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Are there any GUI applications I can use to see how much bandwidth a user on my home network is using? I use Ubuntu 16.04.

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You can't (per se) do this from your computer itself without some network topology alterations or similar. As those are complicated and a lot harder to set up and maintain, we can look at your actual SoHo router.

Most modern routers come with very rich GUIs that allow you to access a very large amount of information, including exactly who is using how much bandwidth. Ideally, you can just use this.

To access your router's web interface, open your Network menu in the top right, and select "Connection Information". Select the connection you're working with (if there are even multiple networks), and look for Default Route (in this example, 192.168.0.1). Open your web browser and navigate to http://192.168.0.1 (or whatever it was) and log in. Your default password will be in your router manual, or written on the router itself if you have not already set it.

If your router does not offer bandwidth tracking, you can try to flash custom firmware such as DD-WRT or Advanced Tomato or any similar custom firmware that provides this feature. Note, however, that flashing custom firmware is always rather risky (although it offers amazing rewards) and should only be done with a backup router nearby while carefully following instructions.


Alternatively, you can set this up on your home computer, but this only will work if the following conditions are met:

  • You have a decently fast computer
  • You are willing to leave this computer at home and on 24/7
  • You have some way to broadcast WiFi that's not your computer (like a WAP)

If all of these conditions are met, congratulations! You effectively are going to set up a server that hosts DHCP, DNS, acts as the firewall, and does all the routing-related stuff. This is complicated and painful, but you'll be able to get whatever reporting metrics you want. However, Ubuntu isn't exactly suited to being a router (as opposed to specialized software like pfSense), so you might have performance issues. Plus, you'll need at least two network cards and an Ethernet switch.

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  • Thank you Kaz Wolfe for such an amazing informative answer, greatly appreciated. I have a Netgear CG3000-2STAUS DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem supplied by my ISP. I had a look around the Netgear Genie and found the QoS tab, so I am looking into maybe setting it up. Seems like it may do what I need. If I run into any problems, I can post back under a new post, I presume. Thanks again.
    – NeilB
    Apr 4, 2017 at 8:38
  • No worries, @NeilB! I'm glad you like Ask Ubuntu so far. I would recommend you actually read our tour, just to get a better idea of how to use this site to its fullest potential. Similarly, if this answer solved your issue, you can click that grey checkmark near the vote section to the left of the post. This will mark the answer as the "solution" and will make it easier for others to find in the future. Also, it gives you a tiny bit of reputation.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:30

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