Ask LH: Can I Track My Broadband Usage On A Per Site Basis?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm trying to get a handle on what is eating up my bandwidth allowance each month. My ISP provides a high level summary of how much bandwidth is consumed in uploads/downloads each day, but doesn't provide breakdown of source/destination websites/IPs. Can you recommend some Mac OS X tools that will help me visualise how my bandwidth is being consumed? Thanks, Giga Hungry

Dear Giga Hungry

I've got to tell you - this one had me scratching my head but I think I've got something to help you.

There's a Terminal command you can use that will monitor and display all inbound and outgoing traffic. The command you need is

sudo tcpdump -s 0 -A -i en2 port 80

the "en2" part is the name of the network connection you're conencted to the Internet by.

To get the correct identifier, open the Netwrok Utility and go to the Info section. The dropdown list will display each of your available network connections and their identifiers.

When you've finished monitoring the traffic, press Control-Z to stop the trace.

I hope this helps.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    I sincerely doubt that traffic on port 80 eats your allowance.

    Perhaps check your torrents (yea, you've got them... ) and the seeding settings. No doubt they're set to seed 150% and that will quickly eat your allowance if your provider measures UP & DOWN traffic.

    Maybe set a password on your WiFi router... stop the neighbour from leeching.. ;)

    Wireshark can do a similar job, plus it has a nice statistics menu that can show you total bytes sent between any two end points (say your local machine and apple.com). The problem with this is trying to run one of these captures for a long time will bring your computer to its knees, it's capturing all your network traffic and storing it in memory.

    Maybe you can find something like this for Mac? http://www.desksoft.com/BWMeter.htm

    The requirement was to measure BW usage per site.
    Also its misleading to look at only port 80. It could https ftp etc.

    The user asks for a way to do data accounting on a per-site basis, and the suggestion is "tcpdump"?

    That would have to be the furthest from the most useful answer.

      +1 (completely agree with this comment!)

      So what is a useful answer then?

    Netlimiter 3 Pro - to free, but does what the supposed OP wants.

      *not free. Stupid 6am posting.

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