NirSoft has released NetworkUsageView, a handy portable program which displays some of the applications that have been using your network over the past few hours, days or weeks.
Details available include the app name, description, the time of access for that session, user, internet adapter and the bytes sent and received.
NetworkUsageView extracts this information from data already recorded by Windows 8 and later. That means you don’t have to install it on a system, or run it before the period you want to monitor. Just launch the program as an administrator and it displays all existing details.
Don’t forget that "run as admin" part, either -- there’s no warning if you run the program as normal, and you’ll probably get a blank table.
The data appears in the regulation NirSoft table, and clicking any column header in the table sorts by that field. Clicking "timestamp" gave us an instant timeline of the programs and Windows components that had used our timeline over the last 9 days.
Sorting by "App Name" grouped together all the logged sessions for each app. This can produce some surprises. No-one used Skype on our test PC, but the Microsoft.SkypeApp process still recorded 87 network sessions.
There are some issues. We found some processes -- including the two responsible for downloading more data in a single session on our test system -- had no app or user details, giving us no idea what they were. It’s unclear whether that’s an issue with the data, or NetworkUsageView’s parsing or presentation of it.
We would guess there are also some cleanup tools which delete this data, or perhaps stop Windows collecting it. If you’ve used one of those it’s likely NetworkUsageView won’t have anything to show you.
Small complications aside, NetworkUsageView is a very typical NirSoft tool: compact, simple, and shows you very useful information that you can’t easily find in any other way. Go grab a copy immediately.
NetworkUsageView is available for Windows 8 and later.