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Traffic control

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Warning, it is legacy functionality. Nowadays almost nobody charges customers for the amount of information downloaded from Internet. It is supported by 32 bit Windows only. You likely will skip reading this manual chapter.

 

This chapter describes network traffic control (charging customers for the amount of information downloaded or uploaded). Assume you've installed network traffic control driver if not, please proceed to corresponding part of manul.

 

Lets call to call 1 megabyte a value of 1024 * 1024 = 1,048,576 bytes. Network traffic billing uses cost per 1 megabyte. Charging customer uses maximum of incoming and outcoming traffic (amount of downloaded / uploaded data), but you can set charging for the sum of incoming and outcoming, by incoming traffic only.

 

To use network traffic contgol, you should enable it first. Go to "Setting, Security settings, Traffic control" and set tick "Use traffic control'.

 

Traffic control settings

 

Press "Settings, Traffic control settings" on the main program window of server computer. Pay attention that before changing traffic control settings all the client computers should be free and windows of observing network traffic statistics closed. You will likely need a help of experienced network administrator to configure it.

 

tc-setup-dlg

 

The workflow with traffic control is the following: setting up network filters on server computer, send settings to client computers. Filtering rules on the server computer and client computers should always be the same. Cafe owner should pay attention to it as dishonest operators can use it cheat.

 

Lets setup filters. Press "Filter editor":

 

tc-filter-setup-empty-dlg

 

You can see a single filter "All other traffic". What is filter?

 

Network traffic control driver that is installed on each client computer observes all the incoming and outcoming data that is passing network card. To differentiate LAN and Internet (or any other network, like city network), you have to configure network filters. Each filter will account only the traffic that satisfies its rules. The exception is "All other traffic" that accounts the remaining traffic (that was not accounted by other rules before). This traffic is usually renamed to "Internet" and calcualtes Internet data.

 

Each filter (except "All other traffic" can have its own rules that will define its traffic. Each filter can have its own tariffs (including "All other traffic").

 

Lets review the simple Internet cafe that has only 2 kinds of traffic: LAN and Internet. Computers in LAN have IP's: 192.168.87.1, 192.168.87.2 and so on. Lets add "Local network" filter by pressing "Add" button and entering "Local network":

 

tc-filter-setup-add

 

Press "OK":

 

tc-filter-setup-2-dlg

 

Select "Local network" filter and press "Rules":

 

tc-filter-rules-empty

 

Press "Add" button and enter filtering rule (IP: 192.168.87.0, Mask: 255.255.255.0). Pay attention to last 0 in IP address and mask):

 

tc-filter-rules-rule

 

Press "OK":

 

tc-filter-rules-1

 

Now you have a rule, using that all the LAN traffic, both incoming and outcoming from 192.168.87.*) will be calculated in filter "Local network". Press "OK".

 

The rest of network traffic will be calculated and "All other traffic". Lets rename it to "Internet" (as it is likely Internet). Select "All other traffic" and press "Rename" button and enter "Internet":

 

tc-filter-rename-internet

 

Press "OK":

 

tc-filter-setup-2-dlg-new

 

Filtering rules setup completed. We have two filters ("Internet" and "Local network"). Everything that is not "Local network" is "Internet". Lets setup billing (prices).

 

As nobody chardges for "Local network", we will configure the "Internet" filter only. Assume your cafe has the following tariffs:

 

Up to 1 megabyte of Internet data - free

From 0 megabyte to 10 megabyte - cost 0.09$ per megabyte  (after first free megabyte)

From 10 megabyte to 100 megabyte - cost 0.08$ per megabyte (after first free megabyte)

From 100 megabyte and above - cost 0.07$ per megabyte (after first free megabyte)

 

Program uses maximum from incoming and outcoming traffic by default. It is used in most Internet cafes.

 

Select "Internet" filter and press "Prices":

 

tc-filter-prices-empty

 

Until you didn't set any price it means free work using this filter (like for "Local network" filter).

 

Lets enter the described above tariff system. Press "Add price":

 

tc-filter-prices-to-1mb-ask-dlg

 

Press "Yes" and enter:

 

tc-filter-prices-to-1mb-enter-dlg

 

Press "OK":

 

 

tc-filter-prices-to-1mb-dlg

 

Press "Add price" button to add next tariff:

 

tc-filter-prices-to-10mb

 

Enter cost per 1 megabyte as 0.09$  (9 cents), "when used from 0 megabytes to" - number 10.

 

Repeat the above action and add tariff from 10 to 100 megabytes (8 cents per megabyte):

 

tc-filter-prices-to-100mb

 

And the final tariff (when using from 100 megabytes and above customer pays 0.07 cents per megabyte). What number to enter in the field "when used from 100 megabytes to..."? Type any number higher 100, for example, 101 or 1000:

 

tc-filter-prices-to-1000mb

 

The following table was setup:

 

tc-filter-prices-4

 

Line "From 100 to 1000 megabytes cost of 1 megabyte = 0.07 $" means that 7 cents cost any amount of traffic higher 100 megabytes (but not up to 1000 megabytes). That exception works for the last tariff line.

 

In case you cafe one cost per 1 megabyte of traffic, assume, 6 cents per 1 megabyte and there is no free megabytes, the table should look like:

 

tc-filter-prices-1

 

I.e. this list contains only one line (and it is latest), so the meaning is: 6 cents per megabyte of traffic, not depending on how much was downloaded (1 megabyte or more). Each megabyte cost 6 cents.

 

Round up payment settings work for network traffic billing too.

 

After setting up network filtering rules and billing, you have to send settings to client computers. Choose "Settings, Traffic control:

 

tc-setup-dlg

 

Press "Send settings to client computers":

 

tc-send-settings

 

Press "Send settings" and configuration will be sent to all client computer. Read messages about status of sending in the window above buttons.

 

It is recommended for cafe owner to periodically check that all client computers have the network traffic driver working and computers have the same rules (like on server computer). In order to do that, cafe owner should press "Check settings". Once again, access to these functions is available only when all computers are free and counter windows are closed. It is also recommended to deny changing filtering rules in security settings.

 

In order to deny using client computers with traffic control, statistics can have records that client computer was used with traffic control. To filter these messages use "Security" filter of "Statistics" report. Ask operators why they allowed to use client computer without traffic control.

 

Working with enabled network traffic control

 

Working with enabled network traffic control is not different from the regular work, except that after Stopping client session, operator will receive the window with payment details for spent network traffic, for example:

 

tc-pay