The best apps to monitor internet usage

There are quite a few tools available to the general public that can help you monitor your monthly internet usage limit. Since unlimited plans are not considered the standard in the United States, these tools can be seen as almost necessary to avoid overspending.

Most users don’t know how much data they use per month. With tools like netguard and Bitmeter IIyou can easily create custom access profiles, set limits on your internet usage, and monitor daily data usage for both running and inactive programs and applications.

All of these features can help you determine monthly cost estimates and an action plan.

Monitoring your internet data usage isn’t just about avoiding monthly overloads or putting in place speed limits. You’ll also get a better understanding of which programs and apps are using most of your bandwidth. It allows you to reorganize your system and maximize overall performance.

The tools below are related to internet monitoring apps for use on both PC and Mac operating systems. Most of the ones listed will be both free and relatively easy to use, so you shouldn’t have any trouble setting things up and putting limits on internet usage.

glass wire

GlassWire is a popular free monitoring tool that allows you to keep an eye on your system and network activity. Worried about apps or processes accessing the internet without prior permission? Glasswire makes it easy to set up notifications to let you know about funny things.

You can set various restrictions, create firewall profiles, and block individual apps, while keeping track of both active and inactive apps currently in use.

Glasswire comes with many privacy and security features. Graphs allow you to see which apps are sending data, which country the host is in, and which servers they communicate with.

You will receive information for each IP address your apps connect to, including the host country and total data usage.


Bandwidth+ is the best monitoring tool for Mac users who generally have very limited options to choose from. Unlike Windows users who have access to a wide variety of tracking apps, Mac users usually rely on the built-in monitoring feature that doesn’t provide an overview of data usage.

An incredibly easy to use monitoring tool, just install it and you can find it on your status bar. Launch the app and quickly check your internet activity, including downloads, uploads and total data usage, including all outgoing and incoming traffic.

As long as your iPhone and Mac are physically connected, Bandwidth+ can also help you monitor your iPhone data usage. Obviously, both devices must be connected to the same internet connection for this to work.

Net Guard

Net Guard is arguably the most popular free app available for monitoring internet usage on both Windows operating systems and Android devices. It is a great monthly internet traffic monitoring tool. By setting a traffic limit, Net Guard can help you avoid exceeding your monthly bandwidth threshold.

It gives you the ability to monitor all activities in real time from a floating window on the screen, and a reliable notification system that always lets you know which apps and processes are currently in use.

The user interface allows you to monitor both past and current bandwidth usage through graphs and charts, making planning ahead less of a chore.

BitMeter II

Looking for an internet usage monitor that provides real-time information and allows you to export all the data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet? BitMeter II can accommodate. This app has an interactive user interface that provides data usage information in a more vivid way using a colored scroll chart.

Dive deep into various stats in real time, making it easier to track all internet activity at any time. Avoid internet speed throttling or additional charges courtesy of your ISP by imposing various restrictions to ensure you never exceed your limit.

Real-time Bandwidth Monitor from Solarwinds

Solar Winds’ answer to internet monitoring is their real-time bandwidth monitor. It comes with an incredibly easy-to-navigate user interface and gives free access to real-time information. Track both inbound and outbound traffic in real time via a line or easy-to-read graph. If necessary, you can even do this on multiple interfaces at once.

Willing to take the plunge and put money into such a powerful tool? Solarwinds offers a full list of additional features. On request, they will provide all recent history reports to track down data spikes and adjust your internet usage to keep costs down.

You can map your entire network, get a hop-by-hop analysis of what and where your apps are hosted, and set up network alerts to make sure you stay on top of all the data being used and when.

Final Thoughts

Right now, these are simply the best tools out there for monitoring your internet usage. When used properly, each of them will help you avoid over-cost or internet speed limitation, which is the case with your current ISP.

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