Limiting Internet access and allowing printing

Started by John

John

Limiting Internet access and allowing printing   17 January 2010, 01:53

Hello Sir/Madam:

I am fairly novice when it comes to networking; so please bear with me. I am assigned to implement some type of bandwidth management for an environment with around 20 computers networked via wire/wireless. The bandwidth comes from Satellite modem with 256 kbps. Not all the computers need Internet access but they all need to be able to print. The current setup is as follows:
Satellite modem --> Wi-fi Router --> Switching hubs (3 of them) --> Individual PCs.

It is working beautifully the way it is. Only problem is Internet is slow during peak hours even when 4 people are using. Printing is no problem.

Although increasing bandwidth is one solution, that is not feasible at this point. I want to know if your software will allow me to limit say 5 computers with 56 kbps limit and block 15 other computers on the network while allowing every computers be able to print. If that is possible, then fantastic!

Finally, can you please recommend what specs PC I will need for this software to run on (CPU, RAM, HD etc.) Thanks in advance.

-John
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Limiting Internet access and allowing printing   18 January 2010, 15:49

Hi John,

This is quite easy. You will need an additional PC with 2 network cards (NICs). For this load there are really no requirements for the hardware. Any modern CPU >1 Ghz and at least 512 MB of RAM will do.

Further setup depends on whether the satellite modem is capable of routing. Ideally, if it is, the new PC with two NICs should installed between the Wi-Fi router and the satellite modem as follows:

Quote

Satellite modem (configured as router) --> BWM PC --> Wi-fi Router (configured as bridge) --> Switching hubs --> Individual PCs.


The satellite needs to be turned into a router and the wi-fi router needs to be turned into a bridge. In this way, BWM installed on the intermediate PC will be able to see the individual computers' IP addresses and grant/block Internet access for them.

Alternatively, if there are few wireless clients and the majority is wired, the following scheme is possible:

Quote

Satellite modem --> Wi-fi Router --> BWM PC -> Switching hubs (3 of them) --> Individual PCs.


In this way, the bandwidth manager will be able to control wired PCs access, but not wireless ones. In order to overcome this, you may want to disable wi-fi on the wi-fi router and reconfigure the network as follows:

Quote

Satellite modem --> Wi-fi Router (wi-fi disabled) --> BWM PC -> Switching hubs (3 of them) and WAP --> Individual PCs.


WAP here stands for wireless access point. Basically, in this scenario the bandwidth manager sits between the router (whose wi-fi capabilities are turned off), hubs leading to the wired individual PCs and an Access Point leading to wireless PCs.

Hope I haven't confused you even more. Feel free to ask if anything is unclear smile
Thanks for the clarification. Now things are getting clear to me. AFAIK the satellite receiver cannot provide DHCP. For that purpose the installer provided Wi-fi router with 4 LAN and 1 WAN port. The ethernet cable from satellite receiver is connected to WAN port of the router. I think the router is configured with username/password to connect with satellite.

Like you suggested I might simply turn off the wireless feature of router and use another computer with 2 NIC and BWM software for bandwidth management.. If that is not done, I guess wireless users won't be restricted by BWM and that defeats the whole purpose.

Got one more question. Since the bandwidth of satellite is so low, do you think it is better to turn the computer (with BWM) into proxy server also? Or would that cause conflict with BWM? The reason I say that is most of the clients visit same site over and over again and I thought saving contents from those sites in the local computer would show marked improvement on browsing experience. What software would you recommend for this purpose? I know it is not completely related to your software but thought I should ask.

Finally, do you accept PayPal for your software? And does the license expire after certain duration? Thanks a million.

-John
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Limiting Internet access and allowing printing   21 January 2010, 22:24

Hi John,

To answer your questions:

Quote

John

If that is not done, I guess wireless users won't be restricted by BWM and that defeats the whole purpose.


Correct.

Quote

John

Since the bandwidth of satellite is so low, do you think it is better to turn the computer (with BWM) into proxy server also? Or would that cause conflict with BWM? The reason I say that is most of the clients visit same site over and over again and I thought saving contents from those sites in the local computer would show marked improvement on browsing experience. What software would you recommend for this purpose? I know it is not completely related to your software but thought I should ask.


A proxy server has got its own pros and cons. The good things apparently are faster access and reduced bandwidth usage. If one client visited www.google.com, that page would be stored in the cache and served to another client instantly when requested. The bad things are some web-sites may not work correctly and users may not be able to see the most recent web-site content.

Furthermore, if you decide to use a proxy server with BWM, there will be one more issue. As BWM enforces a bandwidth limit, for example 10 KB/s, it does not know whether the content comes from the Internet, or from the proxy's cache. These are indistinguishable, therefore the users will always receive web-pages at a slow speed, whether it's retrieved from the Internet, or from the local cache. All in all, the only advantage will be lesser satellite link's usage.

If you decide to go this route though, I recommend Squid and here is how to set it up in conjunction with BWM.

Quote

John

Finally, do you accept PayPal for your software? And does the license expire after certain duration?


Yes, we accept PayPal, see here. The license itself does not expire (you can use it as long as you like), however it will work only on versions released within one year from the date of purchase. In other words, you can use it indefinitely with the current version and any other version released within a year (free upgrades). After that, you may either stick with the latest version released during that year, or purchase another year of upgrades half-price.
John

Need suggestion   07 February 2010, 21:09

Hello,

I went ahead and setup the system as per your suggestion:
Satellite modem - 1st router (Wireless disabled) - PC with BWM - 2nd wi-fi router + 24 port switch

I gave 192.168.0.200 IP for 1st router that also contains login information for satellite.
I set up Internet sharing for 1st NIC on BWM server PC with auto IP enabled.
For 2nd NIC, I gave 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.0.200 as gateway.
For 2nd wi-fi router, I gave 192.168.0.205 IP
Finally, for each computers on 24 port switch, I manually setup 192.168.0.2~20 IP and 192.168.0.1 for gateway and DNS.

For rules, I took this approach:
Rule 0: Computer of CEO with unlimited speed
Rule 1: Group of about 10 laptops with wi-fi restricted to 50 kbps
Rule 2: 5 desktops to 30 kbps
Rule 3: Remaining 15 desktops blocked
Also, I clicked "ignore local traffic" button.

I am glad to say it worked like a charm. Users are happy so far. They will test this setup for few days and I am sure they will order your software. smile

I have 2 questions still:
1. Did I set up the rules correctly? Is there room for improvement?
2. When I buy the software, is it possible to get the license registered in my client's company name? Although I will be purchasing it, I don't want my name to show up in invoice. Also if possible, I don't want the cost of your software on the paper since I am charging more for setting up this service for them. wink

Thanks a million.

-John
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Need suggestion   10 February 2010, 00:36

Hi John,

1. It all looks correct, although I am not sure about Rule 3. If you have blocked the whole range, it's fine, but if you have blocked a specific list of IP addresses, that may not be a good idea as users may change their address and gain uncontrolled access.

2. It is possible to get a license on another name (their company name). You will need to put it into the Issue license to field in the order form. You can also specify their contact details and the will be shown in the invoice (instead of your own ones). The price nevertheless will be present as an invoice is a financial document and those without a price are nonsense.

Andrew.

Sometimes you can get the answer faster if you try the forum search and/or have a look at the software user manual to see if your question has already been answered.

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