NetWorx: Monitor your bandwidth usage to verify you’re being billed properly by your ISP

Many people run on what is known as a “bandwidth-limited” Internet connection (okay, I admit, I don’t know if that is the official name… I just came up with it on the spot); people on these plans are only allowed to use X amount of GB in regards to bandwidth per month, and any usage higher than that results in the ISP charging the customer extra. Other people run on a pay-as-you-go or prepay Internet connection (okay, I admit, I don’t know if that is the official name either… I just came up with it on the spot); people on these plans only pay for the amount of bandwidth they use per month (or per day, per hour, etc.) as opposed to having a set monthly bill. For users on these type of Internet connections, when the bill arrives at the end of the month, it can often be a surprise how much bandwidth was used; basically one puts trust into their ISP’s hands and accepts they are being billed properly. I am not saying all ISPs are cheats; what I am saying is everyone should trust, but verify. NetWorx is a program that allows you to do just that.

NetWorx is a software that allows users to monitor how much bandwidth you have used…

…and then provides multiple different methods to analyze the usage, such as via daily reports, weekly reports, monthly reports, hourly rates, etc.:

To make it easy to share your usage reports with others, NetWorx allows you to export each report into .XLS, .RTF, .HTM, .TXT, and .CSV formats. For dial-up users NetWorx has the ability to monitor bandwidth usage by dial-up sessions. For multi-user computers, NetWorx has the ability to differentiate bandwidth usage between users, or to view bandwidth usage in total.

In addition to the already mentioned, NetWorx has a few other “extra” tools, such as ping and trace route, accessible via right-click on NetWorx’s system tray icon:

Of course for NetWorx to be able to accurately monitor bandwidth usage you need to have it running all the time whenever you are connected to the Internet, need to run it for all users (if applicable), and need to run it on all computers (if applicable). However, NetWorx is not a very heavy app, using 5-10 MB of RAM only, so it shouldn’t have too large of a burden on your computer while it is running. Plus, for those people that hate installing programs, NetWorx has portable and installer versions.

All in all, if used properly NetWorx can be a very useful tool for those unfortunate, bandwidth-limited users. You can grab NetWorx from the following link:

Version reviewed: v5.1.2

Supported OS: Windows 2000 and higher

Download size: 1.5-1.7 MB

NetWorx homepage

[Direct download portable version]

[Direct download installer version]

Thanks WobblyWombat!

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40 comments

  1. http://google.com

    “NetWorx: Monitor your bandwidth usage to verify you?re being billed properly by your ISP | Reviews, news,
    tips, and tricks | dotTech” definitely causes myself imagine a
    little bit extra. I really adored each and every particular element of it.
    Thanks for your effort -Lionel

  2. BarrysCool

    OK, I know that I’m a bit late entering this conversation but my experience is a big plus for NetWorx.
    I have been using the program for a couple of years and not long ago my ISP sent an account showing that I had exceeded my download limit. With NetWorx I was able to converse with their Tech guys and compare my use on a daily basis showing a pattern which resulted in them cancelling the over-charged account. They reissued an account that was within my download limit, and this would never have happened but for the presence of NetWorx on my computer.

  3. Mags

    Just adding a thumbs up for NetWorx and to explain why this is a very useful tool to have. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now.

    My reason for using this is very obvious.

    A couple of years ago my ISP decided up “upgrade” its tracking SW for user usage (i.e. upload/download.) I occasionally checked my usage, but was always within my limit. Imagine my surprise when I received a bill for over-usage charges to the tune of $30.00 over and above my normal monthly charge. And it happened again the following month.

    I called my ISP and complained and assured them it wasn’t me, but they didn’t believe me. I refused to pay the amount since I knew it wasn’t me. Then it happened again the following month, and this time the amount was over $40.00.

    I then searched the ‘net to see if anyone else was experiencing the same problem and lo and behold there was an outrage from many, many others with the same ISP that the same thing happened to them.

    End result was that the ISP was forced to apologise and to give a credit on everyone’s account that had be charged this ridiculous fee.

    Their explanation was that there was a bug in the new “upgrade” and that it was now fixed. I don’t believe that, but they are not overcharging anymore for over-usage when it doesn’t happen.

    I started using Networx after the first charge showed up on my account and had proof that they were wrong in their tracking.

