How to Monitor Home Network Usage

The markets are flooded with internet-based gadgets and devices. And when we talk about internet-powered devices, we are not just talking about smartphones, laptops, and computers. Gone are the days when we only sought entertainment from Spectrum TV and Internet. Now we have streaming devices, routers, gaming stations, home automation and control systems, and so on. And all of them are powered by the internet. No wonder our home networks are becoming bigger with every passing year.

Devices of every shape, size, and function are increasingly dependent on the internet. But at times, it is not the devices which are hogging the internet. There’s this one device that’s using all the Mbps. But how can you monitor that? Doesn’t it look like rocket science? Well, it is not!

Yes, You Can Monitor Your Network Usage 

Here are a few points to ponder: 

  • If you have an ever-expanding home network, how can you monitor each and everything? 
  • If there is a glitch or a problem, how can you figure it out? 
  • Can you figure out which of the devices is hogging all the bandwidth?

The answer is that there are networking monitoring tools which are free.But not everyone knows how to use it. So, tag along and let us enlighten you about how you can monitor the network traffic of your home. And that too, for free!

Best Monitoring Tools for Network

You can easily google the best network monitoring tools. With a little more effort, you can figure out which are their free versions. We are going to tell you about the free version of PRTG. It is simple and easy to use for home.We are going to give you a step-by-step guide as to how to set up this software for your home network. Then you will be good to figure out your home network traffic. Once it is installed and programmed, you will be able to see how much data has been consumed by every device.

Monitor Bandwidth Usage on the Router

Are you thinking about what the most accurate way of monitoring data usage would be? Well, it would be the router itself. It is your router where all your devices are connected on your network to the internet.Therefore, the router is the single point where all your data transfers and bandwidth usage are logged and monitored. It may sound fairly easy but it is not. Here are the reasons:

  • Most routers used in homes don’t even have the ability to figure out which devices are consuming what amount of bandwidth at a given time.
  • Similarly, they can’t find out the history of data uploaded or downloaded in a particular month.
  • There are some high-end router sand they allow you to keep track of your data usage. They will also help you figure out how much data has been uploaded and downloaded.
  • However, even these high-end routers don’t allow you to see per-device data consumption status or history. 

Therefore, you need a third-party router firmware to figure it out. One instance of router firmware is DD-WRT. It allows you to seethe bandwidth usage live. You can also check which particular device is consuming the most data. Like this, you will be able to pinpoint each and every device and its contribution to bandwidth hogging.

Monitor Data Usage on Individual Devices

As mentioned earlier, data monitoring can only be done by the router itself. No such magic tool exists that would monitor your data and traffic. So, you have to rely on tools built particularly for band width-monitoring. Again, it is not an easy feat. You cannot do it based on a single and simple method. because you have Macs, Windows, iPhones, Android phones, Smart TVs, or streaming sticks, tablets, and game consoles connected to it simultaneously.

Another issue here is that some of these devices,such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops don’t only use home data. For instance, when we go out, we use mobile data. And that makes it impossible to figure out how much of all that data was of the home router.

Different Tools

For different operating systems, there can be different monitoring tools. Here are some recommendations:

  • Glass Wire is polished monitoring tool that will track your data usage. It is applicable on all versions of Windows. Also, it is free.
  • For Windows 8 and 10, you could set up a specific and metered connection. And this is how Windows will track the data usage for it.
  • Use Bandwidth+ with Macs. It is available on the Mac App Store.
  • Androids have a built-in data monitor that helps you with data monitoring.
  • iPads and iPhones allow you to monitor all your cellular data. To monitor Wi-Fi data, you will need third-party apps.  

For home Wi-Fi, you will have to use a third-party app. You can’t just call Spectrum Internet Customer Service every time, just to ask them about the details of your data usage