My current router/firewall/VPN device has an unfortunately mediocre live monitor for bandwidth statistics, but supports SMNP. So after a reasonably painful search for decent free options (oh boy are there some awful ones!), I installed the freeware version of the Paessler PRTG monitor so that I could easily see the network statistics for our internet connection and a few other neat things that it can track out of the box. I installed it on a shared, always-on Windows 8 Pro PC that does a ton of other things for our house like security camera monitoring, file shares, etc. It installed easily and was up and running quickly. While the paid version is far outside of my budget for this type of thing (budget=$0), the freeware version had just the right features for me.
It’s got tons of things it can monitor, but with the freeware limit of 10 devices, I’ve got it monitoring traffic, disk and a few other things:
I’ve got the default page set to just show the internet bandwidth (in/out):
The software automatically scanned my network and found way more things to monitor originally than I had expected.
It’s a reasonably sophisticated Ajax web application that works well on modern browsers. My only complaint about the experience is that it requires me to login frequently, yet has a button that makes it basically not be important (a button that if the login is the default, just automatically logs me in). I’d really like it to instead jump straight to the dashboard to show the statistics (maybe in a read-only mode).
(And right now, if you blog about the software, they’ll upgrade your license to 30 keys, so I’m doing that right now).