less users. The other hang up (besides finding a spare pc) is that the program requires windows xp. But I guess a spare pc is probably most likely going to have xp on it anyway. Hope this helps advance the resolution.
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 08:17 AM
 
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Sounds like your renter should pay for his own internet.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 08:26 AM
 
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You could sign up with a provider that offers a 300GB cap at the same speed and price of what your current provider is offering in their 60GB package.

Otherwise, if your router is compatible with any of the popular 3rd party OS solutions such as Tomato or DD-WRT, there would be some more advanced features in there that you could possibly use to tone down Mr. Hog's useage.
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 08:58 AM
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On my router I have a setting where you can set your monthly allowable bandwidth, and one of the options is to shut off internet connection when this is reached. Maybe check your router to see if this feature is on here. But this will also shut it down for you also. So maybe your suggestion #3 is your best bet. Your "guest" will not feel very satisfied trying to do online gaming or streaming video with very low speeds. Would be nice if you could limit bandwidth per Ethernet port. So you could limit just his bandwidth. If he complains, then ask him to cough up some money.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stilgar
3rd party OS solutions such as Tomato or DD-WRT
Thanks Stilgar.

Yes, I have come across these being mentioned in my "research".

People looking for apps to try and measure usage in different ways.
ie. To be able to track and graph usage on the LAN side by user, or port, or MAC address. By day, month, week etc.

Because in order to be able to manage anything ... you've got to be able to measure it first - on a user by user basis.

Tomato and DD-WRT applications? I guess these OS applications are some how added to your router? [We've got a Linksys 8 port]


Quote:
Originally Posted by XM4243
Sounds like your renter should pay for his own internet.
Yes. Thanks. May be true. This was mentioned by the owner.
" From now on ... they get their own internet ! #$&* ! "

And sadly may be true. Mr Hog has a spare coax cable wired up to his room. We anticipated the possible need that the 3rd party in the place might want or need their own "high speed internet service" in their own name/ have their own modem / and pay their own bill.


Jshel101 - Ya, good ideas. Network management is not an easy thing. Would be nice if we could set up something like that for just one user.
ex. Once user x has passed a certain usage, then the speed of his connection slows down -or- is stopped.


Sharing the internet under these conditions is difficult.

Some more thoughts I have:

1. For Flow Control - What sort of Kb/s numbers would be appropriate as a limit ?

[ ie. can anyone suggest some approximate starting numbers ? KB/s Kilobyte per second limits to start at ... for limits ? ]

I know this is probably going to "hurt" Mr HOG's gaming - cause probably if it gets ANY slower at all - it will ruin the gaming experience. I guess there is like a threshold past which the gaming becomes "no good".

Same with VOIP or Video Streaming - once you go below a certain limit - the thing does not work well enough - and just becomes frustrating.

Maybe we could quietly start at something fairly high / not to noticeable at first ... and throttle it down slowly ... so as to WEAN the user off his addiction.

And see where the threshold of "complaint" or "inquiry" is reached with Mr HOG.

As the game becomes less entertaining - cause it gets a little slower ... the user will slowly lose interest and move on to other things. Other more important things - one would hope.

[ or else throw a tantrum / or have withdrawal symptoms ]


2. Partly already answered. But wondering about Usage Monitoring tools. Usage management tools.

To "know" or "be able to find out" when we are approaching our monthly limit / or have passed our monthly limit.

To be able to measure and see who is using what and when and how much.

On the router? On the modem?

The ISP allows you log onto an internet application of theirs to check your accumulating usage for the month - but you've got to go online billing / paperless billing - and the owner prefers to keep getting a paper bill - and I agree with that.

I think the ISP sends an email or a message once you're near / have just passed your monthly limit - and that is good.

Also, we called the ISP and their Tech support looked it up for us once.

Mr HOG had used 20 GB already - only 3 days into the monthly usage cycle (!)


What'ddya do with a guy like this ? Yikes.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 09:51 AM
 
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Have you talked to him? What did he say?

Did you promise internet service when you rented to him?
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 10:03 AM
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You should try limiting the "hog" to maybe 4000kb/s to start. Then drop it in half if his behavior doesn't change. The other thing you could do is to take the difference between your bandwidth limit and the amount you usually use. Then tell the hog he is only allowed this amount of internet per month, if he goes over, then he will be charged $2 per gig for overage fees. You might have to exterminate with different options until you find a method that works for your situation.

If none of these solutions work, I guess the other thing you could do is to give him a two month warning that his internet will be cut off, if he wants internet after that, he will have to pay for his own. Or you could mess with him. Every once in a while, when you know he is in the middle of a good game session, unplug his connection for a minute or two, or until you hear the scream, then plug it back in. You could actually have some fun with this.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 10:27 AM
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Honestly, if I was your renter I'd be a little irritated at the repeated use of "hog" and all these measures to screw with the bandwidth without talking to me in a civilized way first. I'm at a loss as to why you're not doing this right now.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 10:34 AM
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Maybe he has, or maybe the "hog" is a family member.
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 11:16 AM
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See point 1 of post 1. There's no indication he's done this.
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, understood. We wish to talk with him (again) first. We don't like to call names. We all want to behave in an adult and respectful manner.

I think it's already been mentioned before - months ago. And the extra costs mentioned. But ofcourse - no offer to help with the extra costs - and no change of behaviour.

Unlimited shared internet was not "promised".

The wording used was "with the possibility to share internet access".

Like everything else in this world - if you take too much advantage of your priviledges - or the courtesy of others ... then those priviledges may have to be "curtailed".

If you abuse it - you could lose it.

Yes, I believe the owner has already mentioned the massive internet usage to him.

Let me say - there are some other issues beginning to show themselves, with this individual at this place. Things that also affect me personally. Things that are definitely "not so good".

In the past, with other individuals - we have seen all sorts of issues. Some pretty bad things. So the owner (and I) are pretty FED UP actually - in general - with things from the past.

Some "tenents" will do / and *DO* do ANYTHING. Trust me. I have seen it all. I have seen it and experienced it personally, and in a very personal and practical way.

I hope never personally to be a Landlord or owner - renting to others.

I am assisting the owner - in this situation - and in many past situations.

Some individuals - talking does little. They just say "ya ... whatever".
Opening the issue / just starting to talk about it - can also open a can of worms. Specially in a situation such as this.

Sometimes you just need to take "quiet action".

Quote:
Originally Posted by jshel101
You might have to exterminate with different options
If that's a typo ... it's funny. Exterminate. Ya.

You mean Experiment, I hope.

It's a bit SAD actually - what I see going on generally in society today.

The situation is not totally the fault of this individual.
Conditions generally out there in the workplace - deteriorating.
Leading to other issues in society.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 11:38 AM
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In that case, come to an agreement on a cap with the individual and monitor bandwidth use through the router (firmware replacement probably necessary).

If the renter doesn't want a cap, drop his speeds down to ISDN level. DD-WRT allows you to "you to specify such items as maximum bandwidth per netmask or MAC address".
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 12:10 PM
 
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Hard to feel sorry for the owner who is ripping off cable company by offering "Free" internet to all his tenants as part of the rent.

This is not an in-law suite. He's running a multi-unit rental building and should act ethically.
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XM4243 View Post
Hard to feel sorry for the owner who is ripping off cable company by offering "Free" internet to all his tenants as part of the rent.
You are making it sound like this owner is running an apartment building with lots of tenants. Not sure about you, but I just read he has 1 tenant.
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