How to use the DD-WRT firmware to monitor your bandwidth

Previously I’ve shown you how to monitor your bandwidth using applications you install on your PC/Mac (Windows | macOS). The method I outline in this very brief tutorial uses the DD-WRT firmware. Instead of capturing your uploads and downloads on each computer, which works very well if you live in a single-computer household, this method monitors your usage at the router level. So there’s no need to install software on each PC/Mac and then walk around with a calculator to add it all up.

Please note: This guide was published back in 2008 and it’s likely that the screenshots have changed since then. You may want to check the DD-WRT wiki for updated information.

  1. First up, install the DD-WRT firmware. Make sure you have a supported device. Then check to see if there’s a tutorial that explains how to install DD-WRT on your device. If you have a Linksys WRT54G v8, I’ve created a very detailed tutorial with screenshots for every step.
  2. Once you have the DD-WRT firmware installed, visit the control panel and select Status -> WAN.


    click to enlarge

  3. Scroll down to the Traffic by Month section. Here you’ll find the total incoming (download) and outgoing (upload) bandwidth, by month.

  4. click to enlarge

  5. That’s it!

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9 thoughts on “How to use the DD-WRT firmware to monitor your bandwidth”

  1. Does this also log the inbound/outbound overhead traffic? I was loggin mine and it came to about 243GB for a month, but I was told I used 262GB, and my limit was 250, so I was a little surprised!

  2. Ty Myrick: You can enable logging on your router but I haven’t tried it myself. Barring that, forcing http/https traffic through a software proxy server would give you the granular logging you need.

    Those who can’t see the WAN traffic graph: I just ugpraded from v23 sp2 to v24 sp1 (mini) and the new menu Status -> WAN tab was immediately available.

  3. DD-WRT works well, but if your router gets reset, it resets your bandwidth counter for that day. Not a big deal, but does anyone know if Tomato works the same way? (i.e. you lose that day’s count if you reset your router)

    Thanks!

  4. Worked like a charm. I flashed my stock WRT54GL to the v24 mini. After comparing the mini load to the standard, I felt the mini would do just fine. But I don’t see where there’s any way to track individual computers. If you want to do that, use the previous posts:

    How to monitor your Internet bandwidth usage in OS X, redux
    How to monitor your Internet bandwidth usage in Windows

    Now I can see what kind of damage I’m doing to Comcast’s network :>

  5. I’ve been looking for something exactly like this for my mother. She has satellite internet with bandwidth caps. Is there a way to get DD-WRT to show WAN traffic per computer? We are trying to track what exactly has been causing her to go over her cap.

  6. @hcabsar – WAN as in Wide Area Network. Which in “home router” terms, means “Internet”. So it covers wireless and wired, but not local (across your own network) transfers.

  7. If you don’t see the above mentioned traffic by month section, go into the services menu and enable the “WAN traffic counter”

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