Netmonitor to Show Background Network Usage of Webpages in Chrome

Typically when a web page is loaded, the “loading” icon on the tab in Chrome spins at first, indicating that there are network activities going on at the moment. But when it stops, it doesn’t necessary mean that all the network activities stopped the same time. There are still a lot of activities even after the first load. It’s quite common that the web pages can do network IO via JavaScript in the¬†background without the user knowing it.

Netmonitor is a Chrome extension that highlights background network requests web page made after loading. The count indicated on the extension’s icon gets updated in real-time while you interact with the web page. If it goes up, it means that there are background network requests that have been made by the web page.

When you see the extension icon shown as a network icon, you are on a web page that only makes the number of requests indicated on the icon during the page load, nothing afterward.

netmonitor-state-done
Web page that only makes request during the page load

But when you see it shown as a hexagonal red icon, you are on a web page that makes more network requests even after the page is done the loading.

Web page that makes more requests after the load
Web page that makes more requests after the load

Closing words

Netmonitor is a simple extension that visualizes the background network activities in a way that’s easy to tell when they are made. It’s definitely got some potential to be better with more features added in, such as the details of the requests made after the load, etc.

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