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Web Traffic Monitoring Software

Several different types of web traffic monitoring software exist. Software for monitoring web traffic can be flow-based, or delve deeper into network activity using deep packet inspection. Network managers can monitor web traffic passively from a central portal, or used agent-based web traffic monitoring software to monitor each device individually.

Web monitoring screenshot

The choice of web traffic monitoring software can be daunting, but the options can be narrowed down according to the objectives you want to achieve. For example, if you only want to measure web traffic on your network, flow-based software may be the most appropriate solution. If you want to collect metrics on individual processes, agent-based software to monitor web traffic may be the answer.

Each of these options have their issues. Flow-based web traffic monitoring software only measures the volume of web traffic, where it has come from and where it is going. No details are provided about what the web traffic contains. Agent-based software for monitoring web traffic has a high maintenance overhead, is typically resource-intensive, uses disc space, and can affect network performance.

How to Monitor Web Traffic Effectively

For most networks, how to monitor web traffic effectively involves implementing agent-free web traffic monitoring software with deep packet inspection (DPI). DPI uses wire data analytics to look within network packets and see what they contain. Real-time web traffic data is provided in a contextual format, so that network managers can drill down into the metadata and get total visibility of critical details such as IP addresses, user names, domain names, URLs and bandwidth consumption.

The deep level of visibility into network web traffic is stored in a separate database in order that network managers can conduct forensic investigations to identify web usage trends. Web traffic monitoring software with DPI can provide real-time and historical reports by IP address, user, date and time, website, or download type, while alerts can be set up to advise network managers of unusual or specific web traffic activity far more effectively than with flow-based web traffic monitoring software.

Monitoring Web Traffic with Agent-Free Software

Agent-free software to monitor web traffic is the logical solution for large and multisite networks, companies that promote BYOD policies, and those with a publicly-accessible WiFi service. It connects to the network via the core switch and captures network packet metadata via a SPAN or TAP port without interacting with devices on the network or affecting network performance. On multisite networks, sensors in remote locations send data to the centralized command center.

Agent-free software to monitor web traffic connects resolves the issues of high maintenance overheads, memory use and disc capacity by passively monitoring web traffic and storing data in its own database. It also resolves the issue of how network managers can monitor web activity on personal mobile devices connected to the network, as agent-free web traffic monitoring software reads information with http headers, captures data from applications that “port hop” and records conversations with CDNs.

LANGuardian Web Traffic Monitoring Software

LANGuardian is industry-leading web traffic monitoring software that, unlike other packet capture and deep inspection solutions, runs on industry standard hardware and virtualized environments The DPI capabilities of LANGuardian, and its ability to integrate information from other sources such as DNS and Active Directory, enable it to provide more detailed information than can be obtained from flow-based software. For example, if users try to bypass content filtering by using a proxy server, LANGuardian detects this and reports on the sites users are visiting. With LANGuardian, you can:

  • Log all internet activity passively
  • Get daily reports of the most frequently visited websites.
  • Get a breakdown of traffic downloaded from CDNs based on the requesting websites.
  • Monitor web activity even when users are accessing the web by means of a proxy server.
  • See how much bandwidth is being consumed by visits to social media sites.
  • Identify all web browsers and versions that are in use on your network.
  • Detect instances of network misuse, such as downloading movies from Netflix and iTunes.
  • Track down users who are uploading and downloading copyrighted material via BitTorrent.

Knowing how to monitor web traffic effectively gives you all the information you need not only to identify anomalies and abuse of your network, but also to optimize network performance, enhance security and improve the management of your resources. This can be a key benefit for companies with multisite networks, as network activity in remote locations can be monitored and analyzed with the same degree of depth as if the traffic had traversed the local network.

Internet Monitoring Dashboard

Web Traffic Monitoring Use Cases

LANGuardian software for web traffic monitoring makes troubleshooting difficult network problems much easier. The system provides an unparalleled level of detail on Internet user activity:

  • Copyright Infringement at University: A customer recently received a notice of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, stating that an illegal movie upload had been traced back to the university’s network and providing the hash value for the download. By searching the LANGuardian database for the hash value, the customer was able to immediately identify the culprit by name.
  • Blacklisting of IP Address: After a customer’s IP address was inexplicably blacklisted by MessagLabs twice in two days, a LANGuardian report identified two external addresses that were sending large amounts of mail through a relay on the customer’s network. Once he understood what the problem was, the network manager was able to easily solve it by configuring the relay to allow connections only from MessageLabs.

Monitor Web Traffic Free for Thirty Days

For more information about how to monitor web traffic effectively with LANGuardian, we invite you to get in touch and discuss how our software for monitoring web traffic can meet your requirements. Alternatively you are welcome to download a free trial now and evaluate LANGuardian free in your own environment for thirty days, with no credit cards required, no contract to sign and no commitment to continue using our service at the end of the trial period.

LANGuardian is trusted by more than 400,000 users to monitor web traffic and, if you agree at the end of the trial period that LANGuardian is the most effective software for monitoring web traffic, we offer a number of competitive pricing options – including special pricing options for non-profit and educational organizations. To find out more about LANGuardian – and to find out more about what is really happening on your network contact us today.

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