Desktop systems normally remain connected to a WiFi network. With a WiFi network, you don’t really have to worry about exceeding a data usage limit because they tend to have large data caps that aren’t easy to cross. That said, with a system that’s always online whenever it is on, there are other risks. If there’s something malicious installed on your system, it can upload your data to its own server, or it can download more malicious content onto your system. If you suspect rouge activity from an app, you can use a free app called GlassWite to get new network activity alerts on Windows 10.
New network activity alerts
GlassWire is an incredibly powerful, feature-rich app that’s been around for years. Most people who need a network tool will run into this app at some point. It has a free version with some restrictions that is perfect for keeping an eye on network activity.
Download, install and run GlassWire. By default, it will be able to show you network activity on a per-app basis. Now, unlike the Resource Monitor on Windows 10, GlassWire gives users a much more friendly look at network activity. More importantly, it starts tracking the activity by default.
Any time an app needs to access the network, you get a notification for it. The notifications aren’t limited to apps that are active in the foreground. Any app that’s running in the background and any system process that connects to an online server is also tracked. In fact, you can even see the type of network traffic that is sent/received.
If you go to the Alerts tab, you can get a summary list of all the network activity on your system and view which app it was from. You’ll be able to see which website was accessed and when.
The best part is that this all configured out of the box. If you’re worried about setting the app up before you can use it, you don’t have to be. Installing the app is really all you have to do.
GlassWire is a great way to see which apps not only run in the background but also access an online server. You’d expect apps like Dropbox and Steam to connect to a server every now and then but you’ll soon see that there are network connections established by Cortana, Skype, and even the stock TV & Movies app on Windows 10 from time to time.