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I would like to monitor all and any internet traffic from my home PC to see what programs installed on my home machine are accessing the internet.

I thought I could use Fiddler for this but I noticed Firefox traffic doesn't show up by default, you need to do some setup.

What options do I have to monitor all traffic?

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This sort of question has been done to death. Why answer when you know it's a duplicate? –  alex Jan 18 '10 at 7:10
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Maybe migrate this question to softwarerecs.stackexchange.com ? –  Jet May 26 at 17:28
    
@Jet The migration policy is not to migrate anything over 6 months old. It's here FOREVER. –  Excellll May 27 at 15:03

14 Answers 14

up vote 20 down vote accepted

I would recommend using TCPView which is part of the sysinternals suite. TCPView will show you all of the connections being opened by the TCP/IP stack and it will also show you the remote address of the system it is talking to across the net.

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Wireshark

The added advantage is that it is cross platform. Linux, Windows and Mac.

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For specific programs that could be cumbersome with hundreds of packets flying by at once, but it is good for analysis overall. –  John T Aug 14 '09 at 0:37
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I have to agree with John on this one. A packet sniffer is going to give you far too much information for it to be useful in spotting the problematic connections. –  Axxmasterr Aug 14 '09 at 0:51
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They have a very robust filter building system. And he did say "all traffic" -- that includes TCP, UDP, ICMP. Other tools are more limited. –  JP Alioto Aug 14 '09 at 0:51

How about Sysinternals TCPView?

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If all you want with your monitoring is to see which programs access the Internet then a normal software firewall should do the trick as well.

If you want more fine grained information the other suggestions are better suited.

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If you're looking at a router, try to find SNMP data for it, then you can graph it with munin, mrtg, or a whole bunch of other SNMP handling devices.

If you're looking at a linux box, install something like iptraf (command line, ncurses traffic monitor), or munin (graphing util).

If you're looking at a windows box, perhaps use the Performance console in Administrative Tools.

If you had a cisco router capable of supporting NetFlow data, you could use this and a NetFlow listener to look at the traffic data.

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If by look at you mean to measure the bandwidth then maybe a program like BitMeter II or BitMeter OS is what you are looking for.

If you actually want to look at the traffic, the a program like WireShark might be what you are looking for.

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NetWorx is a simple and free, yet powerful tool that helps you objectively evaluate your bandwidth situation. You can use it to collect bandwidth usage data and measure the speed of your Internet or any other network connection. NetWorx can help you identify possible sources of network problems, ensure that you do not exceed the bandwidth limits specified by your ISP, or track down suspicious network activity characteristic of Trojan horses and hacker attacks.

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The program allows you to monitor all your network connections or a specific network connection (such as Ethernet or PPP) only. The software also features a system of highly customizable visual and sound alerts. You can set it up to alert you when the network connection is down or when some suspicious activity, such as unusually heavy data flow, occurs. It can also automatically disconnect all dialup connections and shut down the system.

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The incoming and outgoing traffic is represented on a line chart and logged to a file, so that you can always view statistics about your daily, weekly and monthly bandwidth usage and dialup duration. The reports can be exported to a variety of formats, such as HTML, MS Word and Excel, for further analysis.

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I see one of your tags is router, so I assume you want to monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic in your network from the router level. If you want to get adventurous, you can check out third party firmware. If your router can support third party firmware such as Tomato, it will keep detailed bandwidth usage logs that you can view:

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I'm sure the others (DD-WRT, OpenWRT, etc) also have methods of viewing bandwidth usage.

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Nirsoft Currports

I prefer this one to Sysinternals TCPView because it have filters and logs features

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Comodo Firewall

In "Custom Policy Mode" you will be prompted for authorization each time a program create a connection...

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Microsoft's freeware Network Monitor is also quite useful. It's not quite as hardcore as Wireshark (which is nevertheless awesome) so it's perhaps a bit easier to use. I particularly like the way it organizes results and associates traffic with specific applications and services.

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Use NetSpeedMonitor.

NetSpeedMonitor is a lightweight Network Monitoring Toolbar for your Windows Taskbar designed to be used on computers that run Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Daily and Monthly Traffic Reports

The amount of data transferred each day, month, and year can be saved in a SQLite Database. SQLite is the most widely deployed Open Source SQL database engine in the world and requires not additional setup.

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Using Linux it could be an easy way to check what is going on with your Windows traffic. And there is even portable alternative to Linux like vbox.me. The idea is that you could boot your actual system (i.e. your Windows XP installed on your C:) in virtual machine using VirtualBox. You should create new virtual machine and set your real partition (C:) to be used as HDD in this virtual machine. And using VirtualBox option like VBoxManage modifyvm [WindowsXp] --nictrace[adapternumber] on --nictracefile[adapter-number] filename.pcap you will create full traffic dump of your VM that could be loaded into Wireshark and analyzed.

The only question is to have any other OS to boot into to use VirtualBox, and there are many ways.

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CommView is one of the best solutions (the one which can compete with WireShark).

This is what you can do with CommView

  • View detailed IP connections statistics: IP addresses, ports, sessions, etc.
  • Reconstruct TCP sessions.
  • Map packets to the application that is sending or receiving them.
  • View protocols distribution, bandwidth utilization, and network nodes charts and tables.
  • Generate traffic reports in real time.
  • Browse captured and decoded packets in real time.
  • Search for strings or hex data in captured packet contents.
  • Import and export packets in Sniffer®, EtherPeek™, AiroPeek™, Observer®, NetMon, and Tcpdump formats, export packets in hex and text formats.
  • Configure alarms that can notify you about important events, such as suspicious packets, high bandwidth utilization, unknown addresses, etc.
  • Create your own plug-ins for decoding any protocol.
  • Exchange data with your application over TCP/IP.
  • Export any IP address to SmartWhois for quick, easy IP lookup.
  • Capture loopback traffic.
  • And much more!

You can get it here: http://www.tamos.com/products/commview/

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On Windows 95/NT/98/Me/2000/XP you can use Sygate Personal Firewall:

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On Linux/Mac/Windows, you can use WhatPulse Premium: enter image description here

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