Monitoring network upload and download data transferred
Note: This document is for users looking to monitor the bandwidth on their computer. If you have other computers or network devices (DVR, Internet radio, wireless connections, etc.) connected to your network this will not be an accurate method of monitoring all bandwidth on your network. Finally, keep in mind that these utilities monitor all network adapter bandwidth, which means if you were to transfer files between your computers that these bandwidth monitors would monitor that traffic as well. If you're looking for more than just a software solution for monitoring your computers network adapter skip to the other solutions.
There are several different software solutions to help monitor and list the total data transferred over your computer. However, we highly recommend NetMeter, a great free utility that runs in the background and is capable of keeping track of your upload and download data transfers.
As can be seen in the picture to the right of NetMeters Totals and Reports screen the program lists your upload and download transfer totals for the day, week and month as well as your peaks hit and averages. This utility can be downloaded here.
Other great Windows bandwidth monitor utilities
- NetWorx - Fantastic free software utility for monitoring all your computers Internet bandwidth. This utility is completely free and offers the ability to set quotas, create notifications, display data in graphs, has network utilities like a GUI netstat, and much more.
- AnalogX NetStat - Another great utility with a slick interface to monitor your incoming and outgoing network adapter traffic.
- Net Meter - Great program that allows you to try for free before buying it. This utility is capable of displaying the logs of your total bandwidth by day, week, and month, can notify you by sound or e-mail or even run a program if a certain quota of bandwidth is met, and much more.
- FreeMeter - Another great small and light-weight application to monitor your computers network bandwidth.
Users who are running Apple Mac OS X can use SurplusMeter.
Below are additional solutions for monitoring your network and Internet traffic. These solutions can have more capabilities than those recommended above, however can be more difficult to setup.
- Tomato Firmware - Tomato Firmware is a firmware that can be installed to popular routers such as the Linksys' WRT54G and several others that give them the extended ability to monitor all bandwidth done on that router. With this update you'd be able to log into your router and see the bandwidth statistics for all traffic going over the router.
Corporate and school solutions
There are dozens of different solutions that can be done in a corporate or school network setup. Often these setups will require a dedicated server that is connected to the network and sent network packet information. Below are a few suggestions.
- PRTG Network Monitor - Corporate users who need a program with every imaginable method of monitoring your network and bandwidth should highly consider PRTG.
- NetFlow Analyzer - Another great solution for businesses that supports NetFlow, sFlow, cflowd, J-Flow, IPFIX, NetStream, NBAR and CBQoS technologies and is capable of monitoring all network bandwidth, setting up reports, and much more.