Programs to check the traffic of the internet connection and the trend of the network band over time or in real-time.
READ ALSO: Check connection speed in real-time on Windows
How to check internet traffic
The applications that we are going to point out are all excellent for checking data traffic in real-time and therefore finding out how many MB or GB we have consumed and which computer is consuming more data, so as to be able to put a brake where necessary.
NetWorx (solo Windows)
One of the best tools we can use is NetWorx, available for Windows from the official site.
This free tool helps you to accurately measure your bandwidth and to know at all times too how many Megabytes can be downloaded, at most, in one second. We can use NetWorx to collect bandwidth usage data, count the bytes in upload and download and measure the speed of the Internet connection or any other network, even wireless.
In the case of pay-as-you-go internet connections, with this program, you can always control the network traffic and you can set it not to exceed the bandwidth limits set by your provider. Thanks to the tool Netstat, you can also see the list of programs and processes that use the internet so as to immediately identify if there is any virus. You can then receive alerts and notifications in case you approach the possible maximum traffic limit or if unusual and heavy data flows occur. Finally, gods can be generated graphic reports to show internet usage for a day, a week, a month, or all the time. NetWorx is a paid program but we can try it for free for 30 days in full functionality.
To learn more, we recommend that you also read our guide tools to solve network and internet problems.
Another very interesting tool for checking internet traffic and network bandwidth is GlassWire, available for download for Windows from the official website.
GlassWire is a program to control internet traffic and the use by the various programs running on your computer, so you can check in detail which computer or which program generates the highest traffic in a given period of time. The program also works as a basic firewall and can also be used from mobile, thanks to the Android app (downloadable from the Google Play Store).
To learn more about the use of this app, we can read the article Check and protect your computer’s internet connection.
A very useful open-source program for checking internet traffic and network bandwidth is TrafficMonitor, available for download for Windows from the official website.
This application allows you to keep network traffic under control, as well as function as a hardware resource manager (such as CPU and RAM). The app icon is fully configurable and, for those who need to keep the Internet connection speed under control, can also add icons to use as a speed test in real-time.
Compared to the programs seen so far this is completely free and usable without time limits and without the need to pay a license to have all the functions.
If we are looking for a tool to control cross-platform Internet traffic we can focus on BitMeter OS, available for free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux from the official website.
With this tool we will be able to monitor data consumption and check which program consumes the most, also using a complete reporting system that can be configured on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Perhaps it is the least immediate tool among those proposed, but it is undoubtedly the one that allows you to collect the greatest number of information on Internet traffic.
Other tools to check the network
The programs seen so far are all valid and suitable for monitoring the Internet, but this does not mean that we cannot try other ones that are equally worth trying on the PC.
- NetLimiter is a program that can be downloaded for free and can be used in a limited version (only as a monitor) after registering on the site. This is a truly remarkable program, especially for its very simple and complete interface to read to check, in real-time, the network connections of every program running on your computer.
- ShaPlus Bandwidth Meter (for Windows) monitors internet usage without complicated settings and extra tools. It is, therefore, a very essential software which monitors current, daily, monthly and total traffic. When it starts, it runs in the background consuming only 2MB of computer memory and you can see it from the icon on the system tray. In general settings, you can also configure the monitoring of internet traffic at certain times of the day. The annual bandwidth usage report is very nice, with specific data for each month
- BitMeter 2 is a free open source program for Windows, Linux, and Mac useful for checking internet traffic and network connection bandwidth and showing data via a web browser. Unlike the others, the application does not have access from the system tray icon and works in such a way completely invisible, by recording the number of bytes transferred in a database. The different types of information that can be displayed are the following: a real-time graph of network traffic in real-time with an indication of the upload and download speed. A history of the amount of data uploaded and downloaded divided into minutes, hours, days, and months. All data can be exported to Excel for more accurate analysis. BitMeter 2 also allows you to create alerts to be notified before exceeding the daily or monthly traffic limit.
If we need to periodically check consumption on the Internet or check if one computer is faster than another, we can use many free and effective tools, convenient to use (almost all of them are placed in the system tray and we can also customize them) and able to also generate reports for the time periods we are interested in.
Do we want to block the Internet connection after a certain time or after a certain amount of network use? To implement this form of control we can read the guides Block internet access for programs with TinyWall e Limit WiFi bandwidth from the Router to specific devices or computers.