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 you set, or the default credentials.
  • Look for a statistics section. You'll find the data usage information there.
  • For more detailed statistics, or on routers that don't track it, use a third party application.

This guide will explain the best ways to check data usage on a Wi-Fi router, using both the router's own 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 login as an administrator (this should have been set 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.

    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. The below image is from a TP-Link router's Status page.

    On it, 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 individual 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 device's MAC addresses, as well as their 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 make use of the secondary 5GHz band, it's worth checking the same statistics section for the 5GHz frequency as well, to get the full 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 to start from. 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?

Some routers, like the TP-Link router used in this example, offer individual device tracking by giving you their MAC address. For more in-depth tracking, you can use a third-party network analyzer tool, like Wireshark. 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.

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