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Monitoring Internet Activity for Windows and macOS

Monitoring your computer’s Internet activity is a powerful tool, enabling you to:

  • keep an eye on background processes
  • reveal viruses and other malware
  • expose unauthorized access
  • monitor running programs
  • log process activity

..and much more. The best part? It’s super-easy. Here’s how I do it on Win XP:

  1. Open the command prompt and type “netstat -n 5 > scan.txt
  2. After a minute or two (or any amount of time), press Ctrl+C to stop monitoring
  3. Type “scan.txt” to open the log file and check the results

There are many ways to modify the log output using various parameters. Here are a couple of alternate commands you can try:

  • netstat -b 5 > scan.txt
  • netstat -nao 5 > scan.txt

The second command provides PID numbers that may be verified against running processes in the Windows Task Manager (under View > Select Column..). Feel free to terminate any processes running unwanted TCP connections. For a complete list of netstat parameters, type “netstat help” in the command prompt.

Here’s how I do it on Mac OSX:

  1. Open Terminal and type “netstat -b >> scan.txt
  2. After a minute or two (or any amount of time), press Ctrl+C to stop monitoring
  3. Type “more scan.txt” to open the log file and check the results

Happy Monitoring!

Jeff Starr
About the Author
Jeff Starr = Creative thinker. Passionate about free and open Web.
Blackhole Pro: Trap bad bots in a virtual black hole.

2 responses to “Monitoring Internet Activity for Windows and macOS”

  1. Thanks for sharing Jeff. Being one as well who works cross-platform, well let’s just say the information you provide here is an invaluable tool.

  2. Is there anyway to include a timestamp in the logs?

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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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