There are various reasons why you might want to monitor your internet connection – idle curiosity is likely to lead to wondering about average speeds over the course of a month, and the download limits put in place by internet service providers means that there is a real purpose to keeping an eye on transfer levels. NetSpeedMonitor is a free tool that resides in the system tray and provides at-a-glance information about how your internet connection is being used.
After running through the installation of the program, launch NetSpeedMonitor from the Start menu or desktop shortcut. You’ll immediately notice a new entry in the system tray displaying your current upload and download speeds; hover the mouse over this and you will see a pop up that displays the same information as well as details of monthly and daily data transfer.
There are various options that can be configured so that NetSpeedMonitor works the way you want it to, and these can be accessed by right clicking the entry in the system tray and selecting the Configuration option. On the General tab, the first drop down menu can be used to select which network adaptor the program should monitor – it is possible that you have more than one installed. Below this you can choose the units that should be used to display transfer speeds. Make sure that the option labelled Turn Monitoring On is ticked and click the Apply button.
By moving to the Layout tab you can change the appearance of NetSpeedMonitor in the system tray by choosing a font format and indicating whether a glow effect should be applied or not. In the Other Settings section you can swap the order in which upload and download statistics are displayed by ticking the Change Lineorder box, while ticking Change Alignment will place the two figures side by side rather than one above the other. You can also change the label used to denote upload and download data.
Download speed details are useful, but monthly usage is likely to be of more interest. Right click the system tray icon and select the Data Traffic entry in the menu to view the statistics that have been captured for your network adaptor. By default, the data is displayed by day, but you can select the Month option to the right of the dialog to check your monthly usage. If at any time you need to reset the counters, click the Clear Database link to zero all the numbers and start afresh.
Whether you are just interested to see whether your internet connection is as fast as your ISP says it is, or want to ensure that you don’t download too much in a month, NetSpeedMonitor is a handy little utility that provides you with all the information you need.