    I pays to have it installed as a backup in case this ever happens again.

  4. Howard

    OK, NetWorx monitors my side of the internet connection (and I like it), but I need to determine if my internet service provider is reliable, or “up.”

    Are you aware of any software that samples (and records) a cable modem (periodically) to see if there is a signal?

    Thank you.

  5. Joleca

    Go for it Jenny,

    I’ve been using Networx for almost 3 years now and can’t be happier.. It tracks almost spot-on what Comcast shows I’m using, and I haven’t had to worry about going over (or near) the Comcast bandwidth cap since I first installed it…

    Now have 4 computers on my network (wired desktop, 2 laptops and a netbook which are all wireless) and it accurately tracks and totals all 4 showing me the total bandwidth for the entire network on each computer.

    @Jenny:

  6. Jenny

    @jSwannO: Your data usage isn’t just what you download – it is everything you look at online, everything you listen to online, every email or IM you sent out or receive: because they all use packets of data to take the information to you and from you.

    @Joleca: I’m going to give it another go around with Networx- I have a new modem and router. I think the reason it only showed me my own usage previously was because the modem router I had then wasn’t query compatible… hopefully this one is! ;)

  7. alan

    @Joleca: Thanks
    Some years ago I saw usage monitors which only ran on the P.C. in stand-alone mode.
    This is the first time I have encountered one that gathers statistics from a router, so I wanted to clarify details
     

  8. Joleca

    @alan: I can only go by personal experience on this one..
    As I’ve already mentioned, I have 3 computers on my network..   One, the desktop is a wired connection…  The other 2, both laptops are wireless only..
    When I check the usage, it shows the individual usage for each computer and the sum total for all..   Beyond that, I really can’t tell you anything else..  I’m not the developer of the software, just a very very happy user who happened to stumble across it after a very nasty phone session with Comcast threatening to disconnect me for 1 year if I went over their (unknown at the time) bandwidth cap.
    I know it seems to very accurately track my actual up/down usage total and the figure it shows meshes with what Comcast says I’m using..
    If you go to the NetWorx homepage, there is a link to their forum page..  The software developer is pretty good about responding to all questions and concerns..

  9. alan

    @Joleca:
    I know all that.  I never said I would use inadequate encryption.
    I only wanted to know if the application in question was able to distinguish between the normal Ethernet links and the Wireless links.
    I asked because I have previously only seen a consumption meter that measured what the single computer was sending/receiving through the operating system, and was not aware of any facility to extract data from the router of anything consumed by other computers which connected direct through a router.
    Merely for the sake of NOT bothering with incomplete information I would like to have the information completed if possible, i.e.
    When distinguishing between different computers that access the internet only by direct access through the router, will the router restrict its statistics to only the computers using one of the available hardware Ethernet links, or will it also handle statistics for each and every Wireless link that comes in to the router.
     
    I consider WEP to be inadequate encryption.  It was cracked a long time ago.
    I believe WAP was cracked more recently
    I think WAP2 is OK for now, but I wonder how long before that too is cracked.
    My “native” XP system will show my connection, and also of local Wireless channels.
    It shows some of my neighbours transmit their SSID, and other do not.
    I think I remember it shows which ones use WEP and which use WAP2
    It definitely does not show any MAC addresses.
    My router is configured to exclude a neighbour unless :-
    He uses WAP2 with the correct password
    He has the right SSID (even though it is not “broadcast”)
    He has a specific 48 bit MAC address that I have preset as permissible.
     
    I have absolutely ZERO confidence in the last two items.
    I have downloaded and tested several applications to better understand how to minimise my wireless range, and during evaluation I found they told me far more than XP’s “native” application :-
    They told me the SSID of each signal, even those that XP said were not transmitted.
    They told me the 48 bit MAC address that was sending each signal,
    So any semi-technical neighbour that downloaded those tools would immediately know :-
    My type of WEP/WAP2 encryption
    my SSID (even though I was not “broadcasting” it, I had to be transmitting it for the protocol to work)
    my 48 bit MAC address, and that he can easily spoof.
    Then a quick search for MAC ADDRESS SPOOFING and he has the lot – see :-
    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=395
     
    With all that he only needs my encryption key, and that is useless if I have WEP.

