The best home network: Monitor your network

Of course, it can be helpful to keep an eye on network traffic. Although a firewall such as that of Windows provides security for incoming traffic, by default the outgoing network traffic remains unaffected. GlassWire can be a useful tool.

Anyone who manages the computers and the network at home must be a little bit at home in all markets and have an eye for many aspects of the computer environment. You must ensure that the software and drivers are up-to-date everywhere, that a reliable antivirus program is running, that you can respond quickly to (upcoming) problems, that backups are taken regularly, that you can quickly recover a crashed system. restore, etc. In the second part of this seven-part series, we provide insight into how best to monitor your network.

Would you like to read the first part again? Click here!

GlassWire keeps track of all network traffic and visualizes everything in a very comprehensible way. In addition, the program monitors that traffic and notifies you when DNS changes occur, when a malicious host is contacted or when it detects suspicious traffic, such as with ARP spoofing. A built-in firewall allows you to block that specific traffic right away.

GlassWire notifications

Installing GlassWire requires little more than pressing a button a few times. There is a good chance that a few notifications will appear in a pop-up window near the Windows system tray immediately after installation. You get a chronological overview on the tab Alerts from the main window, but via the menu you can also do this per application (apps) or kind (Type) group. As for the latter: via the button Glasswire / Settings / Security / Unlock you decide for yourself which type of alarms you want to see. For example, it is possible to get a warning as soon as the PC exceeds a certain amount of data of a specific type within a certain period of time.

GlassWire data transfers

The tab graph is useful if you want to know how much data is going over your network card at any time, both for incoming and outgoing traffic. By default, GlassWire shows you the traffic for the last five minutes, but that is adjustable. The round buttons at the bottom let you zoom in on a specific period. Click on the graph to find out which programs were responsible for the traffic and which servers are involved. You can get even more details by clicking on the name of an application or host. You can also use this network traffic per application (apps) or network protocol (traffic) to look at. The tab Usage gives you a nice overview of your network usage, divided by application, host and type.

As mentioned, Spiceworks also includes a firewall, but it is little more than a graphical interface around the built-in Windows firewall. Well it is from the tab firewall possible to block the traffic of a specific app with a single click.


You can also connect the paid version of Spiceworks from a 'central' computer to the Spiceworks applications on other systems in your network (approximately 44 euros for three external connections). However, that requires your explicit permission as well as some preparation through the Settingspanel, both on the side of the central computer and on the other devices. You can read more about it in the manual.

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