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How Can I Save Bandwidth?

By latwine2000 ·
I need help about how I can reduce bandwidth usage in an internet cafe.

I am an I.T Officer for a church that is running a not for profit internet cafe in Africa and I have a big problem with bandwidth usage. My I.S.P provides about 3GB for 530 US$ per month. In the last few months, we have been using about 5.9GB and we are being restricted now which makes it impossible for us to work. The I.S.P. wants us to pay 900US$ which is basically impossible for us.

What I need is help on how I can reduce bandwidth usage in the cafe without compromising our quality of service. Please any ideas, help will be highly appreciated.


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Bandwidth usage

by piratetoolz In reply to How Can I Save Bandwidth?

I would suggest determining what activities are eating your bandwidth, and then deciding if they are legitimate or not (for example, file sharing). There are many ways for you to reduce your usage, and they all start with identifying the problem apps.


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save bandwidth

by afram In reply to How Can I Save Bandwidth?

In addition to looking for problem programs, shut off unecessary protocols like SNMP, IPX/SPX, or AppleTalk.

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re: addendum

by afram In reply to save bandwidth

You may also want to run some antispyware software and antivirus scans on everyone's computer. Viruses and spyware can send out a lot of garbage.

Some network switches (like HP's Pro Curve switches) have a web interface to see which ports use the most traffic and will report problems like bad cable or bad network card. This might help if you can get one but they are a bit expensive

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Good suggestions

by JamesRL In reply to How Can I Save Bandwidth?

Especially turning off unneeded protocols.

In addition I suggest eliminating any background tasks that go to the internet - such as updates to anti-virus programs, Microsoft's autoupdates,and any file sharing program's like Kazaa.

For the autoupdates, you would be better to manually download them once, then put them on a shared drive and share from there. Some anti-virus programs will allow you to do that automatically.


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by apotheon In reply to Good suggestions

Also, do regular sweeps for spyware and adware, protect yourself thoroughly against such things, and use both firewall and proxy server to cut down on the likelihood of bandwidth being used without authorization from users.

You can use a proxy server to block harmful websites as well, and you can use the firewall not only to block malicious incoming traffic, but also to prevent specific types of outgoing traffic if you want to. *nix (Unix, Linux, BSD, et cetera) gateways can also be used to throttle back maximum bandwidth usage for client systems as well, so that on person cannot use more than a pre-set amount of bandwidth at once.

This means that you can ensure that no single computer gets better than, for instance, 110Kbps at any given time. That would cut down on the amount of bandwidth considerably, if all you're doing now is providing something like 1.5Mbps across the board and letting God sort out the bandwidth sharing.

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by jdmercha In reply to How Can I Save Bandwidth?

Are you sure you are really talking about bandwidth? 5.9GB is outrageous! You should be able to support about 100,000 users with that much bandwidth. That's quite a bargain price too.

If you mean MB rahter than GB, then; Paying for 3MB and using 5.9MB is a neat trick too. An increase like that usually requires a hardware change. I don't know what they use in Africa, but to get 3MB in the US, you need two T1 lines. To get 6MB you would need 4. Or a fractional T3.

On the other hand are you talking about nework storage? Then the 5.9GB makes sense. If you need storage look at installing a local storage device.

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Cable modems do 3MB

by jdclyde In reply to Bandwidth?

For under $200 per month with 6 static IPS.

Only costs a fortune if using traditional leased lines from the big carriers that you use for the higher reliability or direct connections between remote locations. Even that is going away with Frame being so cheap.

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Cable Modems

by BFilmFan In reply to Cable modems do 3MB

Are kinda scarce in Africa...

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Businness class

by jdmercha In reply to Cable modems do 3MB

I haven't looked into the business class cable but a home cable modem gets you 3MB, shared with everyone in your neighborhood. It is also tweaked so you get 750K out and 2.25M in. Basically meaning its no good if you are running a web site. And my cable goes down too often to be running a business from.

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by apotheon In reply to Bandwidth?

I don't think he's talking about 5.9Gbps (gigabits per second) of downstream bandwidth. I think he's talking about 5.9GB (gigabytes) of transfer per month. I was just thinking that limiting him to 5.9GB of transfer for that price was pretty friggin' stingy, but not surprising in some parts of Africa considering the premium they can demand for use of communications infrastructure in some of those areas.

In any case, you're probably barking up the wrong tree here. Your "outrageous" would be applicable if you were referring to Gbps downstream bandwidth, but not if the OP is talking about monthly transfer rates.

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