How to monitor your Internet bandwidth usage in Windows

by Ross McKillop on September 9, 2007

Windows

This tutorial will guide you in installing, setting up and using AnalogX Netstat Live (which is free) to monitor your Internet usage (uploads and downloads). As a number of ISP’s are now disconnecting customers for using “too much” bandwidth (this one in particular), knowing exactly how much you’ve downloaded (or uploaded) in a given month can be very helpful. Note: the OS X version of this tutorial can be found here.

  1. Download and install AnalogX Netstat Live. The installation is very straight forward – you’ll mostly just click ‘next’ and ‘ok’ a few times. Launch it by clicking Start -> All Programs -> AnalogX -> Netstat Live -> Netstat Live.
  2. open analogx netstat live

  3. Right-click anywhere in the Analog X Netstat Live window. Select Configure from the pop-up window
  4. configure analogx netstat live

  5. By default a number of the features are disabled. Click the Disabled button for the following items: Auto Minimize, Auto Start and Close Minimizes. Each one should now be set to Enabled.
  6. configure analog x netstat live

  7. By enabling these features, Analog X Netstat Live will launch each time Windows starts up, but automatically minimize to your System Tray. Also, if you open it from the tray (to check and see what your usage currently is) you can click the X button and it won’t actually close Netstat Live, rather it will be minimized back to your System Tray. This is important as Netstat Live must always be running, otherwise your uploads/downloads won’t be accurately tracked.
  8. analog x netstat live system tray icon

  9. You can also disable some of the ‘other’ things that NetStat Live monitors. Right-click in the main window, select Statistics and review the items that are monitored. You will very likely want to keep Local Machine, Incoming Data, Incoming Totals, Outgoing Data and Outgoing Totals enabled. The Remote Machine, System Threads and CPU Usage can all be disabled.
  10. analog x netstat live statistics

  11. Now you can track your Internet bandwidth (upload and downloads) usage. The current monthly total is displayed, along with the previous monthly total and “total since your last reboot”.
  12. netstat live summary window

  13. If you live in a multiple-computer household, all sharing the same Internet connection, make sure to install AnalogX Netstat Live on each PC (running Windows) so that you can total them up to get your ‘true’ upload and download stats.
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  • spiral

    if you seriously want to monitor your household bandwidth including any wireless devices, network connected devices (aka TiVo, net radios, etc) you’re going to be better off using a solution like Smoothwall on an old PC to act as a gateway to the internet. Here it’ll monitor ALL of your bandwidth… On top of monitoring bandwidth usage, you can initiate QoS to ensure voice and real time data isn’t clobbered by P2P. You can also use the web proxy to save yourself a few megabytes in traffic too.

    This is a neat one pc solution, but if you have a busy household and a lot of devices on your network – this doesn’t scale.

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  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    spiral -

    You’re absolutely correct, and have given me a great idea for another tutorial – thanks! :)

    Ross

  • atconc

    Tomato firmware does a great job of this if you have a router that supports it

    http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato/

    You can see real time graphs + daily, weekly and monthly totals :)

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    atconc -

    Hey thanks for yet another tutorial idea :) As it happens I have a WRT54G (well, it’s my roommates but I don’t think he’ll care what I do with it as long as he can still connect to the Internet). Cheers!

  • http://www.ronaldjenkees.com Ronald

    It’s cool that posts like this lead to helpful comment discussion such as what spiral and atonic said. Awesome article. Looking forward to the one explaining some options over the whole network

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    Ronald -

    I totally agree, it’s fantastic when folks leave comments that lead to things for me to write about. In large part because that way I KNOW people will be interested, rather than have to ‘guess’. Sadly the one about network monitoring won’t work w/ the version of the Linksys wrt54g that I have (or I should say, my roommate has) – but I *think* I might have an old wrt54 somewhere in my closet. Gotta go dig around. I will for sure be doing the one on Smoothwall though, but it’ll take a bit of time as it looks a bit detailed (and I have to install a 2nd NIC in my linux PC).

