TP Link Traffic Monitor

sonysean

Member
I'm using a TP Link Archer V600 router and was just curious as to how much we download and upload over the course of time these days.

In the settings for the router it has a Traffic Monitor but I'm not completely sure on what everything means on it.

Here's a screenshot:
Screenshot_2021-02-23 Archer VR600.png

I understand the four LAN ports, Wifi etc and assume the bottom one is the total amount for everything, but I'm not sure which bit is actually stating how much has downloaded or uploaded?
I'm also not certain when this data resets by itself, I assume it's since the internet was last connected/router restarted?
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Yes, overall figure is at the bottom (your connection to your ISP), Rx is what you've downloaded, Tx is what's been sent up to the internet.

I think it's since you last pressed the reset button on the top right.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Rx = Received Tx = Transmit. PPPoe is your Internet link. The numbers on things like the LAN ports & Wi-Fi are the amount Tx/Rx on each port / Wi-Fi antenna for all sources, not just "to/from the Internet." The counts are likely to be since you last powered up your router (or hit the counter reset icon) not when the Internet last went down/up.

The Internet link counters (PPPoE row) might reset if the Internet link goes up/down, (to know for sure you'd have to check a manual) but even if it does, it would unlikely effect all the rest of the counters.

Test it out if you like, you won't damage anything - watch the counters (refresh a few times and observe them going up,) pull out one of the LAN cables refresh again and see what happens - typically the counts simply stop rising, then plug back in and watch them start to tick over again. You could do the same for your Internet link and see what happens - though probably best to warn the household as of course the Internet will be gone whilst you have it yanked out. I wouldn't disconnect/connect your Internet link too many times though - the exchange might interpret it as a fault on the line and start implementing mitigation measures (like slowing down your rates) but once or twice shouldn't be a big deal.
 

sonysean

Member
Thanks, the only things I don't understand now is how the bottom figure (PPPoe) has such a high Rx figure, much higher than adding all of the other Rx numbers together.

Also, what does Tx/Transmit mean exactly? It in some cases is much more than the Rx, but then (including for the PPPoe) is much lower.

I reset the figures shortly after taking the screenshot I posted earlier, but this is now:
Screenshot_2021-02-23 Archer VR600.png
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
These are the router stats so you add the LAN and WiFi tx numbers together to get the ppoe rx numbers together.

So practical example I request a film from Netflix. I send a signal from my computer on WiFi 5GHz. Small amount of data is sent and is counted as received by the router in the rx 5GHz count. The router then transmits the data onto Netflix servers and it is counted in the ppoe tx number. The returning movie which is going to be in the 5gb range say returns to the router is counted on the ppoe rx number. The router then transmits the data back on the WiFi 5GHz and counted this in the WiFi 5GHz tx number.

The odd bit of data gets sent back to Netflix but the numbers mean that the film stream is probably in the order of a 1000 times bigger than the data you send back.

So the numbers should add up that way and that is why most internet connections are asynchronous. Download is bigger than upload
 
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sonysean

Member
Thanks for the explanation, I think I can make sense of most of it now :)
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
The figures are all independent of each other, we would not expect them to "tally up." They are simply counts of how much traffic has ingressed/egressed each interface expressed in terms of packets and bytes (packet size in each of the technologies involved are variable size.)

Each interface is capable of both receiving and transmitting traffic - these are all two-way communications links. However, the ingress and egress amounts are independent of each other. It's like a road - just because 50 cars head in one direction, there's no expectation (or requirement) that 50 cars head in the other - the traffic flows are independent of each other. (Routers switches and AP's a like the "junctions" in the road network.)

There is no read across that all the ingress (Rx) values on the LAN/Wi-Fi interfaces should equal the amount that egresses (Tx) the Internet interface (PPPoE) (and vice versa) because not all traffic heads to the Internet. Plenty of it stays local.

As well as the example Chuck cites, here's a couple of others:

If you copied a file from a device connected to (say) LAN1 to a device connected to (say) LAN3, that would tick up the counters on those ports, but no others. As CM explains, a file copying operation is such that the traffic flows are asynchronous so there will be more traffic heading LAN1--->LAN3 than LAN1--<LAN3 for that operation and the Tx/Rx counters would reflect that.

In LAN networking there is a fair bit of "broadcast" traffic used. By definition a broadcast packet is a (single) packet sent from one host to "all others." Thusly, if such a packet is received (Rx) on (say) LAN4, the ethernet switch built into your "router" will transmit (Tx) a copy of that packet out of all LAN ports except the one that received it, both Wi-Fi interfaces, but not the Internet interface. Thusly for that one packet, LAN4 Rx ticks up 1 and all the other LAN/Wi-Fi interfaces Tx tick up 1 and PPPoE doesn't change.

Indeed, until the switch/AP built into your "router" has learned which devices can be reached through which interfaces, this is the default operating state for all traffic - basically, send a copy of all incoming traffic out of every LAN/Wi-Fi interface except the one you received it through. That's a bit wasteful in that it's sending a lot of traffic where it's not needed, so ethernet switches and AP's very quickly learn what can be reached through which interface so they can start to direct traffic only to where it's needed.

The mechanism for determining what traffic gets sent out (Tx) the PPPoE interface and what happens to traffic received (Rx) through the PPPoE interface is different again!
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
@mickevh yes you are right and it was late last night :)

I had not mentioned internal traffic and yes that will affect the numbers too.

What I would expect typically in a home router situation where most people are accessing the Internet rather than other local clients is that the PPOE are in the right ballpark compared to the sum of the other ones. Agree things like broadcast will happen all the time however the data sent in those is relatively small so will get lost in the bytes column but not the total packets.
 

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