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December 16, 2011 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I need a Firefox or Chrome extension that tracks my bandwidth usage.

I'm often stuck using an Internet connection with severely metered bandwidth. Previously on AskMe, I was directed to a Firefox extension called Firefox Throttle, which gave me a wee display of exactly how much data I'd sucked down, and it's been working great.

...up to Firefox 3.6. Now Firefox is up to version nine-hundred-and-twelve or something, and the extension has been abandoned by the developer. I'd sure like to upgrade—or even switch to Chrome, which I'd prefer—but without a way to monitor my usage, I'm stuck using (gasp!) a two-year-old web browser.

Are there any extensions for current versions of Firefox or Chrome that will tell me exactly how much I've downloaded and uploaded in the current session? Non-extension Windows apps are a no-go unless they can run off a USB stick without administrator privileges. Thanks in advance, all.
posted by Zozo to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Instead of finding a new addon, you could trick the old one into working with newer versions of Firefox. Here are three workarounds to get old add-ons to work with new versions of Firefox 1 & 2 require installation of new add-ons. 3 is to disable the compatibility check from within Firefox. If that breaks anything in a serious way for you, you can reset preferences and try something else.

Or if you want to get deep into it, you can edit the maxVersion check within the extension itself. This way, the only thing you could possibly mess up is the individual extension (but that isn't likely, if you follow that tutorial).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM on December 16, 2011

This article suggests that Fiddler, a MS PowerToy, might help you out. Check out the performance statistics tab in the screenshot.

When you install Fiddler, it puts a sort of plug-in into Firefox that you can control via the status bar (lower right hand corner of the browser). I'm looking at the Fiddler control on the status bar as I type this.

If other apps on your desktop are making HTTP requests, I believe you can configure Fiddler to screen them out.

I've used Fiddler for other types of testing and I'm happy with it - what's more, the infrastructure guys at work gave it the thumbs-up.
posted by Currer Belfry at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2011

I don't really understand why you need an extension. If this helps we use this program to track our usage -

We use something called BitMeter. Have used it for years. Works great.
posted by cda at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Instead of finding a new addon, you could trick the old one into working with newer versions of Firefox.

The problem isn't with the version checking. It seems like Firefox changed the way the status bar works after 3.6 and the little widget doesn't display properly.

I don't really understand why you need an extension.

Because I only need to track traffic that's going through the browser, and because I'm limited to what can be run off a USB stick without Windows administrator privileges.

I think both BitMeter and Fiddler fail on that last count, sadly.
posted by Zozo at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2011

The last comment on this Mozilla Support request post has a work-around, but you end up running an old version of Firefox.

Otherwise, NetLimiter was mentioned as an alternative solution, though it's a stand-alone Windows app instead of an extension, and the only thing free is a monitor, and bandwidth "shaping" will cost you. But if all you want is to track usage, the freebie might work. Also, the Wiki page for NetLimiter lists some other programs that might work for you, but I don't know if they require admin privileges to be installed, or if they'd work with your operating system.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:48 PM on December 19, 2011

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