Any idea how to track network data usage (how many GB in/out total per month) from a D-Link DIR-880L router?

I tried PeakHour (https://peakhourapp.com/) but it looks like this router doesn't support SNMP and using UPnP straight up didn't work (and their support is non existent…).

Xfinity is not unlimited anymore where I live and they're saying I used 65GB just yesterday, and 1.1TB total this month which is not even remotely possible from how I use the web, so I need to figure out what's going on… (assuming they're not just inflating the numbers like crazy 😅)

I'm pretty frustrated with the "crappy software with no update ever" business model of D-Link so I'm thinking about maybe buying a Synology router instead (already have a NAS from them and I like their OS) but I'd rather spend $0 with some Terminal Voodoo or something like that 😁

Any pointer in the right direction MUCH appreciated!


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    Depending on how network savvy you are there is a program that some colleagues in IT security/networking swear by: Wireshark (wireshark.org) Basically a network/protocol monitor but you have to know what you are looking for to capture what you need, and me, I just ask a network guy... – Steve Chambers Jul 21 '20 at 23:41
  • As you've already discovered, unless your router supports it, you can't do it. Also, unless you plan to somehow put your Mac in the middle of your router and the rest of your network, trying to do this from a random computer on the network isn't going to work - it needs to see all the traffic. – Allan Jul 21 '20 at 23:53
  • wireshark looks like it could work… If I was way smarter than I am ;) Thanks for the tip though! – Yann Jul 22 '20 at 0:46

I'm pretty frustrated with the "crappy software with no update ever" business model of D-Link so I'm thinking about maybe buying a Synology router instead (already have a NAS from them and I like their OS) but I'd rather spend $0 with some Terminal Voodoo or something like that

Ahhh yes... You've seen the light! Consumer grade routers are just too limited for what they do. You need a proper router that has the ability to measure your bandwidth.

As for Terminal "voodoo," no. There's no magic command that allows you to simply measure the amount of data that has gone out to the internet. 75% of it is how you architect the hardware setup. If not your router, you need to somehow put your computer (it's network interface) between your router and your network so it can "count" all of the network packets going in and out. It's like having a bouncer at a bar with one of those click counters but instead of putting him at the door, he sits at the bar - there's no way he can accurately count the patrons coming and going; you need him at the door.

but I'd rather spend $0

Then you want pfSense. I'm a huge fan of Synology and make heavy use of the NAS gear. As for networking, I swear by pfSense for my routing. First off, it's free. Their model is either to purchase their appliance or purchase managed support. You can install pfSense on a cheap Core 2 Duo. Your biggest expense will be a quad Ethernet port if you want to have a DMZ or handle multiple LANs. I put one because I put my guest WiFi network on it's own network and kept them separate from everything else.

Here's just one of the sample Stats reports (Traffic Graph) that comes out of the box.

Bandwidth Throughput Measurement

However, based on your premise for starting this project, no more unlimited bandwidth, you can set up traffic limiters to prevent going over.

  • pfSense looks really solid, but on the hardware side I'm not sure how that would work. I'd have to buy a cheap windows box which seems to run for about $100 on Amazon, then somehow use my current D-Link's WIFI only? Although the software looks pretty amazing, it seems a bit convoluted and not much cheaper than an all in one solution like the Synology RT2600ac. Am I missing something? Thanks!! – Yann Jul 22 '20 at 0:43
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    I went with Ubiquiti APs but depending on home/apartment size and layout, you could just put a PCIe WiFi card in the PC. Also, look at eBay, Craigslist, Letgo, etc. I got my Dell box for around $15 when I built mine. You don't need a lot of horse power. – Allan Jul 22 '20 at 13:53
  • Thanks for all your help… One last question and I'll stop bugging you after that! ;) I'm thinking this might be a good opportunity for me to just update my whole setup and get the Ubiquiti AP + SG-1100 Netgate Gateway. Would I need any other hardware in order to connect my Synology NAS? It looks like I could use the the OPT port for that? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to hardware so I thought I'd ask someone who knows his stuff… Thanks again! :) – Yann Jul 24 '20 at 3:56
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    No worries at all! You could put your NAS anywhere on your on your LAN via a switch or put it on the OPT port so it’s on it’s own (different) network snd allow the Netgate handle connections to it. If you’re updating your whole setup, I’m guessing a POE switch is in there fir the Ubiquiti AP. Unless you have a need to secure the NAS with dedicated firewall rules, I’d just hang it off the switch and write port forwarding rules as needed. – Allan Jul 24 '20 at 7:22
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    You can definitely use the OPT port, but the switch gives you more flexibility. I myself started with 8 for the house and up to a 16 port main switch, an 8 port layer 3 switch in my home office lab and a 5 port in the bedroom to hook up the TV, cable box, and the XBox. All are managed, have VLAN capability and protected to a UPS. Once you get used to the speed and reliability, you’ll never go back. My friends always marvel at how fast Amazon/Netflix loads and I never buffer. Start with a small 5 or 8 port Netgear – Allan Jul 24 '20 at 18:52

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