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I'm looking for a way to track every application/process/whatever on my computer that is currently accessing the internet, and if possible be able to identify what they're accessing and how much bandwidth they use. Living with cheap internet has made me realize I need to do a better job of prioritizing what does and doesn't get to use the internet.

I'm not looking for a download scheduler or anything like that.

Other requirements:

  1. Freeware
  2. Win7 compatible
  3. Lets me end the program from the application (or pause/terminate whatever they're doing with the internet)
  • COMODO Firewall can do it, but I'm not sure if te overhead of such a big program is okay for you (unless you're also looking for a firewall, in this case go ahead, it's a great one). It was free when I last used it, not sure if that's still the case. – user111 Aug 14 '14 at 10:23
  • If you'd also like to view what other devices besides your computer are accessing on the network, then you could try Microsoft Network Monitor – Tymric Aug 14 '14 at 11:42
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*nix systems ship with Netstat for this, which is available for Windows as well if you don't mind the command-line. For permanent monitoring including bandwidth, there's ifstat, which also has several Windows pendants.

A related article on one of our sister-sites might fully answer your question: How can I limit bandwidth of other programs?

NetBalancer might be a good choice for you. Not being a Windows-user I cannot speak of personal experience, but from what I see it matches all your requirements:

  • track every application/process/whatever on my computer that is currently accessing the internet: Yes. Each process is listed along with its current use.
  • identify what they're accessing and how much bandwidth they use: As described. Also see screenshot below.
  • Limit the bandwidth used by an app: You didn't ask for that, but I read that between the lines – and it seems to be supported by NetBalancer as well.
  • Freeware: The full-fledged version is paid. But for what you explicitely asked for, there's a free version available – which limits before-mentioned "bonus functionality" to 5 processes (where you can restrict bandwidth for)
  • Win7 compatible: Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8 with native x64 support
  • Lets me end the program from the application: Here I have to pick the "or" part. Looks like you can block it (i.e. the app cannot use any bandwidth anymore, as you block the access to the Internet).

[NetBalancer][http://i.stack.imgur.com/WIynMm.jpg]
NetBalancer screenshot (click image for larger variant)

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