Need a way to find out which process is using bandwidth

November 19, 2013 at 13:12:53
Specs: Windows 7, Intel i7 / 4 GB
This is for my mom's PC. She has satellite Internet and they allow her 10 GB a month. Some reason she keeps getting e-mail alerts she's close and my mom doesn't do much on the Internet. I just tried launching task manager and checked the networking tab and network usage is low (hovers just barely above 0%.) So, I'm trying to figure out how do I setup a monitor that could log the network bandwidth with all the processes that are using network bandwidth and write it all to a log so in a week or so, I could take looks at snapshots of what's using the bandwidth?

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November 19, 2013 at 14:01:50
Somebody nearby, (next door, in a car parked outside) could be freeloading on your mum's wireless router if it isn't secured with a key or password.

Go into the router's configuration utility and make sure wireless access is protected by key or passphrase, or right-click wireless icon in the system tray, hover mouse pointer over your mum's router name. In the pop-up , if it says "Security Type: Unsecured", you need to secure it.

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November 19, 2013 at 14:05:46
i checked that. It's secured by a key. Also my parents live in the middle of nowhere and their closest neighbor is a quarter mile away. They live at the end of a mile long dirt road that's a dead end and they're at the end. There's no one close enough to them to just be using their bandwidth. But I checked the router today just in case their was someone really bored sitting in the forest next to their house on some laptop hiding in the woods to just use the Internet and there was nothing else connected.

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November 19, 2013 at 14:29:14
Unless your router logs bandwidth usage, you're going to have a tough time doing so. Doing it with a computer would require that computer have two network interfaces and be placed logically between the router and the internet so that it could log all traffic.

If it were me, I'd call the providers support line and talk to them. Chances are, if they provide satellite, they also have a means for logging all your bandwidth usage and likely have a graph or something you can look at. Also, if this is caused by their equipment, then they could help you out.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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Related Solutions

November 19, 2013 at 14:51:32
I figured there has to be a program to tell me. i know a lot of those programs create virtual network adapters to monitor the traffic. She only has one PC, so it has to be coming from that PC.

I'm also a network admin and in my professional life, I work with a lot higher end stuff. Enterprise grade routers support SNMP which would allow me to capture the traffic of the router to some program and tell me which program is eating all the traffic up, but this netgear router doesn't support SNMP.

I guess the other option would be to switch the PC from using wireless to connect to the router to wired and I could connect it to the netgear through a dumb hub and connect another pc (probably preferrably running linux to rule out viruses or spyware on my data capture pc) and capture all the packets to figure out what's going on.

I guess as I write this, the way I think to capture packets would be to throw a linux pc in the middle with the hub and run a wireshark. But I'd have to get a wireshark of a few days and it would be an insane amount of data packets to look through to figure out what's using the data. So, that's absolutely the last case scenario.

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November 19, 2013 at 14:59:01
although i don't know if snmp would help me because it's just going to tell me something's eating the traffic. It probably could tell me the port that's eating the traffic, but it's not going to tell me what program is using that port. Only thing that will know what program is using that port is some kind of log on the PC.

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November 19, 2013 at 15:47:18
Try Net Limter. There is a free version that will tell you exactly what is connected to the Internet at any given time and what bandwidth it is usuing The only limitation is that it will only show the information relating to the computer that it is installed on. You need the Pro version to monitor whole networks


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November 19, 2013 at 15:55:04
First thing I would suggest is review your routers settings. Many like mine can set a limit on traffic. Mine is set to give me a warning when I have reached 90% of my monthly allocation. It will shut off internet when I reach 100%. This is a netgear 3600. I have seen this in others under quota or traffic monitoring.

You can also learn a lot by looking at the system log. Enable all logging and perhaps it will tell you what sites are being visited and then you can compare to her actual usage. This would be another route to see what is using the bandwidth.

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