Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NetTraffic: display network traffic information on the Windows desktop





If you want to find out how fast you are downloading or uploading in Windows, you will notice that it is not really that easy to find out. While some third party programs display those information to you in their interface, Windows itself seemingly does not make available any of those information to you directly.
Windows offers tools that display your network's activity but you need to know where to look. You can open the Task Manager with Ctrl-Shift-Esc for instance and switch to the Networking tab there, or use the Resource Monitor instead which is also highlighting all the processes that use bandwidth currently.
NetTraffic is a free alternative for Windows that you can use to display the bandwidth utilization of a network adapter.
Note: NetTraffic requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0.
It adds a single icon to the Windows system tray that is highlighting if upload or download bandwidth are used currently. When you hover over the icon, the current upload and download speed is listed in a small notification window.
nettrraffic
A click opens the traffic graph that stays there until you click it away again. The always on top graph highlights the upload and download bandwidth in absolute numbers and as a graph. You can disable the always on top nature of the window though if you want with a right-click and the selection of Always on top in the context menu. Here you can also open the program's preferences.
nettraffic preferences
The application uses all network interfaces by default. If you only want to monitor one or some, you can modify that here in the preferences. Here you can also modify the update interval which is set to 1000ms by default and change the colors that are used to paint the chart information on the screen.
The statistics window displays several interesting information. It not only displays the yearly, monthly, daily and hourly bandwidth utilization of the selected network adapters, but also a prognosis and average values.
You need to run the network traffic monitor for a while on the system as the accuracy will increase significantly over time.
The statistics window offers charts as well that you can make use of to display the traffic utilization for a given time frame in the window. Information can be displayed as graphs or in a table, with options to export data into an xml file.

Verdict

If you want to monitor your system's bandwidth over time, then this is one of the tools that you can use for the purpose. If you need information about the bandwidth of individual processes, try NetLimiter Monitor.

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