Network monitoring tools

Sometimes I am in the need to watch the network traffic and for these occasions I fit to console based tools.

The first application I found – years ago – was iftop. It does a nice job, printing the average bandwidth upwards and downwards transferred for the past 2, 10 and 40 seconds for each connections.

Recently I found out two other tools like iftop, and both of them have their intrinsic advantages:
  • nethogs displays the bandwidth per process. Very nice when you want to monitor applications that doesn't provide this information in their interface. Quick note: press 'm' to switch between the display modes.
  • iptraf is the most complete tool than the above mentioned ones. It is also NCurses based however fully interactive with colors and menus. The tool states itself as a "Statistics Utility", which it is, as it allows to visualize the network traffic based on a dozen possibilities.

I also found out a very complete – for nowadays – web-based application which is ntop. It can be run as a daemon and will gather all information inside databases. You can connect to http://localhost:3000 to display graphics (rrdtool based) and zillion of information. I'm giving a try to this tool with at least a per month review.


  1. Nice description!! I agree with you, network monitoring tool makes easy to watch network traffic.

  2. You are providing such an informative article here. You have described everything which is easily understandable to everyone. Keep sharing this kind of articles, Thank you.Network Monitoring