How to Monitor Your Internet Bandwidth Usage in macOS

This brief guide will show you how to keep track of the bandwidth you use on your Mac, using a small and free App.

As more and more ISP’s are starting to limit the amount of bandwidth you can use each month, it’s a good idea to keep track of your usage to make sure you don’t get hit with steep overage fees. Plus, this little utility keeps track of the bandwidth you use on different networks separately, so if you use your Mac at a friends house or different WiFi network, that traffic won’t be ‘lumped in’ with your home Internet usage.

  1. Start out by heading over to the Mac App Store and download/install Bandwidth+ (opens in a new tab/window).
  2. Now launch Bandwidth+ from your Applications folder. When it opens it will appear in your Menu Bar.
  3. As you surf the Internet, Bandwidth+ will keep a running tally of how much bandwidth you’ve used. The sum of both is displayed right in your Menu bar – when you click on that summary the Bandwidth+ window will appear. From here you can see the name of the network you’re connected to, and how much data you’ve downloaded and uploaded.
  4. When you switch to a different network, Bandwidth+ picks up on that and starts to keep track of your total usage on that network. Each of the networks you connect to will be displayed in the Bandwidth+ menu going forward.
  5. There are a few options you can configure with Bandwidth+ – one of them is quite important. To make these changes, click the Bandwidth+ item in your Menu Bar, click the small ‘cog’ icon in that list, and finally select Preferences…
  6. The one Preference you’ll want to change right away is to have Bandwidth+ start each time your Mac does. Place a check in the box labelled Automatically start at login
  7. You can also change the display options for Bandwidth+ – if you’d rather see just the download totals, you can select that. Same with upstream. Alternatively, you can have Bandwidth+ display your current bandwidth usage speed. To do so, select the Speed option.
  8. Bandwidth+ will now display the current rate (speed) of bandwidth being used by your Mac. As you can see in the example below, I was downloading at 2.1Mbps when I took that screenshot. When you’re not using any bandwidth at all, the Bandwidth+ icon will simply display “0Kbps”.

  • I am about to recommend this app for an article on a broader topic with a link back to your details here. But I am stymied by a recent review (June 2017) with my quote below. Can you please advise on how to remove this app if necessary. I do see that most reviews are very positive.

    “Not worth my time.

    by CrusinClassic
    Only good for keeping track of one device. I need to keep track of my whole system. But how many of us only have one devices ? I have about 30 give or take a few…

    That being said… I decided to remove it. Good luck with that. Clicked the support link and got sent to a Facebook page not used in over four years. So now how do I get this junk off my machine. Doesn’t even show up in my apps list……”

  • You uninstall it the same way you’d uninstall any app – drag and drop it to your Trash. I’m not sure why that other person had difficulty, I just uninstalled and reinstalled it without issue.

    As for it not being able to monitor all of your devices – it’s not supposed to. That’d be something to install on your router. I’d say install it and give it a try yourself – it’s small and free :)

    Cheers!

    Ross