For those of us lucky enough to have a broadband connection, use of bandwidth isn't much of a concern. But for those with slower connections, such as a modem, any excess or unauthorized network activity can really slow you down. Fortunately, you can now monitor network utilization under OS X with a Cocoa application called Net Monitor.
Net Monitor offers several different ways to view network information. The Window view shows the active interface, plus both numeric and graphic representations of transmit and receive speeds. Depending on your needs, you may want to customize the information being displayed. You can show just transmit, just receive, or both transmit and receive speeds. The number of lines, as well as line width in the graph can be specified. Transparency levels for both foreground and background modes can also be specified.
Observe Network Use Numerically and Graphically
But these aren't the only ways you can display information. If you are short on screen real estate, you may not want to display the extra information in a Window. The good news is that there are also Dock and Menu view options, where you can view a graph (no text) of network use, which will be shown in the Dock or the Menu bar, respectively.
Get a handle on how much data you are sending and receiving, and give Net Monitor a spin.
Have any other Mac OS X networking gadgets? Send an email to John, and he'll consider checking it out.
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at