With the exception of a few oceans, the arctic and antarctic, the earth is covered with electronic networks. At one time or another, every Mac, iPhone, or iPad user is on a network. Got Wi-Fi at home or office? That’s a network. Connected to the internet via a phone company or cable company? That’s a network. How fast is your network? How much bandwidth does your network use? What can you do when the network your Mac is connected to begins to slow down? Are you getting what you pay for?
PeakHour is one of those much needed, seldom used network monitoring apps which runs on a Mac and monitors internet usage of all connected devices in real time. It’s simple to setup and use. It’s inexpensive. It works well.
First, PeakHour lets you visualize network traffic from your Mac’s Menubar. Click and reveal a drop down window which displays graphic data of devices, inbound and outbound traffic, and even total monthly usage.
Second, PeakHour monitors traffic from most network connected devices; routers, Wi-Fi, NAS, servers, PCs, Macs, and more.
What’s not to like?
Network routers can be intimidating, but PeakHour’s step-by-step setup is simple enough with the built-in Configuration Assistant. The bandwidth monitoring tool supports both SNMP and UPnP protocols, which makes is work with most modern internet connections.
PeakHour monitors total incoming and outbound traffic in real time so you can make sure you’re getting the bandwidth you pay for. It’s a remarkably useful tool for just a few dollars.
Here’s the problem.
PeakHour requires a compatible router, usually one that does UPnP and SNMP. Without that, PeakHour doesn’t do much. Fortunately, there’s also a free trial which runs on your Mac and can tell you whether or not your equipment will do the deed.
Oddly enough, Apple’s most recent Airport devices do NOT provide SNMP data (it could, but Apple doesn’t allow it), but I’ve used PeakHour on a number of Motorola cable modems and it works just fine.