How to monitor web usage real time for free

slow internetDo you sometimes wonder why the Internet Connection in your office is occasionally slow? Image by Arria Belli.

And the Internet slowdown only occurs especially when the bosses are back in the office. Really makes everyone wonder what the bosses are using the Internet for.

These are several reason why accessing the Internet could be slow:

  1. A problem with the Internet Service Provider
  2. A problem with the office network due to faulty routers, splitters, etc
  3. A few office mates could be downloading some big files taking up lots of bandwidth

If you’re someone who has been given the responsibility to ensure the office network and Internet connection is running perfectly, then you’ll need some web usage monitoring tools to assist you.

For reasons one and two above, it may be something within your control as you could identify the problem and attempt to fix it.

However for reason #3, it could be quite challenging to deal with. If your boss asks you, why is the Internet connection so slow? You can’t just blame it on a few office mates using the Internet for non work related matters. He would ask you, where’s the proof? For all we know, the boss could be downloading torrents and using p2p software which could potentially slow down his web browsing experience.

There must be a way to monitor web usage real time so you can have a better view of the following scenarios:

  • Who is currently browsing the internet
  • Which sites are people visiting
  • What files are being downloaded
  • How much bandwidth is being used
  • Who’s chatting the whole day

With some of the above information, you can now convincingly give an answer to your boss.

By now you must be wondering if there’s such a tool available to help monitor web usage real time, and most importantly for FREE.

Through GFI Software’s “We Care” initiatives, they have recently released a FREEWARE version of GFI WebMonitor for ISA Server.

Freeware Web MonitoringThe FREEWARE version of GFI WebMonitor for ISA Server allows network administrators to monitor who is browsing the internet and downloading files within the organization.

Do note that the GFI WebMonitor requires ISA Server 2004 or ISA Server 2006 to be installed. Without ISA Server, it won’t install successfully.

When you download and install the FREEWARE version of GFI WebMonitor, it will include the full version of GFI WebMonitor which includes some key features such as:

  • Connections blocking
  • Time based filtering
  • Block application’s hidden downloads
  • Supported on virtual machines

Some sample screenshots:

A screenshot of Top Surfers
Screenshot of Top Surfers

A screenshot of user history detailsScreenshot of user history details

A screenshot of Activity LogScreenshot of Activity Log

The GFI WebMonitor trial version comes with a 30 day evaluation key which upon expiry will switch to the FREEWARE version with monitoring capability only.

If your organization currently has ISA Server and needs to monitor web usage real time give the tool a try by downloading GFI WebMonitor FREEWARE today!

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