How to Monitor Network Traffic on Mac OS via Command Line with Nettop Guide

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Mac OS X includes an excellent network command utility called “nettop,” which allows users to track all network activity, traffic, and routes from the Mac to the outside world through local (LAN) and wide area (WAN) connections. . If you are not familiar with such network tools, you can think of nettop as a network-centric task manager that displays active network connections, sockets and routes, their names, and process IDs, connection status, and connection establishment. , wait or listen, and information about individual process data transfers. It’s a bit like the normal ‘top’ and ‘htop’ commands that show process and resource information, but instead of using CPU and RAM, it shows real-time network transfer information such as packets sent and received, packet size , and transfer data. .

netop has a wide variety of uses, but it can be especially useful when trying to figure out what Macs are using the Internet connection and network connections, what is connected where, and how much data is being transferred, and not it’s just a good utility for network troubleshooting. However, command line tools aren’t for everyone, and for users who want to see similar network information in a more traditional OS X application format, the free Mac application Private Eye is an excellent GUI tool. which provides similar information.

Nettop allows network traffic and connections

Getting started with Nettop is pretty easy. Open Terminal from the /Applications/Utilities directory and type “nettop” at the command prompt to instantly see active network connections and traffic:

net

Scroll down the down arrow key and you’ll soon start recognizing processes you recognize by name, along with the applications or processes you’re currently using.

Net network traffic and activity

For example, you might see an active SSH connection along with the IP address you’re connected to, and things get very busy when you come across web browsers like Safari or Chrome, especially if you’re on a website with AJAX, ads, or cookies. , because nettop shows all communication between the browser and remote servers.

If you want to see the most information, you need to maximize the size of the window by clicking the green maximize button and consider reducing the font size of the terminal window if you can’t see everything you want. Most of us also find it useful to press the P button to set the result that the net shows to a human readable format.

nettop shows all network traffic

Once you are on the internet, you can adjust the output slightly to see more or less information about certain processes and their online communication. The basic Nettop commands are:

  • p – changes to and from human readable form (ie kilobytes and megabytes rather than just bytes)
  • d – show the delta number (ie active change in the number of packets and not the total number of packets)
  • Up and Down Arrow Keys – Navigate up and down the list
  • Right and Left Arrow Keys – Expand or delete specific processes or routing groups
  • q – stop the number

The design is easy to follow regardless of the look of the sample block attached below:

state packets in bytes in packets, external. 83411 5742633 5438 MiB 112280tcp4 192.168.1.6:64547sample.ip.com:30 Founded 5742633 5438 MiB 112280Google Chrome.99481 26448 6934 KiB 18187tcp4 192.168.1.6:60829181.82-static B 1tcp4 192.168.1.6:544 .am Founded 3253555 KiB 3099tcp4 192.168. 1.6:51198ec2-44-11.compute-1.am Established 3512796 KiB 1366tcp4 192.168.1.6:55222n415s2-i- f1.jj.net:443 Established 10819 361.242 – f1.jj.net:443 Established 7981 1866 KIB 361.242 192.168.1.6 1.6:50832Domain-Sample.com:80 Established 313 9177 B 310TCP4 192 1.6:65035DFDSSDFSD.com:80 Established 521 14 kib 514udp4 *: ** ** ** *

You can also view routing table information on the web if you don’t want to see specific outlets and processes

nettop route -m

Routing information shows connections from the hardware to the destination IP, for example, you may see en0 (wi-fi) from the local network IP server to the remote server, and you may also see loopback information.

You can also use the -ma flag to restrict nettop to only show TCP or UDP connections, nettop -m tcp, and nettop -m udp

Other ways to see similar information from the command line, including lsof, open_ports, and then branching out a bit from the command line, you can use GeekTool with lsof to print a list of live network connections directly over wallpaper OS X desktop.

In the iOS mobile world, you’ll find similar information using the free Fing online scanning app, which is a bit more limited, but still useful enough to use on your iPhone and iPad.

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FAQ: View Network Traffic in Mac OS X via Command Line with nettop

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