  10. Joleca

    @alan: If they have access into your router, I would think so…
     
    BUT you shouldn’t be running an UN-SECURED Network..

    You need to be running the highest level of security/encryption your router allows ( and set a strong password key…)   Any computer accessing your router needs to have the same security/encryption method and key…   And, you should be able to set your router to not broadcast its SSID (computer name) so it isn’t even visible to your neighbors regardless of whether its secure or not..  (of course someone with the correct security/encryption & password would still be able to connect even if the SSID wasn’t being broadcast).

    Security types would be WEP, WPA2-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA-Enterprise, etc..
    Encryption:  AES or TKIP
    Password/Key – the longer the better, include numbers, capital & lowercase letters, special characters, etc..

  11. Joleca

    @Roger-u:

    I believe it must query the router (mine is a Linksys WRT160N)….  below is from my current “at a glance tab” from the desktop computer
    It shows all 3 computers (Joleca is the wired desktop, the other 2 are the laptops).
     
    NetWorx At a Glance

    User Name            Today       This Week       This Month       All Time

    C3P0\Joleca           20.5 MB     75.9 MB          453 MB          346 GB
    Joleca                    7.03 GB     19.5 GB         97.2 GB           942 GB
    MINI-ME\Joleca        0 bytes      195 MB          893 MB          23.8 GB

    Total                      7.05 GB     19.7 GB         98.5 GB         1313 GB
     
    As you can see, it gives individual usage for each computer, then the total usage (daily, weekly, monthly, and since installed)..    Since Comcast has a set monthly bandwidth allowance (up & down), I’m most interested in the Monthly Total for my network…    Since I’ve set it to ignore traffic within the lan, its only showing me the Up and Down that Comcast sees…  and so far its been very very accurate….  they finally made a usage monitor available on your account page a month or 2 ago and every time I’ve checked it, the NetWorx total for the month it’s been the same or very close to the Comcast total (they have a 3-hour delay on their web total).

  12. Roger-u

    @Joleca: I am sure Netwrox (on the desktop) can detect that laptops are on the network.  The question is: can Networx actually tell you how much traffic the laptop is generating between itself and the internet - that trafic is going nnowhere near your desktop?  Maybe it can interrogate the router? (in which case it weill only work with some routers).  I’d be interested to know.

    I currently have Netmeter.. maybe i’ll have to give this one a try,  just out of curiosity if nothing else now.

  13. Joleca

    @Roger-u &jevvv:

    I have 3 computers…   one is the desktop which is wired and the other 2 are wireless laptops..     I have a modem from Comcast which is connected to a Linksys Wireless-N router…    The desktop is wired to the router, the 2 laptops connect wireless only…
    When I first installed NetWorx on the desktop (everything goes there first as its easier with a full sized keyboard and mouse), I could immediately see the other 2 laptops even though I hadn’t installed the software on them yet…    Installing on every computer only allows you to check or monitor your entire network ON every computer…    As long as a device is visible in the Network (traffic across the router, wireless or wired), NetWorx will track it…
    If you haven’t set sharing permissions or enabled “Homegroup” (Windows 7), your computers won’t be able to talk to each other, but they will still see each other on the network as long as they are all the same workgroup, etc..
     

    Regardless, it won’t hurt to try it… the software is free and can always be uninstalled if it doesn’t do what you want it to.

  14. Mongoplus

    I have been using SoftPertect NetWorx for about two years now on my desktop.  I just started using the portable edition for working on client’s computers.  I love both of them, they are is easy to use and with one click I can find out about all my (and my client’s) internet activities.

  15. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Dr.H: Odd, when I went to the website McAfee SiteAdvisor did not show anything. However, when I manually go to SiteAdvisor and look up softperfect.com I get a result.

    That said, Yes SiteAdvisor found a problem with some downloads on softperfect.com (the generic Delphi problem) but SiteAdvisor found NetWorx to be 100% clean. See the following links:

    Plus I scanned NetWorx after downloading and it came up clean for me.

  16. Dr.H

    Hi Ashraf :)

    McAfee Siteadvisor says : in our tests,this download contained some people would consider spywares ,adwares or other potentially unwanted programs

    Block the download????

  17. jevvv

    Thanks Joelca, and thanks Roger-u
     
    Sadly I am in the category that Roger talks of.  our router is our modem.
     
