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post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello Guys,

I have a small office (fewer than 10 employees) and I wish to monitor what my employees do. So I want a router which can log traffic and block sites. Can you suggest how to go about it or which router I can buy for that ? Basically all I want to know which user visited what website at what date/time ?

I think a router can keep a very small log as its memory is limited. Can new routers keep log for a week or so ? If not, what should I do ?

Is there additional ways of monitoring employee's systems ? Though I am not keen on installing anything on their systems but if there is no option then can you recommend a good software for that.

Thank you,

Cheers,
GR
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post #2 of 13
I'd recommend you build a cheap x86-based computer with two NICs (one LAN facing and one WAN facing - you'll set up a bridge to your router) and install Untangle - it'll configure the network bridge and everything for you. You get A LOT of stuff (including web filtering and reports) for free using the "lite" versions of the Untangle apps.

http://www.untangle.com/
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post #3 of 13
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
The new routers do have software that blocks certain websites and also logs traffic. All I want to know is which sites the employees visited and block certain websites. Won't a router be enough ? The only issue is limited loggings.
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatchap View Post

The new routers do have software that blocks certain websites and also logs traffic. All I want to know is which sites the employees visited and block certain websites. Won't a router be enough ? The only issue is limited loggings.

Which is why routers are for routing, and UTMs are for unified threat management. smile.gif Routers with all these fancy add-ons that do "web filtering" and the like, are trash to me - because their primary focus is not on threat management or content filtering and traffic and website logging, but rather... routing. I'm assuming its a consumer brand router, or something similar to a DrayTek with the web content filtering service. These devices simply just aren't that good for what you want to do, IMO.

If you want something decent, you need to use a device that targets the specific scenario you require. If its a consumer brand router, or wannabe enterprise-y try hard, then its unfortunately no good.
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

I'd recommend you build a cheap x86-based computer with two NICs (one LAN facing and one WAN facing - you'll set up a bridge to your router) and install Untangle - it'll configure the network bridge and everything for you. You get A LOT of stuff (including web filtering and reports) for free using the "lite" versions of the Untangle apps.

http://www.untangle.com/


I would also say that untangle is one of your best bets. You'll perform website blocking on almost any consumer grade router but the logging is a feature I've never seen on them.
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do not wish to invest in another system just for this purpose. Since router may not be up for the job, can you guys recommend softwares I can get installed in respective pc's. A good free one would be preferred over commercial.

Thanks.
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatchap View Post

I do not wish to invest in another system just for this purpose. Since router may not be up for the job, can you guys recommend softwares I can get installed in respective pc's. A good free one would be preferred over commercial.

Thanks.

Do you have a spare PC lying around? It'll be the crap out of any software on a PC any day.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Do you have a spare PC lying around? It'll be the crap out of any software on a PC any day.
^ What he said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatchap View Post

I do not wish to invest in another system just for this purpose. Since router may not be up for the job, can you guys recommend softwares I can get installed in respective pc's. A good free one would be preferred over commercial.

Thanks.

What you want is not a router, it is a proxy server. A proxy server is something that sits between your users and the net, which will send requests by proxy (on behalf of) and give the replies back to the users. A transparent proxy is probably better in your case, that way the users needn't even know that this has been done.

Squid is one example, Privoxy is another. You will need a dedicated PC with at least 2 NICS, or 1 NIC + VLANS.

Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server#Transparent_proxy

EDIT:

I just saw you dont want an appliance to do this anymore, I cant recommend any software for this as I have never tried any but I have found

http://www.spectorsoft.com/
www.any-activity-monitor.com/

but again, in a business environment I would be inclined to setup a proxy server as it is easily expandable to all devices that join the network, agnostic of device type/operating system. Quite often a UTM/router appliance can have this built in. Untangle, pfsense are good examples though they require some maintanence and network know how.
Edited by mitchtaydev - 3/25/13 at 1:04am
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your help guys. I agree that proxy server is a viable solution. But I don't think I can go ahead with it. Neither I have a spare pc nor technical know how on setting it up.

Interguard has a software called Sonar and Web Filtering. Sonar is expensive but Web filtering in a program that monitors network and block sites etc. It costs $25 and has an integrated dashboard. It looks fine I guess. I think going for that wont be a bad idea. What do you guys say ?
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