This document describes the accounting function in LANCOM devices, the configuration of its settings, and the options for analysis of the information with LANmonitor and other software.


What does accounting mean?

The accounting function in LANCOM devices is able to log the amount of data transferred between the MAC address or IP address of a client and the corresponding WAN peer.

It can also take a "snapshot" of the status following a preset period of time. This facilitates the billing according to traffic volumes, for example.

Setting up the accounting:

To enable the collection of accounting information, you first access the device's configuration and navigate to the menu item Configuration -> Management -> Costs. Here you can activate the option Collect accounting information:

All other options can be configured in this menu, too.

The Differentiation criterion must be specified here. The default setting here is by MAC address, although it is also possible to sort by IP address.

When varying IP addresses are in use, e.g. when using a DHCP server, the option IP address can lead to inaccurate accounting data. In this case, it may not be possible to accurately assign the data to users.

Conversely, with this setting, data can be separated for clients that are behind another router and therefore appear in the accounting list with the same MAC address as the router.

The Accounting snapshot button provides the option for the collected accounting data to be regularly copied to a table in order to analyze the data over a time interval.

Enable the accounting snapshot.

Now you set the Interval that the snapshot should cover. You can choose between daily, weekly and monthly.

Depending on the configured time interval, you must now set the appropriate time options:

For monthly snapshots:
    • The day of the month on which the snapshot should be taken (default setting is "1")

For weekly snapshots:
    • The weekday on which the snapshot should be taken (default setting is "Sunday")

For all options:
    • The time in hours and minutes to set the time exactly. Valid input is 0 – 23 for "hours" and 0 – 59 for "minutes".

At the configured time, a snapshot of the data is taken and stored in the device.

The snapshot function only works if the device is set with a valid time. Ideally you should obtain this from a time server.

By default, the accounting information is stored to the volatile main memory in the device. To protect the accounting data in case of a device reboot – for example, following a power failure – it is also possible to store the information in the flash memory of the device.

In this case, the snapshot will also be stored to the flash memory. This option is also activated in the menu item Configuration -> Management-> Costs:

Now that the accounting has been configured correctly, the information will be collected as desired.

Analyzing accounting information:

To display the collected information, you start LANmonitor for the device – for example, by marking the device in LANconfig and using the key combination CTRL + M.

You can view the accounting data by clicking on the menu Device -> View accounting information:

You will then see an overview of the current data. You can now toggle this output to the last billing period in the menu View:

This table lists the information, which can be sorted by clicking on the table headers.

This information can be further processed for detailed analysis.
To do this you must first download the information from the device and store it. This is also done in LANmonitor.

Select the menu item Accounting and click on the option Save accounting information:

The save file dialog now prompts you to give the file a name and select the storage location.
The file is stored in the format .ACC. This file can be displayed again with LANmonitor.

Further processing of the accounting data:

This file can be imported into a spreadsheet program for further processing.
Start a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. You can use this to import the accounting file.

When you open the file with Microsoft Excel, the Excel Import dialog pops up:

Set the original data type to Delimited and confirm with Next

In step 2:

Here you select the delimiter option Semicolon and you can exit the wizard with Finish.

You now have the data in a table. Although the table headers are not included in the ACC file, the columns are in the same order as in LANmonitor, with the exception of the first column and the number of connections, which is moved to the end of each row:

[MAC address] - [IP address or NetBios name] - [Peer] - [Type of connection] - [Received KB] - [Transmitted KB] - [Total online time (sec.)] - [Number of connections]

The value for Total online time is displayed in seconds.

Now that the data is available in the spreadsheet, it can be processed further.