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Is there a way I can track total bandwidth usage over the course of a month? My service provider requires me to stay within fairly strict limits.

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Note that tracking your bits in and out at the computer level will only tell you your overall use if your computer is the only one connected to your ISP's modem. –  Ian C. Sep 25 '11 at 21:59
    
I would also want a solution where the traffic caused by time machine can be excluded. Also the traffic via wifi, vpn and ethernet should be combined. –  gentmatt Nov 29 '11 at 15:58
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I really like BitMeter OS. It's free, runs as a service and has a slick browser-based interface. It also runs on Windows and Linux.

screenshot

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Having an browser-based interface is fine. But I was really confused not to find a app with an icon to start the web interface. I did not save the link... For anyone else experiencing the same: localhost:2605 –  gentmatt Nov 29 '11 at 16:06
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If you want to measure it from your Mac: MenuMeters keep a running total of the network volume since last reboot. Of course this total does not differentiate between local and internet traffic so if you have other computers on your LAN you may be better of to measure it directly in the modem/router (which usually has statistics functionality builtin).

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Probably the most polished app is Rubbernet ($$). Does bandwidth throttling too.

Rubbernet provides a breakdown of per-app network usage, so you can quickly detect apps that phone home, connect to certain servers without your knowledge, or blame the app that's slowing down your network.

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Have a look at vnstat:

vnStat is a console-based network traffic monitor for Linux and BSD that keeps a log of network traffic for the selected interface(s). It uses the network interface statistics provided by the kernel as information source. This means that vnStat won't actually be sniffing any traffic and also ensures light use of system resources. However, in Linux at least a 2.2 series kernel is required

It also works on BSD and Mac OSX.

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