Have you ever wondered what programs are using the internet under the hood? Which application is consuming the most bandwidth? or you may simply interested in monitoring all your internet traffic. Well, in this post you'll learn how to monitor (and even block) your internet traffic on your PC.
Earlier version of Windows (XP, Vista etc) had very limited network support, programs could easily get away with tons of bandwidth without any visibility to the user. Well, there hasn't much advancement to date yet, still, you can make use of multitude of tools to keep an eye on your network traffic and even block them.
Windows 8.1 & Windows 10 as well, has an option to set a connection as Metered or Unmetered. The former one makes sure that no unnecessary use of bandwidth should happen by applications under the hood. Take a look below.
Though the feature above is somewhat useful to save some bandwidth, but it does not offer any visiblity over the internet usage by programs. So, now lets see what option do we have in that case.
Netbalancer is a network traffic control and monitoring tool. It lets you monitor your internet traffic across multiple network adapters and also lets you see what programs or system services are consuming your bandwidth. Using this application, you can block internet access to certain programs or even set traffic priorities for them. You can use this tool to monitor various other network related details and so much more.
TCPView is a Windows program that displays detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system, including the local and remote addresses and state of TCP connections. It is a part of windows sysinternals suite and very popular tool. The latest version at the time of writing is TCPView v4.16, you can test and download this tool to monitor your internet traffic as well.
Now, here comes the real superhero, all that above is kind of kid stuff in front of this. Wireshark, which is a very popular network traffic and packet analyzer tool, used for troubleshooting networks, packet analysis and much more. This tool is even used for purposes of network and communication protocol development. It is somewhat complicated and requires extensive networking knowledge to work with, other that that its okay for general purposes of traffic monitoring.
This tool will exactly tell you where a request is originating from, what data is in there, just about everything. This is why it's so widely used by network professinals.
Most apps are network based nowadays. They generate significant amount of traffic together. If your purpose is just limited to finding out what apps are making network usage just for bandwidth concerns then you can also use the Windows Taskmanager it may though, not be suitable in many cases, so this long post. If you know of something better and friendly, let us know in the comments below.