Are you regularly running out of internet “downloads” or data? Kids keep on using it all? Not sure where it’s going?
This document describes the process of setting up a “Gargoyle” Router to enforce data usage quotas for each device on your computer network.
Unfortunately, due to the many variables of different internet connection types and equipment types, it is not simple to give a single step-by-step guide, but this may hopefully help some of you out, even if you have to get a computer tech in to set it up for you.
There is a New Zealand company selling Gargoyle routers (posted to Australia), and will help you set them up if you pay for their time.
These Gargoyle routers will allow you to set quotas limiting how much data each device on your network can use over a given time period, so as to ensure you do not use all of your monthly internet allowance. You can see how much data each device is using, and set limits for each device. These limits can reset every hour, every day, every week, or every month, and can be set differently for different devices on your network.
The Gargoyle program is free, and can be downloaded from Gargoyle , however you need a special router to put it on, and this can be a bit tricky for those who are not experienced with computer networking.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: You, and you alone are responsible for what you do with this information. It has the potential to stop your internet from working, and to destroy your new Gargoyle router. BIRRR & I are not responsible for this, and cannot necessarily help you fix any problems occurring as a result of this. This is complicated stuff, and you may need help from an experienced computer tech to get it working.
Due to the large amount of possible modems, routers and network types, I cannot give step-by-step instructions for every router available. However the Gargoyle website provides some instructions for the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Router, which is fairly cheap (about $70) and can be purchased from many online retailers, and maybe your local computer shop or IT Technician, who may also be able to assist you with the setup. (But they quite likely will not know of Gargoyle, so you would have to show them the website – http://www.gargoyle-router.com)
Types of Modems/Internet connections
Your setup will also vary depending on the type of internet connection you have. BEFORE YOU START, take note of how everything is plugged in and connected together. Draw pictures, write notes, take photos, whatever is needed to help you put it back as is if you run into trouble.
If you have a modem or router that has an Ethernet port (to take a cable that looks like this),
then it is reasonably easy to make work. If you have satellite, ADSL, Next G Wireless Loop or a Telstra/Bigpond Network Gateway, this is what you should have. When you are finished, It will all be plugged in like this:
If not, you will likely need the assistance of someone experienced with computer networking, so I will attempt to provide some examples of how to set it up for them to follow.
If you have a 3G/4G USB Dongle, you will need to get a router to connect the USB dongle to. This will be another separate piece of equipment to purchase. Check out http://ofmodemsandmen.com/ If you do this, you would then end up with the scenario in the drawing above, and can continue setting up Gargoyle. Alternatively, and preferably, if your Gargoyle router has a USB port, you may be able to connect the USB dongle directly to the Gargoyle Router, and use it as the internet source. I have done this once, and it worked quite well. However, Some routers will not supply enough power to the USB dongle for this to work reliably.
You may also have a wifi only device, like the Telstra 4G Wifi modems. I have never tried this, but you should be able to set it up like this:
Getting Gargoyle installed onto a router
You cannot just use any router, and this page has some links to different options: Gargoyle Router
But, for the sake of this document, let’s go with the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND – it can be purchased from many Australian retailers, look here for places to order it from: Static Ice
There are currently three versions of the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND router, V1.x (old), V2.1 (current) and 3.0 (current). Version 2.1 and V3.0 are identical in appearance.
Version 1 is the oldest. Version 2 is newer and is well proven. Version 3 (latest), may be problematic, as it is not yet directly supported by Gargoyle (at Jan 2016). When buying the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND, check with your supplier to determine which version they can supply.
Note: Here is a link to other routers which run Gargoyle:
It is recommended to select one of the newest routers with a fast CPU and larger RAM / Flash Memory. Atheros AR71XX based Routers have a proven track record with Gargoyle.
You must download and install the specific Gargoyle file for the router you have / bought.
Select the file which ends in … squashfs-factory.bin. This is the correct .bin file to flash your factory firmware router.
