How to Check Data Usage on a Wi-Fi Router

Check who's using how much bandwidth on your network

What to Know

  • Login to your router using the admin settings or the default credentials.
  • Look for a statistics section. You'll find the data usage information there.
  • Use a third-party application for more detailed statistics or routers that don't track it.

This guide will explain the best ways to check data usage on a Wi-Fi router, using both the router's tracking systems or a third-party application.

How Do I Check My Wi-Fi Usage?

Most home routers have some form of built-in data tracking. You can access that via your router's admin settings page.

  1. Navigate to your router's admin login screen and log in as an administrator (you should have set this up when you first set up the router). Alternatively, if you never changed the details, you can find the default login credentials on the router sticker, in its manual, or on the manufacturer's website.

    In some cases, rather than logging into your router on a web browser, you may have an app through which all your administrator tasks are completed.

    If you're still using the default login credentials for your router, it's a good idea to change your router's admin password as soon as possible. A default password makes it very easy for hackers and malware to attack your home or office network.

    TP-Link admin login page.
  2. Navigate to your router's status page or statistics page. Each router will be different, so consult your manufacturer's website or router manual for detailed instructions on how to find it. For example, the below image is from a TP-Link router's Status page.

    You can see the Traffic Statistics, which detail how many Bytes and Packets have been sent and received, which can be extrapolated into megabytes and gigabytes of data. This can, however, include any wired Ethernet connections you are also using.

    TP Link router Status page.
  3. For more detailed statistics on how much data individual Wi-Fi frequencies are using, you can navigate to the Wireless Statistics page on your router settings for each frequency. How you do so and what it's precisely called will vary by router model and manufacturer, so consult your manual or manufacturer website for detailed help navigating to it.

    The below screenshot was taken from the Wireless Statistics page under the Wireless 2.4GHz heading on a TP-Link router. It shows individual devices' MAC addresses and bytes sent and received on the 2.4GHz wireless network.

    Wi-Fi stats page on a TP-Link router.
  4. If devices on your network can use the secondary 5GHz band, it's worth checking the same statistics section for the 5GHz frequency to get the complete picture of how much data they used.

How Can I Monitor My Home Wi-Fi Usage?

The easiest way to continue to monitor your Wi-Fi usage is to reboot your router, so the bytes received and sent also reset, giving you a firm baseline. From there, when you begin checking again, you'll know from then on how much Wi-Fi data you're using on a per-day and per-week basis.

How Can I track Wi-Fi Usage Per Device?

Like the TP-Link router in this example, some routers offer individual device tracking by giving you their MAC address. However, you can use a third-party network analyzer tool, like Wireshark, for more in-depth monitoring. It's a great way to monitor your network traffic and, in turn, can give you heaps of information about which devices are using your Wi-Fi connection and how much data they're using when they do.

  • How do I check my data usage on my NETGEAR router?

    Log in to your NETGEAR router and go to Advanced > Advanced Setup > Traffic Meter. Select the Enable Traffic Meter check box. Then, in the Traffic Counter section, set the traffic counter to begin at a specific time and date and click Restart Counter Now.

  • Can you see data usage on a Linksys router?

    Log in to the Linksys router admin page. Go to Administration > Enabled and select Save Settings to apply the changes. Select the View Log button to check the traffic between your local network and the Internet.

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