Is there a way to monitor my router's network traffic, without having to replace the standard firmware? I want to be able to see each network host's network activity, but I don't want to replace the default firmware because of the risk of bricking the router.

  • what os are you using – admintech Sep 28 '09 at 12:31
  • Let me guess, you meant especially the WLAN traffic? Didn't think of that when I wrote my answer - although I should have – StampedeXV Sep 28 '09 at 12:32
  • And what do you mean by network activity? Only inside the LAN, only traffic with the outside (to and from ISP) or both? – StampedeXV Sep 28 '09 at 12:33
  • @Systech I'm using Slackware 13, but the other hosts in the network are using Windows XP – liewl Sep 28 '09 at 16:41
  • @bullettime: The other option if you want to see network usage of the users on the network is to set up SNMP on every machine. This is not optimal but possible. I know SNMP is prat of pretty much any *nix distro and is on the XP Pro disc (and home too i think) – Tony Sep 28 '09 at 17:23

With the default firmware, there is no good way to measure bandwidth on a WRT54G router. It is a consumer based router and lacks the features of higher end routers. Sorry for the bad news.

I know you said you do not want to but the best way is to flash the firmware of the router. It is not hard. Just read through all the documents before starting. dd-wrt has pretty docs.

Once the router is flashed, you can use snmp and MRTG. Engadget has a pretty good write up on how to set it all up.

  • I guess there's no other option other than flashing my router then. Is it possible to do lower level configuration on these third-party firmware, like editing iptables and stuff? – liewl Sep 28 '09 at 16:53
  • Yeah, dd-wrt is nothing more then a small version of linux running on you router. Most of the features of the firmware are documented on the web site. So if you want you can read up on what is there. – Tony Sep 28 '09 at 17:21
  • I guess I'll try dd-wrt then. Thanks – liewl Sep 28 '09 at 18:53

Install a hub (i.e. just a repeater) instead of your switch, and all traffic is broadcasted to everyone. Then you can use a single node as monitor.

Not very efficient, but should work (if you have a hub).

  • 1
    While this would work, it is VERY insecure and just... no... :) – Tony Sep 28 '09 at 13:11
  • Insecure? The "hacker" needs physical access to the hub to make this insecure ... – StampedeXV Sep 28 '09 at 14:37
  • Responding to your comment on the main post, what I want is to be able to see the bandwidth each node in the network is using. I'd like to see if there's a infected machine on the network slowing the network down. – liewl Sep 28 '09 at 16:48
  • Yes insecure... any body on the network will have access to your traffic. That mean any computer on the network. That also means if the computer is infected with a virus that has control of the computer, will now see all traffic. Bad people are not just outside trying to get in. Sometime they are already there. – Tony Sep 28 '09 at 17:19

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