Last week, we explained how users can get the most out of their DD-WRT router setups by using bandwidth monitoring tools. Now, we will explain how you can do the same using a TomatoUSB router setup.
As mentioned previously, bandwidth monitoring is very important for those with limited home and Internet plans, where going over a bandwidth limit can result in some rather unwanted situations. Streaming high quality movies, playing games on online networks, and engaging in video conference programs like Skype can eat up a lot of data, causing the bandwidth limit to be broken. This is where bandwidth monitoring comes into play, allowing for users to control and limit the bandwidth of devices, keeping free of any issues that would arise with going over the limit.
The Advantage of Using a TomatoUSB Router
TomatoUSB is a router firmware which boosts a router’s functionality, offering advantages like the ability to use two OpenVPN client connections. In regards to OpenVPN, there is a much higher success rate using TomatoUSB compared to other firmwares.
TomatoUSB also offers a very user-friendly graphic user interface that many FlashRouters customers find preferable over DD-WRT. Within this GUI, there are visual add-ons such as a map of connected Ethernet devices, which add to the user-friendly nature of the program.
Devices available from FlashRouters with Tomato router firmware already installed are commonly used for bandwidth monitoring for individual homes, offices or by apartment complex managers. The most popular bandwidth managing devices include the ever-popular, well-reviewed Asus RT-N66U and the economy model Cisco Linksys E2500.
How To Use Bandwidth Monitoring with TomatoUSB
Once you have a TomatoUSB router, bandwidth monitoring options can be accessed by:
- Entering your router IP address in any browser (i.e. 192.168.1.1)
- Log in with your router administration credentials.
- Click Bandwidth Monitoring.
Now you will be able to see the activity of your entire network in Real-Time, over the last 24 hours, daily, weekly, and monthly. At the top of the graph, you can see all of the interfaces that Tomato is monitoring. The first WAN (vlan1) is traffic between your router and everything outside of your LAN. WL (eth1) is the wireless traffic inside of your LAN, while br0 shows both the wireless and wired connections to the router. eth0 depicts all wired traffic from the router. Lastly, vlan0 shows traffic within the LAN and to the Internet.
You can also view the bandwidth use of the IPs on your network by selecting IP Traffic from the side-bar. Like the Bandwidth section, there are several options for the time span the graphs can cover:
Viewing the graphs from the Real-Time IP Traffic monitoring, you can see the activity from specific devices within your network:
Setting Up Access Restrictions within TomatoUSB
Now that you are able to view the traffic going in and out of your network, it will be easy to spot any IPs that are hogging bandwidth and possibly slowing down your connection.
Applying Access Restrictions (another option on the side-bar) is a way to set rules for bandwidth hogs, setting a duration for when specific devices can be blocked from certain sites. If your son’s high quality Netflix streaming is affecting your Monday Night Football on WatchESPN, you can set an Access Restriction on Monday night from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM for Netflix on the specific IP of his laptop.
To block a specific device from access to the router, the only information you would need to know is the IP or MAC Address. You could block all Internet access for the router for a dedicated time, if say, you would like no Internet access after 10pm, by clicking “Block All Internet Access”. Or you could block specific sites, as mentioned above. This is as simple as entering the site URL in the HTTP Request field.
Best Routers for TomatoUSB Bandwidth Monitoring
There are also several high performing, well rated mid-range routers like the Netgear WNR3500L and the classic Asus RT-N16. For smaller homes, the Cisco Linksys E1200 V2 is an economy model might be just what the network doctor ordered.