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Once again I find we are exceeding our broadband's monthly data cap (even since it's been doubled). A friend of mine recommended an alternate ISP that offers a $5 per month service for all your YouTube data. I suspect that the younger members of the house use a lot of the bandwidth watching videos but I don't know if they're using YouTube or other sites.

Is there a tool I can install that would allow me to see how much data we're getting from YouTube, or how much we get from all websites visited? We use Windows 7 on the main PC.


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This is not a duplicate! The answer you've linked is to do with total bandwidth; I'm asking about individual website usage. – parsley72 Jul 29 '12 at 20:46
The "main PC"? Do you have more than 1 PC on your network? – Mokubai Jul 29 '12 at 21:48
Couple of laptops, XBox, smartphones, but most of the traffic is coming from the main PC and that's the one the kids use. – parsley72 Jul 29 '12 at 23:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

To my understanding, there are 2 approaches to your issue.

IP Traffic

You want to determine how much bandwidth is spend on certain websites. This would usually be done by record the IP traffic and then looking at the IP addresses involved.

For this, we already have several solutions available, like here: How can I monitor internet usage in my network?

These solutions were not desirable for you as you obviously don't know all IP addresses involved for every website.


Another approach I want to suggest to you is simply monitoring where your kids spend their time on the net.

For this, there is functionality (almost) built-in into Windows 7 itself. There is the Windows Live Essentials - Family Safety package.

According to the reading materials online, it will allow you to generated detailed activity reports from which you should be able to tell where your kids spend their time (and bandwidth).

Once you determined which sites may be problematic (due to their content or bandwidth consumption), the Family Safety package should also allow you to deploy counter-measures.

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Haven't been able to try Windows Live Essentials - Family Safety yet because I'm still using Windows Live Mesh and the latest version removes that, but it looks like it might do what I need. – parsley72 Oct 13 '12 at 19:53
I've installed it now. It only gives a rough idea of usage - number of pages visited per website rather than actual bandwidth - but better than anything else I've found. – parsley72 Apr 26 '13 at 0:49

The program Netbalancer looks to do something like what you are after. With the added bonus that it will also help to control internet usage, which to me would be your next question.

This is more "per application" monitoring, but from what I can tell you might be able to drill in to each application and see downloads "per site".

I've not used it myself but it is recommended by How To Geek which I would take as a good sign.

By the looks of it the program is primarily designed to limit and control downloads but the side effect is that you can monitor downloads from applications as well.

NetBalancer is an internet traffic control and monitoring tool designed for Windows XP/2003/Vista/Win7, both x86 and native x64.

There is a free version that has some limitations, but just for monitoring you should be fine. None of the free features are likely to be showstoppers for you at the moment.

*The Free version is limited to a maximum of 5 process priorities/limits and 5 rules at a time, has no separate network adapters management and no support for Network Grouping.

enter image description here

As you can see there are columns for current download rates as well as overall download totals per application on the right.

The HowToGeek article does mention a quirk with antivirus and downloading programs that you may need to be aware of.

Here we see which application is currently downloading data and it reveals a peculiar quirk about the way anti-virus software works. The real download is a copy of a Linux ISO we’re downloading in Chrome. The download, however, was kicked over from Chrome to the Avast anti-virus scanner. If we didn’t have Avast installed then the data would appear under the Chrome.exe directly.

Basically your antivirus may "catch" downloads then download them itself and pass on to the browser, but this should hopefully only be a minor annoyance and depends strongly on your antivirus package. You can get details of the download though so it should all work out in the end.

According to an alternative is NetLimiter which has a "monitoring" version.

According to Rarst:


Real time monitoring is nice but real power of NetLimiter is very detailed statistics. It remembers and can show what traffic specific process consumed in specific time period. Reports can be viewed in interface or exported in XML (manually or on schedule).


Free Monitor version only keeps stats but there are also advanced versions that allow to shape bandwidth by setting limits or guaranteed bandwidth for applications. That’s where Limiter part of name comes from actually.

Which may actually be closer to what you are after. Again I apologise that I have no real experience trying the software to be able to give real advice on how to use it.

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Installed it, but I can't find anything that shows me site usage. Why do you think this is possible? – parsley72 Jul 30 '12 at 11:43
this image from the HowToGeek guide seems to suggest that there is a way to at least monitor an application, I assumed there would be a similar way to find history on it. I'll see if I can find any other alternatives. – Mokubai Jul 30 '12 at 11:52
@parsley72 I've added a possible alternative to my answer if the first option didn't provide what you were after. – Mokubai Jul 30 '12 at 12:00

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