    Darn.  I was hoping this would be a nice simple non-hardware-upgrade solution.  (I see that D-Link has upgraded the firmware for several of their lines to include a dashboard for this purpose – unfortunately my modem/router isn’t one of them)

  18. Roger-u

    @Joleca: if you use a router-modem then you don’t have a “main” computer, and you wil have to install it on every computer.

    If your interent is connected to one of you computers and it is set to allow other computers on the network to “share the internet connection” then you are right.  But most home networks are of the former type.

    To check: can either computer connect to the internet even if the other one is switched off?  if you can then yuo will need to install Networx on both

  19. Joleca

    @Jenny:
    Nope…  You only need to install on each computer if you want to be able to see the “total usage” on each computer..   (and you probably don’t want your boarders to know what kind of bandwidth is going across your entire network)

    As long as you have installed on your main computer, it will show the traffic for every computer on the network..   You just need to make sure to set to “ignore traffic within the lan” or you’ll be adding usage for any computer that’s accessing shared files, folders, drives, printers, etc..    As long as your main computer is set to see other computers on the “network”, you’ll be able to track all the incoming/outgoing bandwidth usage..

    I have installed on all of my computers because I don’t want to only be able to check usage from just the desktop…  I’m in a townhouse with 6 levels so its much easier to be able to check bandwidth from any computer and not just the desktop in the computer room.
     

  20. Kinetix

    Thanks, Ashraf. My WildBlue satellite internet has a rather horrible limit of 17 GB and it doesn’t reset every month (its on some “rolling” period thing, makes no sense). This may help out.

  21. Jenny

    @Joleca: so to monitor usage in a home with several computers on a LAN I’d need to install the program on each computer?

    DARN!!!  We have boarders who stay with us for 6 months at a time, we let them use our internet, but I don’t fiddle on their computers. 

    I’m still hoping to find something that will monitor the whole LAN without having to install on each puter

  22. jSwann0

    Ça fait quelques mois que j’essaie de comprendre d’où vient la différence entre ce que je télécharge et ce que mon FAI me dit que je télécharge (qui est plus élevé de plusieurs GB par mois).  J’ignorais que ce type de programme existait.
    Merci beaucoup, Ashraf.
     

  23. Joleca

    Actually stumbled across NetWorx last fall after Comcast threatened to disconnect me for 1 year after going over the allowed bandwidth cap.. I’d had company staying for the previous month and they were all using the internet and I guess it all added up very very fast..

    Anyway found NetWorx and installed on the desktop and both laptops.. If you have multiple computers you can set it to monitor “All Connections” and “ignore traffic within the lan”.. This way it will give you your total external bandwidth usage totaled on each computer… You don’t have to manually add each one, it does it for you… On the “At a Glance” tab, it will show the usage for each individual computer and total it all up for you..

    You can also set it to warn you if you’ve used (or are coming close to using) a set amount of bandwidth each day.. If you want, you can even set it to shutdown your computer if needed.

    This is definitely a “live-saver”… All you have to do is let it run and check your stats and you’re “safe”…. And, now I know I don’t have to worry about Comcast threats anymore!!

  24. Dirtybegger

    I love this program i have been using it for about 2 months now and it works great. The only problem I have with it is that you can not separate from both your pay as you go and your home DSL.

  25. Les Hawkins

    Hi – In Australia it is known as usage by most I.P’s. It includes download plus upload total usage in (usually) gigabytes. My I.P. sends emails frequently to advise how much usage you have used from your monthly allowance, very handy to keep an eye open.
    Les

  26. OldElmerFudd

    I’ve heard good things about NetWorx for quite some time now. Tracking bandwidth usage can be critical for many users with a limit on their monthly bytes.
    Can’t say as I’ve tried this one – I’ve been paying a flat fee for unlimited DSL for 10-12 years now.

  27. zugshad

    @Ashraf: Hey Ashraf… what would be best setting to have it show for outgoing .. for things like checking on virus’s or trojans calling home or even if someone is messing around in my machine? installed and standard is showing speed.. think im more concerned with my outgoing data amount right?

  28. Sputnik

    It’s funny : I have just installed this software a couple of days ago because I needed one like this.
    But I have choosen to keep Networx after a comparison between 10 softwares of this kind and I have found Networx to be the best of all !