How to Monitor a Home Network

by Jack Gerard

While a home network has the advantage of allowing multiple computers to share resources, if one computer is using these resources in excess then it can result in network congestion and general slowdowns for the other computers. Microsoft Windows has a built-in application known as "Performance Monitor" that can be used to monitor the resource usage of computers on your home network, allowing you to know exactly where potential problems are so that you can correct them.

Open the "Start" menu and select the "Run..." option. This will cause the "Run" dialog box to open, prompting you to enter the name of the program you wish to run.

Type "perfmon" into the "Open:" panel of the dialog box. Click the "OK" button, then wait for the Performance Monitor application to launch.

Right-click on the graph that is being generated by the Performance Monitor. A small context menu will appear; select the "Add Counters..." item to open a new window where you can create a custom monitoring counter.

Select the computer that you wish to monitor from the drop-down menu at the top of the "Add Counters" window; you should be able to select any computer that is currently accessible through your network.

Choose an item such as memory usage, processor usage or browser usage you would like to monitor in the "Performance Object" drop-down menu.

Click the "Add" button in order to add the new tracker to the Performance Monitor graph.

Tip

  • check You can change the colors of the individual items in the Performance Monitor's graph by selecting them from the list below the graph, right-clicking to open the context menu, and selecting the "Properties..." option. Width, style and scale can also be changed.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.