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The question is in the title - is there some (hopefully non-intrusive) tool, or a site that lists average traffic consumption for popular games?

A friend of mine would like to play with me, yet he is on a plan that limits his monthly traffic, so I need to investigate before I can pick a game that we could play together.

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Seems off-topic to me, for a utility that tracks traffic you'd have to ask Super User. – user56 Jul 20 '10 at 13:46
Actually I was hoping to do without a utility, perhaps a site or some wiki answers this for most games... The tools they might recommend at SU are best kept far from any PC :) – NPC Jul 20 '10 at 14:02
I doubt it personally, either way I wouldn't play any online game on limited bandwidth without monitoring precisely what you use, since it never is a flat usage. – user56 Jul 20 '10 at 14:04
Yes, if not, then I guess it is indeed off-topic. – NPC Jul 20 '10 at 14:06
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you have Windows Vista or more recent, you can use the inbuilt resource monitor (admin privs required).

  1. Start the game
  2. Start searching for games
  3. Open the resource monitor (Win, resource monitor, Enter)
  4. You should find the game at the top of the Network tab. Click on the checkmark.
    • Now, network activity from the game appears in orange on all graphs.
  5. Join the game; start playing.
  6. As soon as you have a spare moment (maybe you're in warmup), alt-tab to the resource monitor.
  7. Look at the graphs and at the B/sec readings. They have your answer.

It's clunky, but it should work for all games and apps alike. The only "problem" is applications won't show up on the list until they do some networking.

If you have more than one process you want to measure (say, the game and mumble), just check them both.

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Interesting, I wasn't aware of this built-in option, thanks! It does seem to measure only the "instant" speed values, though, but still gives a good idea of how "heavy" the game is (unless it stops using the net once you alt-tab out of it). – NPC Jul 21 '10 at 7:24
If it does you can still use the readings on the graph. :) – badp Jul 21 '10 at 9:10
Ah, that's true :) – NPC Jul 22 '10 at 7:01

You could also use some kind of bandwidth monitor to manage it. THe Network resources built into the OS are nice, but you have to alt tab between them to watch them live. Here is a free bandwidth monitor that you can run that will allow you to create a log start and finish that you can run in the background while the game is running and afterwords go back to check overall bandwidth usage. The free version will give you everything you need.

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Yeah, but that will also pick up network I/O from other programs. – badp Jul 20 '10 at 23:33
@badp, fair comment, but for online games this may be perfect, as one tries to minimize any other traffic while playing a multiplayer game. Thanks for the answer, CaedJar4. – NPC Jul 21 '10 at 7:26

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