Monitoring the Internet connection can be helpful in several situations including troubleshooting an Internet connection, or ensuring that bandwidth use does not go beyond a set limit.
The free software Bitmeter II is a bandwidth meter that can be used for exactly that purpose. It will monitor the bandwidth usage of all network adapters as long as it is running which it is by default.
A setting is provided in the program's options to limit the monitoring to select network adapters and not all of them.
The program runs quietly in the system tray for the most part. Its icon displays the incoming and outgoing activity of the network adapters it monitors so that you can see on first glance if data is transferred at the time.
A click on the icon displays a small overlay window that floats on the screen. This window displays a traffic graph and the download and upload bandwidth in Kilobytes.
The bandwidth meter can be resized and will display information about the bandwidth usage up to seconds. You may set it to float on the screen as well so that it remains on top of other windows and thus always in sight.
More interesting than the graph are the statistics that it generates automatically. The statistics list the bandwidth usage of the last few hours, days and month in graphs.
A click on any of the grid icons in the left corner of the statistics will open a grid view of the traffic statistics which are easier to read than the graphs.
The preferences that Bitmeter provides you with reveal several additional features that the program supports. Apart from the already mentioned option to change the selection of network adapters, you find an option to use notifications to inform you when a certain bandwidth limit is reached.
Another option enables you to configure so called ISP restrictions which allow you to set traffic limits and receive notifications when those traffic limits are reached. This is helpful if traffic is limited by the Internet plan as it ensures that you receive information about reaching the quota in a given time period.
Another interesting feature is the traffic calculator that can be used to calculate how long it takes to download a file of a given size or how much can be downloaded in a given time period.
Other available preferences include web proxy support, data backups, running a web server to display the traffic details or running a stopwatch.
Bitmeter II is a sophisticated bandwidth meter that is compatible with all recent versions of the Microsoft operating system. It requires the Microsoft .net Framework so make sure that is installed on the device.
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