How To Find Out What Programs Are Using The Internet?

How To Find Out What Programs Or Apps Are Using The Internet Using Resource Monitor In Windows 10

If you are experiencing a slow Internet connection, are not able to download or upload, and there does not seem to be any particular reason, you might want to check for activity in the system background, specifically in the networking area. Despite the possibility of background processes causing a problem, a change in Internet performance can be caused by a number of different factors.

If there are no problems with your Internet service provider, router etc., you should check which applications or programs are using the Internet connection (your Internet bandwidth) on the computer. Apps or programs could be using some (or even all) Internet bandwidth without your knowledge. Fortunately, there is a built-in utility in Windows 10 (and other versions of Windows, starting from Windows Vista) called Resource Monitor, also known as Resmon, which provides access to information about the programs using the Internet. Resource Monitor does exactly as the name implies - it monitors resources, and allows Windows users inspect the presence and allocation of resources on their computers.

Resource Monitor can be found in Task Manager (and provides information that Task Manager does not provide). It displays a dashboard with information about the presence and use of resources such as disk, memory, CPU, and network. The network section displays processes with network activity, network activity itself, TCP connections and 'listening ports'. If you need information about Internet bandwidth and Internet connection performance, follow this guide in which we describe how to access Resource Monitor, how to use it, and how to find out which programs are slowing down your connection by being active in the system background.

how to find out what programs using your internet bandwidth

Table of Contents:

How To Find Out What Programs Are Using Your Internet Bandwidth

First, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on the keyboard. You can also access Task Manager by right-clicking the Taskbar or the Start menu and selecting "Task manager" from the contextual menu.

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In Task Manager, click the "Performance" tab. You will see an "Ethernet" (or Wi-Fi) section. Select to display a graph with overall send and receive activity on a scale from 0 to 100 Kbps over a 60-second perdiod. Below, the graph displays information about data sent and received, adapter name, connection type, and current IP addresses.

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As you can see, this is just basic information and real-time speed statistics, so you need to open Resource Monitor for more details. Click "Open Resource Monitor" at the bottom of the Task Manager window.

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Go to the "Network" tab. You will see four sections: Processes with Network Activity, Network Activity, TCP Connections, and Listening Ports. In "Processes with Network Activity" tab, you will see the running processes that are using network resources. Look for the name of the process, "Image". This shows the process executable file name. The "PID" (Process ID) column is followed by the "Send (B/sec)" and "Receive (B/sec)" columns, which represent the number of sent and received bytes. The "Total" tab shows total network activity generated by that particular process. We are interested in the "Receive (B/s)" information. If a process is using too much Internet bandwidth, you can close it by right-clicking on it and selecting "End Process" from the contextual menu. Note that a svchost.exe process running in this tab is normal - it is used by various applications to interact with the Windows operating system. We recommend that you keep it running.

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In the "Network Activity" section, you will see identical tabs with an additional one called "Address". This tab displays the address to which a process is connected. You can see that there are two boxes, green and blue. "Network I/O" and "Network Utilization". The first displays current total utilization, whilst the second displays exactly how loaded the network is. If there is a suspicious program (or programs) connected to the Internet, we recommend that you run a malware scan.

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The "TCP Connections" section consists of six tabs: "PID", "Local Address", "Local Port", "Remote Address", "Remote Port", "Packet Loss (%)", and "Latency (ms)". The local Address tab shows which network adapter and IP address might have been overcrowded. The Local Port tab displays on which ports there is communication activity. The Remote Address tab displays one part the communication stream, whilst Remote Port displays the other. The "Packet Loss (%)" tab shows the quality of the Internet connection. The more packet loss is shown, the worse the quality. The "Latency (ms)" tab indicates how much time it takes for data to travel from one point to another. The higher the number, the longer it takes.

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The "Listening Ports" section consists of three new tabs not mentioned previously: "Address", "Protocol", and "Firewall Status". The "Address" tab shows the local process on which the process is listening. Some services are tied to specific IP addresses - the tab shows to which IP address the process is tied. The "Protocol" tab shows the network protocol used by the process. And finally, the "Firewall Status" tab, as its name implies, displays the firewall status. If the firewall is blocking traffic, you will see it in this tab.

find out what programs using the internet step 7If you suspect that an application or program is using too much Internet bandwidth, go to Resource Monitor and find all information you might need to  address the problem.

The Task Manager's "App history" tab is another simple method to gain information about apps and their network usage is, however, it does not display all apps that might be using Internet bandwidth. Rather, it is relevant to Microsoft apps that are built-in or downloaded from Microsoft Store. Therefore, Resource Monitor is a more informative tool.

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We hope that this article was helpful to provide the basics of Resource Monitor and how to check which apps or programs are using Internet bandwidth and slowing down your connection. If there is something you would like to add, please leave a comment in the section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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