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Analyzing Web Surfers with BRDSTATS

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip

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Posted: 6 Jun 2001

Version: NetWare 5.1

Andrew E. wrote: We are getting a lot of requests to search various Border Manager logs to determine if a specific user has visited a particular web site and/or how much time is a specific user spending surfing the web. Are there any third party products or Novell product/utilities to assist with these types of searches?

This excellent question highlights the problem that companies have to deal with today, when it is so easy to waste time on the computer while looking like you're working. All privacy issues notwithstanding, it seems to us that employers can reasonably expect that when you're at work, using company computers, you should be, well, working. So if you've got the same problem as Andrew, check this out.

There is a terrific tool called BRDSTATS (Border Manager Proxy Statistics Tool) from Simon Begin that you should take a look at.

This program scans proxy server common log files, and creates HTML files containing these statistics:

  • The Top 20 Users
  • The Top 20 Web sites (URL)
  • The analysis of each Top 5 Users (Top 10 URL for each of the Top 5 Users)
  • The analysis of each Top 5 URLs (Top 10 Users for each of the Top 5 URLs)
  • 24-hour traffic analysis
  • 7-days/24-hour traffic analysis
  • Top 20 proxy return codes (for example error 404=not found)
  • Top 20 file types (for example .gif, .html, .jpg)
  • Top file sizes
  • A summary
  • An HTML index that links to all HTML stats available.

Statistics can also be customized.

For those of you who've already been using BRDSTATS, you'll be happy to learn that Simon recently updated the tool to version 1.40 and added quite a bit more functionality to it. (We've updated the file on the Cool Tools page, and you can also download the new and improved version below.) We contacted him with your question, to see if his tool could be of help to you. Here's what he said:

There's no way to tell the time spent by a user on a web site, however Network managers usually track "Hits" which gives a good idea on time spent on the internet or on a site. Size or MB gives an idea of bandwidth used on the proxy. There are two different ways net managers typically approach the investigation of internet surfing:

  1. Those who want to know where their users spend their time track "Hits".
  2. Those who want to know who's using all the bandwidth will check Size or MB.

BRDSTATS sorts "Top Users" and "Top URL" by Hits or by Size (MB). The default is Hits.

In BRDSTATS there is the "Top user analysis" which details the top sites of each top user. This can help you analyze the top users to see what they do.

The readme (BRDSTATS.HTM) tells how to create a custom log for specific analysis, for example for a user or a URL.

Next version (probably v1.50 in fall) will have filter capabilities, so there would be a way to filter IN/OUT on anything.



If you have any questions you may contact Simon at

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