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Why does modem light keep on flashing


I'm new to networking and so far, with the help of the excellent tutorials and HOWTOs, I've set up my network on a box with Mandrake 9.1 as firewall/internet gateway with iptables/masquerading and the stronger firewall from TrinityOS. I then have my main Debian box and a Win XP box. Everything works fine and all boxes can use the internet. I'm now studying the iptables documentation to try to understand what I'm doing with the intention to set up the firewall m/c on Debian in the future.

In the meantime I have noticed on several occasions the lights on my modem and on my network switch flashing, for a period of many minutes, when I am not carrying out any net activity apart from my email, and when I check that no new messages are arriving. The lights on the switch indicate that the activity is on the link to the Windows box although again checking that box shows the counts on the network link increasing but nothing else as far as I can tell.

Now I would like to monitor this activity to see what it is, AND I want to do this from the relative safety of my linux m/c. Can anyone advise me, bearing in mind my present knowledge of networking, how I might set about this.

As usual all help will be greatly appreciated.

Ray Curd.

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