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Network Connection Accounting

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234709D
Publication Date: 2014-Jan-30
Document File: 3 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Network Time Limitation Allow limitation of time a network device (Computer, Ipod, Ipad, etc) is actively using the network. The accounting tracks the time during which data packets are sent to or received from a particular network device. If the accumulated time span exceeds a predefined limit, the network connection to that particular network device is terminated.

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Network Connection Accounting

Purpose

Allow network usage by defining a certain allowance of time (hours or minutes) for a predefined time span (day, week, month or year). The allowance is active and tracked only when the network is actually used. The time window during which the allowance is valid and actively tracked is when a device is sending and/or receiving data. Once the allowance is reached, the network traffic is stopped by the routing device until the predefined time span has elapsed. After that the allowance for network access is granted again and the next iteration starts.

Problem Statement

Todays network routers offer a wide range of possibilities to limit network usage. Two basic schemes are usually offered on a per device basis:

1. Data volume allowance. The network connection is terminated when a predefined limit of data has been transferred.

2. Time allowance. The network connections are available or not available for certain time windows. The time windows refer to wall clock time. The time frames can be specified in various ways, for example:


◦ Monday 8:00 am to 10:00 am


◦ Daily from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm


◦ Every 3rd Monday in the month

Almost all network routers offer such a control option with a more of less sophisticated level of possible time windows and combinations thereof. However these times are

always wall clock times and do not take into account the actual time the network is used by a device. Using above 1st bullet example, it is not possible to access the network

at Monday 10:01 am, even if the network was not used from Monday 8:00 to

10:00 am. Once the time has past the predefined allowance time frame, network access is denied.

Idea

Grant a network device a certain amount of tokens. The amount of token allocated depends on the ratio between network allowance and time span. The live time of the token is for example 5 minutes. Every time a network packet is sent or received, check if the token is valid. If the token is not valid, drop the current token and allocate a new one. If no more tokens are available, the network packet is dropped by the network router.

Once the network allowance has been used, the network traffic for this device stops.

Specify a predefined time allowance per time span, for example 1 hours per day, in which network access is granted. It does not matter when the network access and network traffic takes place during this time frame. The main idea is to monitor when

1


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chunks of network traffic start a...