Forum Question: How Do I Monitor Broadband Usage?

I have a secure wifi broadband connection on my MacBook Pro running OS X 10.5.8.
Large amounts of data are being used while I am asleep.
How can I establish which programme is using the data or alternatively which device is using the data?
Johan van der Spuy

Comments: 9 Responses to “How Do I Monitor Broadband Usage?”

    1/19/12 @ 12:11 am

    The first thing I would do is to lock it down — set a password on it using WPA2. Perhaps someone else is using your connection. Not only will they slow down the network (and use up your bandwidth if you are metered) but they can also possibly access the data on your computers and the data you send back and forth to the Internet.
    So get that password set. I think you have already, as you say you have a secure wifi connection. But I thought I’d mention that for others who may read this in the future.
    Other than that, I would consult the documentation for your router. See if there is a way to monitor it. I’m not an expert here, so I can’t be of much help.
    You could also use a process of elimination — turning off half of your devices one night, and then the other half the next night. Then compare and divide the guilty half up into two parts and repeat. Remember to include all your wifi devices — if you have any cable boxes, game systems, etc.
    Also: Can you quantify “large amounts of data?” I ask because some people think of 10K as large — and that could simply be your modem staying in touch with your ISP.

      Johan van der Spuy
      1/19/12 @ 12:27 am

      I do have WPA2 protection and the only devices connected to my network are my iPhone 4 and Macbook Pro. My iPhone was switched off so it must the macbook.
      The amount of data during the night varies between 3 – 18 MB per hour!

        1/19/12 @ 7:48 am

        3-18MB still doesn’t seem like much to me. Could easily be some system maintenance, or machine dialing “home” for updates. iCloud syncing. Dropbox syncing (checking to see). A cable or satellite TV box connected to the network could easily use that to update icons for shows and such.
        But in your case if it must be the MacBook then it has to be a process running on there. What happens if you shut down or sleep the MacBook? Isn’t it normally asleep at night anyway? If so, then it can’t be that either. So it must be the router/modem itself. Or it could be an error in the reporting. I wouldn’t really worry about this small amount of data, though.

          Johan van der Spuy
          1/20/12 @ 3:47 am

          Gary, thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

    1/19/12 @ 1:15 am

    OS Track is available through the app store. It will monitor your bandwidth and show you which applications are using it.

    Change your password. it may be compromised.

    As a last resort turn your modem off when you are not using it.

      Johan van der Spuy
      1/19/12 @ 6:55 am

      Thanks. Appreciate your help.

      1/19/12 @ 7:46 am

      Interesting. Of course that assume the problem is with the Mac and not something else using the router.

    1/19/12 @ 2:16 am

    Most modem/routers do have some way to list connected devices. Look for the user guide to find this. Only this way you are sure that only your mac and iPhone are devices that connect to it.

      Johan van der Spuy
      1/19/12 @ 7:29 am

      Thanks. Your help much appreciated

Comments Closed.