Monday, December 17, 2012

How to: Monitor detailed Network usage on your Mac - without any third party apps

Apple's Mac computers and even Windows based computers have some really good inbuilt tools, that allow you to monitor your bandwidth usage as well as other "nerdy stuff" like CPU Usage, Disk Usage, allowing sampling of processes and so on.

While windows has its highly popular application called TASK manager which could be accessed by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del, Apple has an amazing app too, probably very few people are aware of it as a reason of which people often run behind third party apps to be able to monitor their bandwidth usage.

The name of the app in Apple Mac computers is Activity Monitor, which could be accessed in your Mac's Utilities folder. If you can't find Utilities folder on your Mac, its inside Applications Folder.

So this Activity Monitor application has several uses, such as it allows you to Quit the applications that are taking up too much memory of your system, resulting in slowing down of your computer or several hiccups / hangs when your computer is running.

Activity Monitor also allows you to have an eye on what applications are using Network Bandwidth, you can do it by monitoring realtime "MESSAGES SENT" and "MESSAGES RECEIVED" in the activity monitor. The application that is sending highest number of messages, means is uploading maximum number of data over the internet if its an internet based application such as Google Chrome, and in similar way the application that is receiving highest amount of data is most probably downloading highest amount of data using network (internet) if its an application that is mostly used for internet related activities.

Apart from this, there is also an easy way of monitoring overall internet usage on your computer through the activity monitor application, the window at the bottom shows the summary of your network usage as well as other aspects of usage data such as CPU Usage, disk usage, etc. here's a screen shot of how it looks:

Activity Monitor

Here's a quick video of how you can check all this info for yourself on your Mac.