Monitoring the Internet traffic of a PC can be highly beneficial. It can for instance be used to find out which applications send or receive data, or what's causing the huge bandwidth bill at the end of each month.
NetBalancer is an Internet traffic monitoring and controlling software that is available as a free and professional version. The professional version is available for free today only at the Giveaway of the Day website; Hence the review.
The NetBalancer website describes the differences between the free and professional version of the traffic shaping and monitoring software this way:
*The Free version is limited to a maximum of 5 process priorities/limits and 5 rules at a time, has no separate network adapters management and no support for Network Grouping
NetBalancer's core features include:
Installation of the software should not pose a problem. Users who install the Giveaway of the Day version should however take note of the optional Software Informer installation at the end which is not needed for NetBalancer's functionality.
When you start the program for the first time you will see a list of all processes that are currently running on the system along with their process id, incoming and outgoing traffic, cpu, path and traffic history.
Each process can be selected to see additional information about it and all of its existing connections.
A right-click on any process in the listing displays a context menu with options to modify that processes' upload and download priority. Depending on that priority, the process gets more or less of the network capacities in high load situations.
Say you want to make sure that you can play your favorite online game just fine while at the same time downloading files via Bittorrent or ftp. You could set the priority of the game process to high to make sure that it gets enough capacities to keep the game playable even if another process is requesting most of the available bandwidth.
Rules are a powerful way of prioritizing traffic further. They can be used to change priorities or download and upload limits for a process permanently or for specific days or times.
You could use rules to reduce the priority of P2P traffic during Workdays and hours for instance.
The program options can be used to customize the program further, for instance by configuring at which percentage the network balancing kicks in, by giving automatic high priority to focused applications or by editing the level severity which sets the speed differences between applications with different network priorities.
The free version of the traffic shaping software NetBalancer is available from the developer website as well.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.