Mac users can choose from a number of utilities which monitor the network or monitor which apps on your Mac are connecting to the internet, but here’s the only one I’ve found that tells you which apps on your Mac are connecting.
Almost Free Loading
Here’s the deal. iPhone and iPad users can see that an app is connecting to and using the Wi-Fi network by the round circulating fan icon in the status bar.
What about Mac users? No. Can. Do. Unless you add Loading to your Mac’s Menubar. At a glance you’ll see that an app has accessed the internet– the loading icon spins.
The real fun begins when you click the Loading icon in the Menubar. What happens is what you expect. Click the icon and you’ll see which apps are using the network at the moment. Actually, Loading displays two lists.
The first displays those that are using the network at the moment, and right below that list is a list of Mac apps that have used your network recently.
It’s just that easy to use Loading to see which apps are, well, connecting to the network.
Loading is free, but the developer loves donations, so it’s probably proper to call it donationware.
Wait a minute. Can’t you do exactly the same thing by using Activity Monitor in the Mac’s Applications > Utilities folder? Almost, but not quite. Activity Monitor is a great app with plenty of options but getting it to do the same thing as Loading does without any assistance is not so trivial. You’d need to group running apps by All Processes, then Hierarchically, then sort by Received Bytes, then check to see what changes, if anything.
Loading is faster, easier, and funner.