  • Andre

    It would be nice to be able to tell the difference between different connections, for instance, if this is run on a laptop, you can track the free connection at the university separate from the home connection, etc.

  • Rajeev

    I use ShaPlus Bandwidth meter available at http://www.shaplus.com/bandwidth-meter/ How it is different from other bandwidth meters is it shows a simple interface with current, today and monthly bandwidth.

  • WolfDog

    i was wondering along the same lines if there is a program that can monitor individual program usage and be able to ban certain programs from using the net and give other programs more allowance.

  • pumadine

    just use a free alternative to monitor your bandwidth usage which is “NET METER”, been using it for a year now…

  • WolfDog

    thanks.

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  • Rybuns

    This program wont work for me. does it work on vista? when i double click it, nothing happens but it is running in the background (as told by my task manager). I’ll try “NET METER”.

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  • sejong

    how to reboot the program?

    eg> My new internet plan start from 11th of Oct.
    so, need to reboot on the date to start new.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    @sejong:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think you can (with this program). I did try one out for OS X that let you define which day the month started on, but this app doesn’t appear to let you do that.

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  • Bear

    Comcast just called and told me they didn’t appreciate my using of 500G last month. If I go over 250G once it’s banned for 12 months and no DSL here. :( This software will come in handy

  • E. Kristianto

    Dear Mr. Ross McKillop,
    I am one of the high speed mobile internet subscriber in middle east country, my limited mobile broadband data allowance is 1 Gb per month (with used SIM card). I use it directly with my mobile phone for browsing, send/receive/check of my email, upload/download etc. Some time, I also used my mobile phone as external modem and connect it to my laptop with USB connnection. Could you advice to me how the AnalaogX Netstat live will work together? it means AnalogX Nestat live can calculate the accumulation of used byte for both of usage (in separate time).
    If it can not do, anysoftware that I can install in my mobile phone (such as Nokia E65 and LG KT610) to monitor the used byte.
    Thanks and regards,
    Eddy K
    Doha – Qatar

  • C. Small

    Interesting, I just got a call from Comcast as well and they said I used 500 gigs as well. That smells funny to me.
    I did the math and I shouldn’t have used more than 300 gigs in that time.
    I think they are using scare tactics on higher amount users.
    Well, these software’s will be useful.
    Thanks everybody!!

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  • mp

    Comcast is wrong to do this.Netflix uses alot bandwith. 250 is alot. But with hd and transfre files pc to pc.Plus large movies like netflix. 250 soo nwont be enough.

    I think people should start looking for alternative to comcast. They have good service and will help customers on prices.But this is a invasion. And customers should leave them. espically if you are breaking no rules. Just use alot bandwith. I got a letter warnign one time. Just because i was transfer large files. Over net Fom pc to pc.backup thigns for people. I could get network share used icq. Was fast. Only option had at time. That is wrong to assume or accuse a customer of downlaodign or sharing thigns. Not everyone absues it for movies etc. Comcast will lose customers. DOnt forget one day what happened to phone companies with cell phones can happen to them.They should be respectful and why worry about bandwith. less it reach 500 gb. 250 is borderline for some users. Most wont use this. But alot more you think do. Or will with Hd and blueray. Alone on such places as netflix.

  • roxy

    Hi, would this program allow to know what websites are being visited on a different PC in the home using same internet connection via router?

    If not, anyone know of a program that can do this. I know of all the programs that keylogg etc on a shared PC but don’t know of one on a shared internet connection which is what i’m after.

    many thanks

    Rox

  • Prathap

    This software looks cool but this is not working in Vista? is there anything similar i can use in Vista? please reply.

    Thank you,

    Prathap

  • http://myspace.com/macthorough macthorough

    FOR VISTA ERROR – ABORT: Could not initialize extension DLL (0×00000000) (0) (snmp.c/599)

    FROM http://www.xpannoyances.com/exec/forum/win2000/t1205719808

    [suggestion:]
    1) Go to the folder C:\Program Files\AnalogX. If it doesn’t exist – steps 2-3 won’t
    work…
    2) Go to “NetStat Live” or any other sub-folder there
    3) Try to run the main program in that folder. If it gives the same error as above:
    rename the file inetmib1.dll this folder to inetmib1.dll.bak and try running the
    program again.

