Monitoring my bandwidth consumption with NetMeter

My previous post about the possible end of unlimited broadband access in the future fueled my curiosity (or paranoia?) as to how much bandwidth I consume in a month, I prowled the web for a free application tool that measures the bandwidth consumed by my Four-eyed notebook.

Sir Abe mentioned this app in one his blog posts and so I looked it up in the web. I found and downloaded NetMeter 1.1.3

NetMeterNetMeter is a small, yet versatile, customizable and free network bandwidth monitoring program.

It’s super lightweight, just 600kb and works in both Windows XP and Vista operating systems. It offers real time monitoring of upload and download speeds on your computer and keeps a log of all the data for you to look back at after a while. I plan to check my log this Sunday when the week ends, it would be sort of a benchmark data as I continue to monitor my bandwidth consumption for the next three weeks.

Even though I’m on a Globelines unlimited Broadband service, knowing how much bandwidth I consume every month would help me plan in the future in case Globe and other ISPs does decide to put a bandwidth cap on their subscription services. Plus I also get a deeper look into my internet usage because I spend a minimum of 12 hours online every day.

I spend much of that time researching for my offline or non-blogging work, e.g. socio-political advocacies, academic related, general web surfing. Next would be blogging and blog-hopping, going through my RSS reading lists. Since last March, I’ve been spending more and more time in social networking sites like Multiply.com, Friendster.com and Facebook, though I admit that I’m still a lurker in Facebook while I’m most active at Multiply.com.

In between, I upload roughly 20-30MB of photos to Flickr/Friendster/Multiply per week. I download some 300-500MB of videos and music, 80% of which is anime. I no longer download torrents nor use P2P programs ever since last year, even before I had this laptop. Downloading Torrents via Globelines broadband has never been a worthwhile experience on my case.

All in all, my first guess is that I consume some 5 to 10GB of bandwidth per week, so multiply that by four and it’s 40GB per month. Of course this is a ballpark figure. Hopefully, by the end of this week, I’ll get a more definite picture thanks to NetMeter.

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