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A friend of mine owns a house with 10 rooms which he's renting out to students. He provides them with Internet access.

Unfortunately, regardless of hes appeals and warnings to the students, they keep downloading illegal files via torrents. He already received 2 warning letters that he's going to be charged.

He now has a extra PC and wants all traffic to the Internet to go through this computer. At the same time he'd like to shape the traffic, and also have the ability to see who the offending students are.

Neither he or I are any good with ubuntu/linux server stuff, but we don't mind reading. Can anyone point us to what tools we would need to install in ubuntu (preferably GUI tools) to assist in this matter?

Any links to websites containing such info could also be handy, since I couldn't find anything myself. (probably cause I'm not using correct search terms)



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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Zentyal, formerly eBox looks like a good option, It is a small business server system with gateway firewall and traffic shaping capabilities. What I am not sure of is if it can report offending users but you can test it for yourself.

The homepage is here:

Network configuration documentation is here:

There is an older tutorial on HowtoForge for eBox that may still be relevant. It is found here:

please note that while eBox can be installed on an existing Ubuntu LTS server it is recommended that you use the install CD provided by Zentyal.

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Thanks we will have a look at this. Look promising. – Andre Jan 7 '12 at 17:12

Care for a simple solution not related to Ubuntu? I face this problem in schools, and the easy way out for us is not technical: it's OpenDNS Enterprise. You can disallow that kind of activity: warez, porn, proxies, et al, enforcing the AUP of the rental home. It's certainly a lot cheaper than attorney fees, far easier to implement, and proves you have countermeasures in place! :)

Oh - and it can be configured to work differently (or the same) in multiple locations.

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Thank you we will consider this as a backup option, but our first choice would be a Ubuntu solution, since the PC has no OS, and we would need to purchase a windows copy first, if we are to use windows based software. – Andre Jan 7 '12 at 17:22

I have a simple solution: any proxy server. Squid, Polipo, Privoxy It forces all user to enter the Internet via the server- web browsers have to be set to connect to Proxy before exiting LAN, It filters www.traffic, allowing access to a site or denying access to a site, and generates reports on who is currently using the proxy service, how much traffic is flowing across the server and limits the rate of downloading/uploading speed of the internet. These programs have many great features that would come in handy in your situation. Polipo video here Privoxy video here Squid video here

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