Would you like to know how much traffic is moving through your home or office network? Some telcos and cable TV companies have utilities that measure traffic to your account. If yours does not, how can you tell?
Mac users have a few tools to choose from which can display real-time data from SNMP-enabled routers, whether they’re your office network, or devices from the phone company or cable TV company (whoever supplies you with high speed internet accesses). Here are a couple you might like.
Track Me, Baby!
First on my list is a somewhat newbie among the tools I’ve tried to track real-time data from an SNMP-enabled router. This one is called iNetGrapher, and as the name implies, it graphs– in real time– network traffic. Right up front let me acknowledge the caveat with such tools. Your network must have an accessible SNMP-enable router which grabs and stores traffic data. That’s what iNetGrapher and other tools need to display real-time and historical traffic data.
Fortunately, iNetGrapher handles both 32-bit and 64-bit SNPM capable routers, version 1 and 2c. It can discovery the devices default gateway address making it easier to setup. Graphing is automatic but can be customized manually.
iNetGrapher captures and stores a database of hosts and communities, and all details can be manually edited. In other words, in real time, you get to see how much traffic is rolling into and out of your home or office network.
There’s also a data tracker with a bit more eye candy. It’s called PeakHour and works much the same way over SNMP-enabled routers connected to your home or office network. The built-in History Engine stores data– lots of it– for as long as you want, so it’s easy to backup and look at traffic and when problems or trends may have occurred.
What I like about PeakHour are the notifications which can send email whenever specific traffic thresholds are reached. Also, PeakHour supports both SNMP and UPnP devices and can monitor more than one device (don’t bother trying to use this on an Apple Airport device).
Another reason you may prefer PeakHour is the free trial. Both apps are available on the Mac App Store, but Peak Hour is priced less than half, and a fully working but time limited version is available from the Peak Hour website.
Either iNetGrapher or PeakHour are a good, inexpensive way to keep your ISP honest and track incoming and outgoing data so you know more about what’s going on with your network.