5 Ways To Monitor Broadband Usage in Windows.
It is extremely important to control your bandwidth usage if you have a limited data plan for the Internet. If you don’t track your bandwidth usage, this can result in you having to pay hundreds of dollars to use the extra bandwidth. In addition to fees, some ISPs also set limits or cap bandwidth if you go overboard.
If you’re a Windows user, we know 5 different ways to control your broadband usage and avoid additional costs.
# 1 Windows built-in data usage Monitor (Windows 8.1 & 10)
If you’re using Windows 8.1 or 10, you don’t need third-party broadband monitoring tools. Recent versions of Windows have a built-in data usage tracking tool that offers a complete picture of data usage over the past 30 days. To access the tool, go to Settings and then click Network & Internet. Here, in the Data Usage section, you will see the type of Internet connection and the total amount of data used.
If you would like to see how the data was used, click the Usage Information button below it to view more information. You will see all the data used by both built-in Windows apps and third-party apps. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see how each application was using data, and Windows may skip checking data usage for some system tools like host files. However, these tools are very little used on the internet, so this might not be a problem.
# 2 Bitmeter – A simple download and upload monitoring tool
Bitmeter is a simple Windows tool for keeping track of uploaded and downloaded data. The tools are lightweight, don’t have much bells and whistles and just work. It has a desktop widget to display the download and upload speed in a graph, and you can also access general statistics of the downloaded and downloaded data. Right-click a widget or system tray icon and select Statistics Grid. It will show you all the downloads and uploads from your Windows PC for a day, week or month.
There is also an interesting “ISP Restriction” option that will let you tell the program how your tariff plan package with limited access to an ISP works. After that, it will tell you how much data you can use each day and also provide alerts when you are about to reach your quota.
# 3 GlassWire – Monitor in-depth data usage
Bitmeter is great, but if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of how your internet connection is used, you need GlassWire. It is a great internet monitoring tool for tracking both external and internal connections. GlassWire is essentially a firewall that monitors suspicious connections and threats in the background. However, in the process, it also offers important information on how every bit of your internet connection is used.
# 4 Monitor data usage from router settings
It is best to track your internet data usage in the settings of your router itself. If your router supports this feature, it will allow you to track data usage by all devices; not just your Windows PC. If you got your router from your ISP, then most likely it will have a built-in Internet usage tracker as the ISP is already tracking it.
To access the router’s settings, enter the router’s IP address in a browser and authorize it. In the settings, you need to look for an option called “data usage” or something similar. There you can see data usage and history. Some ISPs may not add this feature, in which case you can also install special firmware (such as DD-WRT or Tomato) that supports data tracking. However, your router must also support the installation of custom firmware, otherwise it will block the router.
Unfortunately, the router’s built-in data tracker can only show you how much data you’re using, you won’t be able to get detailed information about which apps or devices were using that data.
# 5 Check out your ISP’s website
While all of the above programs track your bandwidth consumption fairly accurately, what matters in the end is the bandwidth calculated by your ISP. And, fortunately, almost all broadband providers allow their customers to check monthly bandwidth usage.
Now that there are many ISPs in the world, there is no one way that works for everyone. But usually, you need to go to your ISP’s website, log into your account (you had to enter your username and password when you first signed up), and then look for your broadband usage options or monthly statistics.
Sometimes these options are hard to find, but a quick Google search for your ISP will help.
Keeping track of data in Windows 8.1 and later is really easy, and there shouldn’t be a need for a third-party app for the average user. Although, if you need more details, I highly recommend giving GlassWire a try.
How do you track internet usage on your Windows PC? Let us know in the comments below.