A computer connected to the internet may have some (or a plethora of) programs that also access the internet to send and receive data. The objective of this sending and receiving of data could be due to a software update, stats sharing, or even an internet worm sending your data to the hacker.

In case if you just have begun with the computers and internet, here are some more examples that throw light on internet data usage by software programs:

  • People generally use automatic updates on the OS of their computer, which are automatically downloaded whenever an internet connection is available.
  • More general is the automatic downloads of Virus definitions for an Anti Virus program.
  • Chat and messenger programs automatically connect to and access the internet.
  • Trojans and other internet worms, if present in a computer machine, can steal the data without owner’s knowledge and send it to the hackers over the internet. That is intimidating.

Why should I keep track of those programs?

  1. The #1 reason is the security concerns. You won’t be able to know when some Trojan ware has stolen your data.
  2. The data transfer over the internet costs you internet bandwidth, and you may save a good amount of bandwidth by blocking unnecessary programs from accessing the internet.

You can’t tell what programs on your computer consume your Internet bandwidth without using a software program. So here is a good list of free Network Monitoring programs to detect and block the culprits:

  1. TCPEye


    TCPEye shows the list of all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your computer. It displays useful information about the process that opened the port including process name, it’s full path, it’s version info (product name, file description etc.), the time when it was created, and the user that created it.

    It also allows you to close unwanted TCP connections, and kill the process which started the connection.

    Download TCPEye »

  2. TCPView


    TCPView is a program for Windows that displays a detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your PC, including the local and remote addresses and state of TCP connections.

    On Windows Server 2008, Vista, and XP, TCPView also reports the name of the process that owns the endpoint. It provides a more informative and conveniently presented subset of the Netstat program that ships with the Windows OS.

    Download TCPView »

  3. Zone Alarm


    ZoneAlarm is a personal firewall software application in which program access is controlled by zones divided for all available network connections.

    The trusted zone generally includes the user’s LAN and can share resources such as files and printers, while the Internet zone includes everything that lies outside of the trusted zone.

    The user can specify permissions (trusted zone client, trusted zone server, Internet zone client, zone server) to give to a program before it attempts to access the Internet (e.g. before running it for the first time) or, alternatively, ZoneAlarm will ask the user to give the program permission on its first access attempt.

    The latest version of ZoneAlarm is supported on Windows 7 and 8.

    Download ZoneAlarm »

That sums it up. Tell me what do you use to control internet access on your side. You may also try Online Armor Firewall, suggested by our reader Shiv Kumar, which also serves good to deep check such processes. It is available for free for a 30-day trial.