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What sort of storage do I need for my Nighthawk?


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This Friday we're switching from using CenturyLink (which we have used for many years) for our ISP, to Cable ONE. (In my area, its either CenturyLink or Cable ONE.) I'm exciting and hoping to experience speeds at least 10 times faster than we've had for many years.


However, with CenturyLink I've never concerned myself with how much data we used. As far as I know, it's been unlimited. With Cable ONE, there's limits. Because of the size of my family, I'm going with the largest plan I can afford. But I now think I should also monitor our internal usage. I'm sure that I could find out, from Cable ONE, what sort of usage we're doing on a monthly basis. That however, will be an aggregate solution. What I'm looking for is some way of knowing what machine is doing what and how often. I work as a programmer, so networking isn't really in my wheelhouse. I've talked to some people at work, who are into networking. In fact, that's their job. This one fellow showed me a display of what was going on in his house, from work! I was completely amazed. He has a Cisco Meraki, which he uses for his home network. There were all sorts of charts and graphs. Live usage, etc. My mouth was salivating. Then he told me the price - $800!!


I'm sorry, that's just WAY too expensive for me. So, I decided I would just use my existing router, which is a Netgear Nighthawk R7000. It's at least 3, maybe 4, years old. I know it has the ability to log activity as I've seen it in the menu, but I've never turned it on. I'm guessing that if I do turn it on, I'd have to provide it with some place to write the data. It has a USB 3 port on it, so I'm thinking what I could do is have it write that data to some USB thumbdrive. From there I could once a month or once a week, pull it off the router, then plug it into my desktop and analyze it with Excel. Sort of the poor man's Meraki, I guess. Only thing is, I've no idea how large of a USB thumbdrive I should get. And that's why I'm here, posting this question; how large of a USB drive should I get?


Let me give you some information about us. We're a family of 6. Everyone has a phone. There's 3 laptops, 2 desktops. We don't game, so that's won't contribute. However, we do stream Netflix and Amazon. And my son spends a lot of time watching YouTube videos. (I don't. I find YouTube to be nothing less than a huge time sink.)

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Hi there

I’m not familiar with the Nighthawk unfortunately, but after doing a quick google search it looks like the logging you mention may only be live monitoring (ie it doesn’t output anywhere) and it also doesn’t support SNMP with the default firmware so you can’t extract any port data and output to a logging server.

You could try a DD-WRT or Tomato based firmware if available for the Nighthawk which may have some monthly monitoring tools?

You probably also want some network traffic blocking tools - after all it’s one thing to see you are approaching the limit and asking your kids to stop using YouTube for a bit until the next billing period, but it’s a nothing making sure they actually listen to you!!

I’m not on a capped product fortunately but I do monitor my traffic through SNMP and capture it on LibreNMS - have been running it for a few months now and is quite insightful!



The SNMP stats are pulled from a Ubiquiti USG gateway which also provides some stats on usage (but frustrating doesn’t provide any time range on the data displays) to target where the main usage is coming from (my family appear to be addicted to social media and network monitoring this period!!)






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First thoughts for analysis on a per-device basis:


1. If you use a VPN package it will no doubt keep track of traffic volumes.

2. Windows 10 allows a connection to be nominated as metered, in which case the OS will accumulate traffic volumes.

3. NetWorx at https://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/ might be worth a trial.

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Hi Rod

Aside from all of our techie responses, the simplest solution for day one switch over may just be here in their support pages


Once you’ve cut over on Friday and are up and running with whatever equipment the new ISP may provide, post the details and we can take another look at what options are best for your use case.

Hope the cut over goes well!!!

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