  • jan

    AnalogX appears good. When my computer is idle, there’s always a few bytes on “current”, it says 64MB D/L and 40MB U/L since last reboot a few hours ago. I haven’t been surfing much, is this all Internet traffic or is it my PC enjoying a good chat with the cable modem or internally? Eset Firewall says 40MB firefox (could be many open tabs re-opened). Then EKM.EXE is 27MB under svchost.exe, is this counted as Internet traffic, or is it surveillance of the 40MB firefox traffic done by NOD32? Just wonder if some traffic is not really Internet, and how can I measure only Internet?

  • zenbrain

    Byteometer can monitor your router (if it is SNMP enabled) and give a realtime view of how much bandwidth all your network devices are consuming.

  • http://webegeeky.com sfcg

    This is a great tool, but it is monitoring bandwidth at the adapter level. This means that not just ‘internet’ traffic is being monitored, but all other network traffic as well. If you’ve got a file server, or an internal webserver, or any other service on your network that generates more than arp and broadcast traffic, that is included in the totals as well. If you’re looking for reliable numbers than router/firewall level stats are your best bet. The tomato firmware or snmp trap gathering are your best bet.

    And speakeasy in the bay area is a good alternaitive to comcast.

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  • jay

    I installed this on windows 7 and it seems to work fine, it gives me the totals U/D used and i believe they are correct, although the real time usage monitor always stays on 0 Bytes (current/average/max)

  • amon_cometh

    Spot on! Exactly what I have been looking for. Seemingly simple, stream-lined application… so far. ;) The same could well be said for the tutorial, as well. Thanks!

  • Gbemi Adetayo

    I want to know if with this software i can share my Bandwith to my users and also monitor how every one is using his/her bandwidth, reason being that i noticed that some people in my office are over using the bandwidth by downloading & browsing some useless site which is creating problem for other users as the Net become very slow.

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  • Shivani

    Hello, Im not very computer literate and although the answer probably is already above I need someone to really simplify it for me…sorry.

    I have a limited GB internet plan, if I go over they charge! When using the internet/surfing, I need something to tell me HOW much MB/GB i have used whilst surfing. I get confused with all the download/upload/outgoing and incomings.

    I just need something really simply, that will let me know at a glance…..”you have used to 4 GB so far”…..so if I have a monthyl plan of 30 GB…..then I know I have got 26 GB left to use.

    Ive tried downloading various programs and have download the one above..analogue…..but don’t really know which ONE figure is applicable to me….help

    Im not really interested in the speed……but the GB usage on a daily basis.

  • mandeep

    ia musing it and it is best and easy

  • kris

    I downloaded this program but it doesn’t work for me. Unfortunately the program crashes upon launching.

  • northern woods gal

    wow this is awesome!! i am not that computer friendly, but manged to set this up!! cool!!!! thank so much whoever put this out here:),, Let them try to over bill me now! ahhhahahahahahaaaa

  • funkyu

    thank you very much man! this was what I was looking for keep up the great work!

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  • tim

    Att has me throttled down to 330 kbs down, although i pay for 3008!!!

  • mrj

    Amazing!
    I tried about 5 different monitors and this one worked the best and it also has a good real time refreshing thingy which makes it awesome
    i recommend this to all D:

  • Diablo

    it appears that this only records tcp traffic and not tcp and udp so this will not work for me as i use both

  • akjfdjb

    thank you this was very helpful

  • mowgli

    Is there any way for this app to tell me how much data i have used from a particular date to a particular date ? How does this application calculate total monthly consumption? I installed this application on 26th dec and on first time launch it reads my total month’s incoming consumption to be 250mb which is way less than I have actualy consumed a way more than i could consume with in moments of launching this app !!

  • stonegoal

    Does not display my outgoing or incoming data

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