Monitor internet usage with Bandwidth+ on the Apple Mac

How many megabytes or gigabytes of internet data have you uploaded and downloaded today? Do you need to keep an eye on the total usage? Bandwidth+ is a free app that can do that.

It is great if you have unlimited internet access and do not need to watch how much internet data you transfer each day, week or month. With software distributed over the internet, movies streamed online, music streaming services, photo storing in the cloud and more, we all use gigabytes of bandwidth each month.

Not everyone has the luxury of unlimited internet usage and a few people still have data limits. It may be limited to only peak hours, it might be a monthly limit, or it could be both. If you are one of these users, you need an app to monitor the amount of data you are using and Bandwidth+ can do that.

If you have a MacBook and regularly use it outside of the office and the home, you might need to watch how much data you use at public hotspots. There might be a data limit at the hotel, train station or coffee shop, you might have to buy a certain number of megabytes or gigabytes of data, and so on.

Sometimes there is no Wi-Fi hotspot or it is not working. In these situations you can turn on the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on your mobile phone. Mobiles have low data limits and you absolutely must keep an eye on data usage. Go over your allocated amount and your bill will be sky high. Avoid this at all costs.

There is an app for that of course and it is called Bandwidth+.

The app is free and it is a tiny download that is less than 1MB. It adds an item to the menu bar that can show different internet usage indicators. The main one is the total amount of data transferred, including uploads and downloads.

Clicking the menu bar item displays a panel that shows today’s data downloads, uploads and total.

Bandwidth+ for OS X

There is a split option on the menu and this is so you can start a new counter from zero. You might want to monitor the daily usage and also measure it from a certain time, such as peak hours. You would split it when you want to start peak hours monitoring, so above the split is the previous usage and below is the new data usage from the time the split was created. It can be split again if you need to.

Bandwidth+ for OS X

You can see the time of the split and the upload, download and total usage. Splits can be joined together so you can see the total daily usage again. You just split and join as required.

That’s about it really, apart from the preferences. The app can be automatically started when you log in, and the menu bar indicator can show up and downloads, just up or just downloads. There is also an option to show the data transfer speed.

Bandwidth+ for OS X

On the Monthly tab of the preferences you can choose what to count, set a quota (maximum amount of data you are allowed to use) and set the day of the month to start. After setting a quota you can see on the menu drop-down the amount of your total used – see the first screenshot.

Bandwidth+ for OS X

The app has obvious flaws that the developer acknowledges and this is that it monitors data transferred over the network connection. It cannot tell where this data is going to, so a backup to a network drive for example, or a transfer of files from one Mac to another on the local network, would be counted. Other devices, like your iPhone or iPad, can connect to the router and use the internet too.

Bandwidth+ is a simple utility that is not quite perfect. It is still a good tool that has enough features to make it useful. Get it from the Mac App Store.

Title: Bandwidth+
Developer: Harold Chu
Price: Free
Size: 0.9 MB
Version: 1.8
Verdict: A simple but effective bandwidth monitor.



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