For a V1, get this file: V1 FILE – clicking on file will automatically download it
For a V2, get this file: V2 FILE – clicking on file will automatically download it
Each of these files are about 8mb in size, and should only take, at most, about 5-20 minutes to download, unless your internet is really, really slow.
- Save this file onto your computer.
- Physically unplug your computer from the internet, or disconnect the wireless.
- Connect the router to the power, and to your computer with the supplied network cable:
- Open up the webpage that controls the router, which should be at either of these addresses: Address 1 or Address 2 – try each of them.
- Next, on the menu on the left side of the screen, click System Tools, then Firmware Upgrade. Then click browse, and choose the file you downloaded earlier. Then click Upgrade. (If you get the error message “please choose a file to upgrade”, then rename the firmware file to something shorter (i.e. “gargoyle.bin”) and upload it again)
- Wait about 5 minutes then you should be able to open the website http://192.168.1.1/
If after 5 minutes 192.168.1.1 won’t open, restart both the Gargoyle router and your computer and try again. To restart Gargoyle, just pull the power cable out, then plug it back in. If this doesn’t work, you are going to need to get help from someone experienced with computer networking. Or you can try repeating everything you did earlier.
- The Gargoyle website provides a detailed procedure for the initial configuration of your new Gargoyle router. See http://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=getting_started.
The following steps take you briefly through this procedure.
- Log into 192.168.1.1 via your browser. It will ask for a password. The password is password, so type it in and login.
- Once logged in, you should see a screen that looks similar to this:
- Click the Connection button on the left side menu.
- In the Internet/WAN section, you need to choose DHCP (wired) if Gargoyle is to be connected to your modem via a network cable. This is the default setting and will work with all nbn™ NTU or modem connections scenarios. Choose DHCP (wireless) if it is to be connected by WIFI.
- You must turn on and secure the WIFI. Use WPA2 PSK security, set the Access Point SSID (the WIFI name) and the Wireless Channel. Default is Ch 11 is fine. The remainder of the default settings should not need attention at this time.
Plugging it into your computer network
Once that is done, you can connect Gargoyle to your internet modem (either by LAN cable or wirelessly), and connect your computers and other devices, either by cable or WIFI, to Gargoyle, instead of the original modem.
If it is all done right, you should be able to connect to the internet; in which case you are almost done.
NOTE: No devices should be connected directly to your old modem, as they will be bypassing Gargoyle’s quotas. You may need to turn the WIFI off on your old modem, or change the password, to keep kids (and big kids) from bypassing Gargoyle. If there is no connection, re-check everything you have done. Maybe get someone else to have a look, as it is easy to get frustrated and confused, and overlook simple things. Failing that, you may have to get a computer tech to look at it. But, in the meantime, you should be able to go back to your old setup.
But before you do that, you may wish to use Gargoyles bandwidth monitoring feature to determine just which computers on your network are using data and when. See https://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=bandwidth_usage
Now you just need to setup your quotas.
Open the gargoyle router page at http://192.168.1.1 and login. Then, click Firewall in the left side menu, then click Quotas.
Once again there is a good Gargoyle website explanation for setting quotas. See http://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=quotas
The Quota page has a variety of options. Have a play around and set it up as you want. Then click Save Changes. Sometimes you may have to restart the Gargoyle for it to take effect. To do this, navigate to System then Reboot or pull out the power cord, count to 10, then plug it back in.
To monitor the quotas, click Status on the left side menu and then click Quota Usage. This page will show you in real time, how much each device has used.
That’s about it. I hope this helps out some of you.
I am sorry I can’t give more specific instructions. Dependant on your equipment and users there are many variations for how it could be configured.
Here is an interesting read on a similar project using Gargoyle on a satellite service in the USA: http://raisedbyturtles.org/limiting-daily-bandwidth-on-home-router
Prepared by Nick Marlow from Mitiamo IT for BIRRR 4/11/2015 – Updated 6/06/2016.
*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your own IT consultant regarding this and other latest programs and equipment.