Counting the bits

I never had a really clean way to visualize my home/home office network usage before.  I had a very complex network with multiple sub-nets, dual routers, etc.

But as I explained last week, I reconfigured my network.  One of the advantages is that now all of my data – both home and home office all goes through one router (even though I have two cable modems on different networks).

This allows me to see the total data we’re moving around here.

So here is a picture from the last few days usage:

tomato You can click the image to make it larger.

Monday was a heavy lifting day on some rather large databases I needed to share.  And I was downloading some “free” music (really – not stealing it!) via BitTorrent.

But I like seeing how much data I am eating.  I’m sure it is more than the average Time Warner cable modem customer – after all, I have 14 PCs and 26 “Internet Enabled” devices here! In any case, it makes me feel better about the money I spend for my cable modems!

I can also see a daily graph of my data usage:



That huge spike in traffic at about 10 am shows when my son woke up, and started playing World of Warcraft (he has several level 90 characters – which I guess is maxed out).  Whatever.  Traffic drops off sharply at 5 as my kids go do whatever teenagers do.  And I took a nap :)

I can also use QoS (Quality of Service) settings to shape my network – to give some data types a higher priority than others.  I haven’t adjusted anything related to QoS yet – but it still shows me a pretty graph.  I plan on giving priority to email, browsing, and IM clients.  Then a lesser priority to my kid’s games, and a lower level to BitTorrent, Microsoft Update, etc.


So I am happy so far with the new setup.  It hasn’t needed any tweaking since I turned it on, and I haven’t had to reboot anything lately!

As I learn more about the software, I’ll share more.  The logging appears to be excellent, for example.  But I haven’t had a lot of time to dig into it.