If you have a monthly data cap from your ISP or you're experiencing network congestion, Firewalla can help! You can use the following features to track your bandwidth usage to avoid overage charges and better understand your network.
- Live Throughput
- Data Usage
- Monthly Data Plan & Alarm
- Large Bandwidth Usage Alarm
- Large Upload Alarm
- Firewalla Data Usage Management Explained
- Firewalla measures your bandwidth usage, excluding IP (Internet Protocol) and MAC headers. Your service provider may include these headers in their measurements.
- There are certain long-lasting flows (TCP connections that never terminate) that Firewalla only accounts for when the session is terminated. Your service provider may measure differently.
- Firewalla will only measure devices that have monitoring turned on.
- Traffic related to some Firewalla features is not counted in Data Usage. See the full list here.
If your app is connected to Firewalla's local network, you can view your real-time data usage from the Live Throughput chart on your box's main page. Live Throughput charts are also available for each of your networks and devices on their individual detail page. If you have a dual-WAN configuration, you'll see two charts showing throughput on each WAN separately.
Note: If you are using an iOS device and can't see the Live Throughput chart when connected to your local network, make sure local network access for the Firewalla app is turned on:
- On your iOS device's home screen (iOS 14 or later), tap Settings. Privacy -> Local network.
- Turn on local network access for the Firewalla app.
If you want to look into past data usage, scroll to the bottom of your box's main page, tap More, then tap the Data Usage feature.
This feature will show you monthly and daily data usage charts. You can tap on each chart to drill down, so you can trace back and compare your current data consumption to previous months.
If you have the Monthly Data Plan feature enabled, your monthly data usage will be calculated based on the reset date of your data plan.
Monthly Data Plan & Alarm
If you have a monthly data cap from your ISP, you can enable Firewalla's Monthly Data Plan feature to help you track your data usage. Toggle it on from the Data Usage page and fill in your data plan and reset date accordingly.
- Data Usage Plan - Your data usage limit or threshold, based on your monthly data plan
- Reset Date - When to start a new data usage cycle
In general, it is good practice to set your data usage limit 20% lower than your ISP limit– for example, if you have a 1T limit from your ISP, set your data usage limit to 800GB. Always use your ISP's measurements as the standard.
After your Monthly Data Plan is enabled, you will find a new widget on your Box's main screen. It shows you how much data has been used in your current usage cycle, and how many days are left in the cycle. You can tap on the panel to go to the Data Usage page directly.
Monthly Data Plan Alarm
Once you set up the Monthly Data Plan feature, Firewalla will automatically send you alarms when your data usage exceeds 80%, 90%, and 100% of the threshold to avoid overage. For example, if your network has consumed 148.16 GB during your usage cycle and your data plan is set to 100 GB, Firewalla will generate an alarm.
To opt out of receiving alarms, tap Alarms from your box's main page, then tap the Alarm Settings icon in the top right corner. Scroll down and tap on Monthly Data Plan to change the alarm settings.
Large Bandwidth Usage Alarm
Left Netflix or Youtube running? Firewalla can notify you when a device has consumed a large amount of bandwidth over a short period of time. This can help you identify devices or activities that are draining bandwidth and take action. This type of alarm is on by default, but it can be turned off in Alarm Settings. Large Bandwidth Usage alarms will show:
- Device - Which device is causing the alarm
- Data Transferred - The volume of data transferred on the device in the last 24 hours
- Top Destinations - The top 5 destinations receiving the most data transfer volume
Finding Large Bandwidth Devices
If you want to know which devices are consuming the most amount of bandwidth, or which destinations your devices have been uploading data to, the Firewalla app can show you insights.
Tap the Network Flows of any device, group, or network. The app will show you a list of top destinations and flows sorted by data downloaded and uploaded. You can specify the time range. Tap on any device or destination to drill down and see details. If you find any suspicious connections, just tap Block to stop it directly.
You can find which device consumed the most data in the past 24 hours from the Devices list by tapping on the sort button in the top right, then sorting by Top Download or Top Upload.
Large Upload Alarm
Firewalla's Large Upload alarms can also help you identify uploads over a certain data threshold. Unlike the Abnormal Upload alarm, Large Upload alarms simply look into the connection between your devices and the external host. If the data uploaded exceeds the threshold you've set, Firewalla will generate an alarm.
This type of alarm is turned off by default. If you want to get notified when such activity happens, go to Alarms -> Alarm Settings -> Large Upload, and change the general setting to "Send Both Alarm & Notification". The default Upload threshold is 100 MB, but you can tap to change it.
Traffic Not Counted in Data Usage
- [VPN Server] All VPN traffic sent to the Firewalla VPN server to access internal devices.
- [VPN Server] All VPN traffic sent to the Firewalla VPN server to access the Internet (only partially counted).
- [VPN Mesh] All VPN traffic sent to the Firewalla VPN Mesh network to access the Internet or any internal devices.
- [Speedtest] All traffic generated by Firewalla Internet Speed Test.
- [Docker] All traffic used by dockers installed on Firewalla.
Firewalla Data Usage Measurement Explained
Measurements from Firewalla are taken by the data size in each packet, excluding IP and MAC headers. Your ISP will likely measure the whole packet size, which means that your ISP's measurements may be larger than Firewalla's. To account for this, reduce your data limit in the Firewalla app by a percentage.
In the example below, Comcast reports Internet usage as 922 GB, while Firewalla reports 836.04 GB. In this case, the ISP measures 10% more than Firewalla.