Monitoring network upload and download data transferred

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Note: This document is for users looking to monitor the bandwidth on their computer. If you have other computers or devices (DVR, Internet radio, wireless connections, etc.) connected to your network, you will not be an accurately monitoring all of the bandwidth. Finally, keep in mind that these utilities monitor all network adapter bandwidth, which means if you transfer files over your local network that traffic is monitored as well. If you are looking for more than just a software solution for monitoring your computers network adapter skip to the other solutions.

Windows users

NetMeter totals and reportsThere are 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 seen in the picture, 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. NetMeter can be downloaded here.

Other great Windows bandwidth monitor utilities

  • NetWorx - Fantastic free software utility for monitoring all your computers Internet bandwidth. NetWorx 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. Net Meter can display 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 more.
  • FreeMeter - Another great small and light-weight application to monitor your computers network bandwidth.

Linux users

If you are running Linux and looking for a similar program to NetMeter, we suggest vnStat or MRTG.

Apple macOS X users

Users who are running Apple macOS X can use SurplusMeter.

Other solutions

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.

Tip: If you have a broadband provider such as Comcast, your total bandwidth can also be viewed by logging into your account online and viewing your account details.

  • Tomato Firmware - Tomato Firmware is a firmware that can be installed to popular routers such as the Linksys' WRT54G and 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.

Additional information