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Router with lots of reporting and controls

This is a discussion on Router with lots of reporting and controls within the Networking Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I installed the routers and administer my mom's network. It isn't too complicated... just PC, printer, iPhone, kindle, Samsung tab,


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Old 01-20-2020, 07:04 AM   #1
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I installed the routers and administer my mom's network. It isn't too complicated... just PC, printer, iPhone, kindle, Samsung tab, a couple of Echo Dots and TP-Link smart plugs... etc. But recently a relative moved in who is streaming lots of video and busting mom's data cap... yes, some ISP's like Mediacom actually have data caps with some of their plans... who knew??

In any case I installed a new TP-Link router that has a lot of great controls, parental, MAC/IP binding, etc, etc. And the traffic monitor made it easy identify the data hogs. But it lacks some things that would be very beneficial. I would like to have a router that would report when a certain MAC/IP jumps on the network. I also would like a traffic monitor that would keep a durable running total of data use by MAC/IP. And a durable list of MACs that have been on the network. The TP-Link seems to only show connected devices and keep a running total from the last time the device came on the network until it leaves or is reset by the admin.

Is there a good consumer grade router that will do what I want? If not, what do I need?
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:12 AM   #2
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While I cannot answer the questions you've asked, I have to ask one myself: Why not just change either plans or ISPs?

I have not seen a "landline" ISP (whether cable, DSL, or fiber) impose a data cap in far longer than I can remember, and I live in the hinterlands.

Even my cell plan, which is unlimited for data on the phone, has a 20GB cap for high speed (4G LTE) mobile hotspot but is still unlimited at slower speed (3G, which is still plenty for streaming).

I really hope someone else can answer your questions, as it would be interesting to know the options that exist. In this case, however, it would seem more reasonable to find a plan that better matches fairly common usage patterns in the household (at least if they are likely to remain as such over the mid to long term).
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:27 AM   #3
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Already considered and rejected due to higher costs.

I had never considered or run across "landline" Internet data caps either but found out that they do exist.

https://www.allconnect.com/blog/inte...with-data-caps


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Originally Posted by britechguy View Post
While I cannot answer the questions you've asked, I have to ask one myself: Why not just change either plans or ISPs?

I have not seen a "landline" ISP (whether cable, DSL, or fiber) impose a data cap in far longer than I can remember, and I live in the hinterlands.

Even my cell plan, which is unlimited for data on the phone, has a 20GB cap for high speed (4G LTE) mobile hotspot but is still unlimited at slower speed (3G, which is still plenty for streaming).

I really hope someone else can answer your questions, as it would be interesting to know the options that exist. In this case, however, it would seem more reasonable to find a plan that better matches fairly common usage patterns in the household (at least if they are likely to remain as such over the mid to long term).
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:58 AM   #4
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Depending on your mother's age, and exact location, it's worth taking a look at the T-Mobile Unlimited Age 55 Plus plans. I have absolutely no affiliation with T-Mobile other than as a customer.

If you bring your own device, and even if you get 2 lines if you only really want or need one, you can often have better service than you do via landline at less cost.

I mention it only because I was unaware of it until I stumbled upon it, and since there are no contracts involved, and you can buy a cheapie unlocked GSM phone and use it, there's minimal risk involved.

It may not be something you could use, but I wanted to put it out there. I was never so happy as when I could jettison Verizon both for my phone and DSL internet service and save money, too.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:07 AM   #5
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If the relative is causing the problem I would inform said user that there is a problem (assuming you or her haven't already). If they can't or won't solve the problem on their own, kick them off the network. They can buy their own internet service. Or if available, pay the difference to upgrade the internet package (likely cheaper). Or they can pay all of the overage fees (likely most expensive route). All of the ISP's that I'm aware that have caps, have an "unlimited' package as well.

As to what you really want to know, I doubt any of that exists in "home" equipment. And monitoring isn't going to solve the problem.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:21 AM   #6
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LOL... not intending this to turn into a thread about dysfunctional families but... If it was my house she'd just be outta there, but grandma is too nice so even parental controlling the niece off the network (which I can do from here remotely) isn't an option. And the girl can't pay the overages as she has no job and already lives on an allowance from grandma and drives one of her vehicles. Don't even get me started on this mess. For now it seems I have shamed her away from streaming... but we'll see how long that lasts when the main activities in her day are sleeping and watching TV.


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If the relative is causing the problem I would inform said user that there is a problem (assuming you or her haven't already). If they can't or won't solve the problem on their own, kick them off the network. They can buy their own internet service. Or if available, pay the difference to upgrade the internet package (likely cheaper). Or they can pay all of the overage fees (likely most expensive route). All of the ISP's that I'm aware that have caps, have an "unlimited' package as well.

As to what you really want to know, I doubt any of that exists in "home" equipment. And monitoring isn't going to solve the problem.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:45 AM   #7
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The cheapest option, assuming she wants to allow her to stream, would be to look into upgrading the internet package. Could be reasonable, could be outrageous (in comparison to overage costs), it just varies by ISP.

Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:49 PM   #8
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You could try using QoS, where you can set Bandwidth limits for specific MAC addresses.

Set a limit for all device MACs, exclude the MACs which require full bandwidth, this of course is dependent on the Router having the option to do so.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:51 AM   #9
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Raylo, take a look at DD-WRT. It's free, open source software that can run on a lot of routers in place of the factory firmware. It may have some of the features you're looking for without having to buy new hardware.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:03 AM   #10
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I have used DDWRT before with an old Netgear router but I don't recall what it had in regards to these features. And I am not local to this network so can't do the DDWRT conversion in any case.

The new TP Link router actually has great parental controls but gran doesn't want to cut the niece off totally. It also has good traffic monitoring but only keeps a total from the time a device comes on the network and resets if it goes off. One feature I would like is a traffic log file that keeps the running total for each MAC no matter if it comes and goes from the network. The other feature I would like is to get alerts when someone's phone comes on the network. I can see them if i log onto the router via remote access, but the router can't push auto alerts.

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Originally Posted by Fred Garvin View Post
Raylo, take a look at DD-WRT. It's free, open source software that can run on a lot of routers in place of the factory firmware. It may have some of the features you're looking for without having to buy new hardware.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:17 AM   #11
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Sorry, realistically you're asking for way too much from a consumer or SOHO piece of hardware. If DD-WRT or Circle don't do the trick, I don't know of anything else that would.
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