If you are an owner of an Internet cafe a.k.a. cybercafe (running a small Local Area Network) OR you are a normal computer user at your home/office, then need may arise when you’d like to collect your internet connection’s bandwidth usage details and measure the overall speed of your network.
By collecting your usage data and monitoring your network’s speed regularly, you will get an idea regarding when you’re going to exceed your internet service provider’s bandwidth cap (if any) OR you can track any abnormal network activity caused by a malware or an intrusive user.
Download NetWorx from here and install it on your computer running Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8/8.1. The application allows you to monitor all your existing network connections OR you can choose to monitor a specific connection like Ethernet, mobile broadband, dial-up, Wi-Fi, PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) etc.
Once the application has been successfully installed on your computer, you will see its icon in your system tray. Right click on the icon to open program’s menu and you will be able to see following commands in it:
1. Show Graph: When you click on this command, a new graph window will pop-up which allows you to see your network’s traffic data in real-time along with the current download and upload speeds:
When you click on Show graph, a new command i.e. Reset graph will appear in the program’s menu. Whenever you want to reset the graph of your network’s traffic data, all you need to do is to click on this command:
If you press the left/right arrow keys or Page up/Page down keys on your keyboard, then you will be able to travel along the graph up to an hour back!
2. Speed meter: This command opens up a speed meter pop-up window on your computer, which allows you to measure your network’s data transfer rate over a specific period of time. All you need to do is to click on the green play button and the application will instantly start measuring following things:
- Current incoming and outgoing transfer rate.
- Incoming and outgoing average transfer rate.
- Maximum download and upload speed.
- Total amount of data received and sent, along with overall data transferred.
You can also use the STOP, Reset counter, Copy to clipboard and Save as .txt file buttons present at the top of the meter as per your requirements.
Note: While measuring transfer rates, the application don’t generate any type of traffic on your network. You are required to either download or upload files from/to your computer, so that the application can monitor the transfer rates.
3. Usage Report: When you click on this command, a new window will pop-up which will show you total amount of sent and received data since the installation of the application and for today under General Tab:
If you want then you can also see the usage statistics on per day, per week and per month basis:
You will also be able to see a download and upload graph under usage report for each day/week/month.
At a glance tab allows you to see the usage statistics for all users (Administrator, Standard, Limited and Guest) of your computer over a specific period of time (today, this week, this month and this year):
On this tab you will also be able to see the on-peak and off-peak usage details for each user.
The custom tab allows you to select your own date range and see the data usage details (along with usage graph) for that selected range:
The dial-up sessions tab show you the usage details for all dial up connections (if any) made from your computer:
If you want to see the average download and upload rate & download and upload volume on an hourly basis, then head over to hourly rates tab:
4. Quota: If your Internet service provider has imposed a bandwidth cap or fair usage policy (FUP) on your current plan, then the application can greatly help you in setting your quota and track your usage on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
For example, your bandwidth cap is 30 GB per month and you don’t want to use more than 1 GB of data on any day of the month. Using this application you can set your quota on a daily basis and if somehow you exceed your allotted quota, then the application will alert you instantly.
When you click on quota command, a new window will pop-up. On this window click on setup and enter/select following details in it:
- Quota type: Select from daily, weekly, monthly and last 24 hours.
- Traffic: Select from All traffic (both download and upload), Downloads only, Upload only and dial-up duration.
- Hours: Select from flat rate OR on/off peak.
- Volume unit: Select from KB, MB, and GB.
- Allowance: Enter a numeral value under allowance if you have selected Flat rate. And if you have selected On/Off peak, then you are required to enter a numeral value for both on-peak and off-peak allowances separately.
Click on OK button and check the box in front of Display a message when the quota is used up by, percentage and enter a value for the percentage.
The application can also alert you via email if you are going to exceed your predefined quota. For the application to send you an email you are required to configure your mail settings viz. SMTP server address, connection type, username and password.
Also, if you check the box in front of Also block all network activity, then the application will block any type of data flow to/from your computer. Keep in mind that in order to enable blocking you need to turn the ignore LAN traffic option ON from the application settings.
5. Settings: Clicking on settings command launches the settings window of the application. On this window you can set/select following things:
- Whether you want the application to automatically load on Windows startup.
- Whether you want the application to check for its own update automatically.
- Whether you want to define a global hot key for your network’s graph and usage reports.
- Your preferred volume unit (select from automatic, Terabyte, Gigabyte, Megabyte, Kilobyte and Byte) and multiplier (Kibi and Kilo).
- What type of information do you want the tray icon to display, when you click on it.
- What type of connections do you want the application to monitor? For example, if you only want to monitor Wi-Fi connections, then select Wi-Fi connections from the drop-down menu, instead of All Connections. After this the application will ignore all your usage over an Ethernet OR Dial-up connection. Here you can also select a virtual adapter that you want the application to monitor.
- Whether you want to ignore local traffic within the local area network.
- Select how your usage graph will be displayed? You can also set your preferred graph colours.
- Select your notifications settings and actions like drop all dial-up connections, shut down the computer etc.
- Under advanced tab, you can synchronise your usage data with other NetWorx instances on the network.
- If you’re using a dial-up connection with your computer, then the application can automatically dial your preferred connection at system startup. The application can also redial if the connection hangs.
Apart from above monitoring features, the application also provides you with following network tools:
1. Trace route: This tool allows you to determine the path of a packet when its travelling across the world wide web or a network. All you need to do is to enter a host name or an IP address, enter wait time out value in milliseconds and click on start button. When the packet starts travelling from your computer to its destination, the application will show you the IP Address, host name and response time for each hop:
If you want to resolve all IP addresses to their respective host names, then check the box in front of resolve addresses to host names within the tool’s interface.
2. Ping: This tool will send out an echo request packet to a domain name OR an IP address OR a specific computer in your network. The tool can be considered quite useful when you want to check communication links or want to check whether a specific host exists or is currently running.
To make use of this tool enter a domain name/IP address, enter wait time out value in milliseconds, select total number of request that you want to send and click on start button:
The application will start pinging the host and you will see the IP address, response time and time to live (TTL) for each echo request.
3. Netstat (Network Statistics): This tool allows you to see a list of all active TCP/IP (Internet Protocol Suite) connections and port numbers on which your computer is currently listening. When you run the tool it will show you following details:
- Application: The exact name of system/third party application which is currently using your connection. Keep in mind that the name of the application will only be displayed if you are using Windows XP service pack 2 and higher.
- Protocol: Type of protocol the application is using for establishing a connection. The protocol can be TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol).
- Local address: The IP address of local computer and the port number currently being used by an application.
- Remote address: The IP address and port number of a remote computer currently being used by an application.
- State: Current state of the connection. It can be time_wait, listening, established and close_wait.
- Receive/send: Total amount of data downloaded and uploaded by a particular application. Keep in mind that if you want to make use of this feature then you are required to enable ignore all traffic within the Local Area Network option.
4. Connection monitor: In order to make sure that you are using an ACTIVE internet connection, the application can automatically ping google.com, facebook.com and twitter.com from time to time to check the status of your connection.
If you want to add more hosts, then click on add button and enter the name of your preferred host. When you click on ping now button, then the application will ping all the hosts and show you the status of your network:
If the application is unable to ping a host, then it will show you a request timed out error in red under status:
Overall above network monitoring utility can be considered a must have for every user of Windows OS.