NetUse on multiple macs and usage readings

We receive emails about inaccurate usage data reading NetUse provides between different copies of the app running on different macs on the same network connected to the same router (airport extreme for instance).

I would like to take some time and explain how NetUse works and how it collects usage statistics. In my previous post I’ve tried to make some important points and I would like to make it clear:

NetUse accounts and displays usage data it receives from your router.

Whatever usage data router reports back on a network interface you’ve selected configuring NetUse that the number you’ll see. Based on this fact if you run two instances of NetUse at all times and you’ve started them simultaneously on both macs you will get exactly the same usage reading on both NetUse instances. However if you close one NetUse instance keeping another one open and use a big chunk of traffic and then restart previously closed NetUse instance - you will see different readings. This is due to a fact that one NetUse instance wasn’t running and collecting data from your router. Most of the routers do have an internal “buffer” to store up to 4Gb of usage data. NetUse accounts for this fact and uses that number to catch-up with usage stats. When your router’s buffer gets full it resets to zero and if NetUse wasn’t running during this event you will loose some usage readings.

How to test? That’s quite easy - Just run NetUse on both Macs and “reset usage” on both copies of NetUse simultaneously ( make sure both copies use the same network interface on your router). Keep both copies up, monitor data usage and you will see it’s the same.

Bottom line - NetUse displays and accounts what it gets back from your router . Keep the app running to get accurate results.

Hope this explains a bit more on how NetUse operates. If you still have questions or need some help, please contact us.

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