Hardware Internet Logger


Active Member
I know there are IT types here! ;)

A friend has asked me to do some research, but I'm coming up dry.

Is there a hardware device that would go between a DSL/Cable modem and a computer /router to just log internet traffic?
You can do that with a PC. Can't remember what the logging protocol is called....SNMP or something. I think there is a Homeseer script that listens and logs those packets.
SNMP = Simple Network Monitoring Protocol and provides a mechanism for getting and setting device parameters, counters, etc. It may/may not provide for capture of packet data and probably will not for a simple home router.

If you're looking to capture data, then you're looking for a "sniffer". There are hardware sniffers and also software packet capture tools, like "ethereal".

Note that sniffing can be more complex when devices are connected via a switch (vs. hub) as the switch will "hide" traffic, sending it only between the source and destination vs. broadcasting to all ports.

Anyway, google some of those terms and you'll find more info.
some routers have a logging portion in them, it just logs to a internal ip location you tell it to. ex parents computer so the kids can't delete it... but it also depends on the depth of information they want to log
Thanks all. I'll do some more digging.

As a reminder, this needs to be stand-alone, hardware only; something that can be patched in between a modem and router (or pc).
Some of the low end broadband routers support creating rules with a logging option (i.e Netgear is one of them). So you could create a rule which matches the traffic you want to log, and then send it to a PC which is running a syslog service (since no router has enough storage for detailed logging).
Can you elaborate on why it is hardware only? There might be another way to solve the problem (cheaper too) of your friend is you can share his objective.

As mustang was getting at, they can also send out logging via snmp, you can have a piece of software on another pc running to capture and save the traffic information. Then you may even be able to export it, slice and dice and do with it what you will.

WallWatcher was an example, but there were a lot of them. I am sure the same approach would work for your dlink if this is acceptable.
I use Cain, software to monitor all my traffic. It can do pretty much everything and FREE.

It even records my VOIP calls which is a plus.
Blade wrote a router plugin for HomeSeer that parses the router log real time and can execute events based on content. For example: Speak "The kids are surfing for inappropriate material"