uCap: Usage Cap Management for Homes

Consumers often do not know how their bandwidth data caps are being tallied by Internet service providers, and can become frustrated when they are capped without knowing why. uCap is a bandwidth cap management tool for home networking users to help them understand how their bandwidth is being used. It’s a piece of software designed to work with the BISmark router system.

uCap allows you to monitor how much data each of your computers and devices use and also to set your own caps for each of these devices. So if you want to cap your roommate or a backup machine, uCap makes this possible. Or if you want to see how much bandwidth your iPhone or laptop is using, uCap will show you this information. uCap also allows you to see if any unauthorized users are on your network, and lets you block them.

Why We Made uCap

Bandwidth caps are becoming more common in the US and other countries. We identified the following three major frustrations for managing restrictive bandwidth caps:

    1. 1) Not knowing the current bandwidth balance
      2) Not knowing which applications use the most bandwidth
      3) Difficulty sharing bandwidth in a household with multiple members
We designed uCap, a household bandwidth management tool, to help consumers better understand their Internet service plans especially if they have a bandwidth cap.

How uCap Works

uCap is a software program we designed for use with the BISmark router system to passively collect and send data usage information from each device connected to the network to a back-end database. Home users can monitor their data usage through a web browser and also set data usage caps or limit for each device. uCap uses the Lithium OpenFlow Controller to allow users to set and manage these bandwidth caps. When a device's data usage reaches its cap, the connection will be blocked by uCap.

What uCap Shows

Here’s a few screenshots to show you the type of information you will see in uCap and the data uCap collects:

uCap main screen showing the devices on the home network and how much bandwidth they’re using

uCap screen showing bandwidth usage for an individual device

uCap history of bandwidth usage

uCap screen that allows you to set bandwidth caps on individual devices