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I have a usb 3g dongle which I use from time to time by plugging it into my router so that all computers on the network can use the 3g connection (as opposed to plugging the usb into a single computer).

This 3g dongle has a monthly data limit on it which if exceeded, any data used over the limit is extremely expensive. So I need a way to track how much data/bandwidth is used when the 3g is plugged into the router so that I know when to stop using it.

After some searching I found applications like darkstat and bandwidthd but from what I can tell, these tools monitor network traffic all the time. What I need to be able to do is switch the monitoring on/off only when im using the 3g.

Basically I need to be able to plug the 3g into the router and then start the bandwidth monitor, then stop the monitor when i've unplugged it. I need to then be able to keep an ongoing record of how much bandwidth has been used each month.

It's ok if I have to add up the totals manually each time I plug in the 3g to keep a monthly running total. However if there is something that does that automatically that would be great.

  • Are there multiple devices connecting to the router? As you wrote you'll plug the stick into the router, measuring data usage from a connected device might be inaccurate. And even if not, the router itself might have connections for its own purposes (e.g. update checks). So it might be preferable to measure usage directly on the router. In that case: what is the router model, and what OS is it running? Or does the linux tag already apply to that? Any specific architecture to pay attention to (e.g. ARM)? – Izzy Jan 11 '16 at 12:54
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    The router is a DLink 2750U and yes there are multiple devices connected to the router both wired and wireless. All computers run linux, plus a few cell phones. I know it will not be 100% accurate running a bandwidth monitor on a pc but I just need a rough guide since the majority of the bandwidth occurs on one specific computer. However I am open to any solutions – darkpool Jan 11 '16 at 15:45

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