How to check bandwidth usage at home

Bandwidth is a hot commodity, even more so when living in a rural area or a region with notoriously lousy internet service. But sometimes your slow internet is caused by your ISP. Tap or click here to see if your ISP is throttling your speeds.

If your ISP isn’t the problem, what is? Where can you go for the answers you need if you’re at home and noticing a lag?

Fortunately, there is a simple way to see what’s hogging your internet connection. Keep reading to find out how.

How to check what’s using the most bandwidth

Checking your bandwidth usage on a Mac and PC is super simple.

On a Mac, all you have to do is:

  • Hit CMD + Space to open Spotlight.
  • Search for or select Activity Monitor.
  • Click on the Network tab.

Here, you’ll see a breakdown of bandwidth usage by app. Large downloads, 4K streams and apps pinging a server frequently may affect your network speeds. Continue to do this for all the devices connected to your network until you find the real issue.

You might also consider using software that can show you who’s using your internet or simply consult the router itself for nefarious, unauthorized guests. Are your neighbors stealing your internet? Tap or click here to find out what to do about it.

Windows users can see what’s using the most bandwidth by opening Task Manager. Here’s how:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on Windows 10 or Ctrl + Shift + Esc on Windows 11.
  • Choose Performance.
  • Under the Wi-Fi chart, watch for unusual spikes in activity.
  • After, hop back into Processes, sorting by Network Usage.
  • The heaviest users will be filtered to the top, exposing any potential apps or malware going haywire.

Sometimes, the problem will be as simple as a clunky website serving you too many ads at once. Be on the lookout for strange names you don’t recognize. If nothing seems amiss, however, what should you try next?

How to speed up your internet

The easiest thing to do is close the programs eating up the most bandwidth. If you’re not using a program but it’s running in the background, close it. This should help speed things up.

You can also use third-party apps and tools to diagnose your internet usage. Tap or click here for the best apps to troubleshoot your bad Wi-Fi. It’s worth noting that things like live gaming and even your VPN could slow everything else down.

Rebooting your device and router could be the solution. Never rule out a simple resolution if nothing else is jiving. Tap or click here to find out why rebooting your computer almost always fix it.

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