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How to: Monitor Bandwidth with Tomato Firmware

Jan 05, 2009, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Weiss)

"In the early days of the Internet, dial-up users were charged based on how many hours per month they spent online. Many of us have become spoiled in the broadband era, with "unlimited" access the norm—measured both in time and bandwidth usage. But with so many subscribers now using so much network capacity, the pendulum may be swinging back toward metered services. In the U.S., major providers Time Warner and Comcast have both introduced efforts to "cap" network use. In the UK, over a million subscribers experience broadband caps, and five out of nine ISP's offering "unlimited" service impose caps.

"Regardless of the merits or lack thereof of metered bandwidth, the reality is that more of us are likely to have to keep track of our online usage. A nifty way to do this is by using a supported wireless router loaded with a firmware, such as Tomato, which includes sophisticated bandwidth monitoring. Auditing bandwidth usage can be useful for any network with limited resources, or even to help spot and diagnose errant activity (such as malware) that may be unwittingly filling up the pipes."

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