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Bandwidth meter

Bandwidth meter

(also bandwidth monitor, network traffic monitor)

Bandwidth meter definition

A bandwidth meter refers to an instrument or application designed to observe and gauge the volume of data transmitted across a network. This tool aids users in monitoring their internet consumption, pinpointing possible network congestion, and enhancing their connectivity for better performance. Bandwidth meters are capable of presenting current data usage and offering comprehensive analysis on past network activity.

See also: default gateway, monitoring software, routing table

Bandwidth meter examples

  • Software-based bandwidth meters: These are installed on a user’s device and monitor data usage across various applications and network connections.
  • Router-based bandwidth meters: These are built into certain routers and monitor the entire network’s data usage, including all connected devices.
  • Online bandwidth meters: These are web-based tools that measure a user’s data usage during a specific browsing session.

Comparing bandwidth meters to other monitoring tools

While bandwidth meters primarily focus on measuring data usage, network monitoring tools encompass a broader range of functionalities, such as tracking network performance, detecting and diagnosing network issues, and managing network devices.

Bandwidth meter pros and cons


  • Helps users manage data usage and avoid exceeding data caps.
  • Assists in optimizing network performance by identifying bandwidth-hogging applications.
  • Useful for diagnosing network issues related to bandwidth.


  • Some bandwidth meters may not accurately measure data usage across all applications and connections.
  • May require technical knowledge to interpret results and optimize network settings.

Tips for using a bandwidth meter

  • Choose a bandwidth meter that meets your needs, whether it’s a software-based, router-based, or an online tool.
  • Regularly monitor your network’s data usage to identify patterns and potential issues.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security