Is there a good bit of software on Mac OS X that I can use to monitor incoming and outgoing network activity? Nothing too geeky, I just want something simple to use.
I'm on version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) if that helps.
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If you prefer something more simplistic you can use iStatMenus to show incoming / outgoing network traffic speeds.
For the person who doesn't want to install anything you can also use tcpdump in Terminal.
tcpdump -i [interface, en0 is ethernet, en1 is wireless]
Also check out nettop, a little command line gem that ships with Mac OS.
LittleSnitch! - 30$
It is mainly a software Firewall that may help you to prevent some apps to access the internet. It also has a nice menubar icon with live network usage. Mouseover on it and it displays which app is communicating with which server or ip address.
I have LittleSnitch and iStat Menus installed. Both are complementary.
Network Logger for Mac OS X from Group Mind does a great job of tracking network traffic, downtime (in real time, with timed log), and lots of easy-to-understand stuff. I'm not technical and all I really wanted was to track when my ISP connection went down, and for how long it stayed down. Mac's little Network Utility app would ping endlessly but wouldn't give me a chronological log. Network Logger did, and was easy for a novice to understand.
Cost me $5.99 from the App Store.
I've just installed Net Monitor and Net Monitor Sidekick and so far I like them. Nothing you can't get with other tools, but a nice summary display. Each is $10 after a 30 day eval, so YMMV, but I thought I'd mention them.