Question How can I monitor my home network Bandwidth usage?

Dec 10, 2019
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there is a router connection in my home, and 6/7 users of this same network.
I want to know others bandwidth usage like how much they are consuming each.

I tried some app but they only can monitor my PCs usage. but I dont need that I need to know others usage report too, is this possible?

Router Model- Xiaomi 3C
Connection Type- Broadband (DHCP)
Users Variety- 3PCs and 7-8 Smartphones

N.B Im noob at networking so something simple would be more apreciated.
 

tiggers97

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Apr 28, 2013
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I had to do something similar at home not long ago. We had a huge spike in data use at home, and we were constantly getting "You've used 90% of your data usage for the month" reports. Luckily, my router allowed me to see what was on the network, and what bandwith was being used. Unfortunately, it was real time only, and did not keep a log so I could not pin what devices were the hogs. You could install apps on peoples computers, but like you found it has to be on each device. Probably not doable with several people that you would be constantly ask to check up on. Higher end routers DO have this feature. But when I say higher end, I'm also talking $$$$$.

Xfinity does have an option (Under "Devices" in account settings) to see what your total, rolling data use is for the month. It's fairly accurate. I used that to take daily samples (use a draft email, or spreadsheet to keep track) of what our accumulated use was. You could use that, and keep notes of when people were NOT using the service. If you see a lack of daily spikes when certain people are not using access, it at least helps you narrow down where the leaks are coming from. That's assuming they are not leaving computers on when they are not present, and have something like file-sharing apps running in the background. SOme events, like getting a new Xbox with a bunch of games, can also consume a large amount of data with all the updates they may install. If you don't have Xfinity, your service provider may have something similar.

In my situation, I did a few little things, like turn off auto-play videos for sites like Youtube and facebook. Or turn on standard HD or SD (depending on device screen size) for Netflix. These helped, but were not the final culprit. It ended up being a Korean streaming service that my wife was using. They were sending full HD to the devices she was using. It must not have been compressed or efficient. She mostly watched on things like tables (small screens), so once I turned on SD as a default, I saw HUGE savings on bandwidth. Now everyone (streaming, games, work) is able to use our internet service without me worrying about extra charged exceeding our monthly cap.

So it might take some sleuthing; both how to track usage, and how to reduce use. But it's possible.
 
Reactions: Sabbir36
Dec 10, 2019
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So it might take some sleuthing; both how to track usage, and how to reduce use. But it's possible.
my intention is not to save bandwidth actually, I'm using an unlimited connection, so its not part of my concern.
I just want to see the usage that's all, might sound silly, but I thought it would be an effortless thing to do but turns out differently now.

Thank you anyway, you went a great length to explain.
 
Your problem is the only common point for your data is the router. You could put something between the router and the modem but you would not be able to tell which user was doing what since it all appears to come from the router wan ip address. There is no way to insert hardware between the wifi users and the router so you are stuck with the router having to provide the data and few do very much.

If you are willing to buy more hardware there are likely some partial solutions. You have to remember that the data is being encrypted by the end clients using stuff like HTTPS so it will limit what you can actually see.

A high level description of a couple ways this is done. You could buy another router and use it as a AP. You would then place a machine between this and the current router and capture the traffic. A number of ways to do it, many firewalls packages can do it or you could brute force it and use something like wire shark. One of the other ways is to use software that runs on the router and exports it to a server. A router does not have anyplace to store data or produce reports. One of the common ways to do this is with a method called netflow. This really only runs on cisco commercial routers but third party firmware like dd-wrt have their own implementation. It collects and sends information about session like when they opened and how much data is used. You would need a pc to collect the data that can produce these "netflow" reports.

That router sells for about $20 so I am not sure how much money you actually have to commit to this. Depends on if you have things like dual nic pc laying around.
 

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