Although both Windows Vista and 7 do come with an advanced system monitor their own yet most of the time they've failed to meet the requirements of "simple PC users" (like you and me ;-)). For instance, the built in utility of MS Windows fails to give me details such as monthly or daily data usage of my traffic, it cannot perform a speed test or it won't let you save your current bandwidth data to disk, etc either.
So in that sense, if you're looking for a simple, free but one of the best tools that display up-to-date information about your current network traffic/data usage, then Networx is a very impressive one without a doubt.
I'm not a network administrator but it also come with few additional features that can be quite useful to 'advanced dudes" like network administrators as well (more on that later).
This dedicated network bandwidth monitoring software comes with a very simple yet powerful GUI and lets you do things like...
*. Four built in bandwidth reports: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Hourly.
*. "At a Glance": This is a nice little feature that lets you see a basic usage of daily, weekly and monthly within a single window.
*. Set Quota setting: By using this feature, you can easily set Networx to automatically notify your when you reach your daily usage limits (that are manually defined of course) or you can set up it to display a warning when you've reached a certain percentage of your daily/weekly/monthly data usage as well (pretty advanced stuff huh :P).
*. Dial-up Session: If you don't have a router that's always connected to the internet and uses a USB dongle instead, then you'd love this feature. This will display your data usage for your each session.
*. Custom: If all those daily/weekly/monthly, etc is not enough for your taste ;-) then you can manually define a time-frame and can view your date-usage by using the "Custom" section.
*. Multi user support.
*. A built in network speed meter.
This is my favorite feature and the reason is simple. I use both MS Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux in the same computer + uses the same internet connection. Now, Networx does not work in Ubuntu but since I do a lot of downloading (so I could write reviews for you geeks daily, lol) but as soon as I boot into MS Windows that data usage is not included in Networx (obviously).
So all I do is just remember the network usage in Ubuntu (using its system monitor) and then convert that amount into Kilobytes (using the calculator in Windows) and then I use the previously exported data usage of Networx in XML format and update the data-usage (manually) and restore the new updated XML settings file and Networx now displays the previously "missed" data usage under Ubuntu!. So it's really handy for someone like me :).
Although not super important, but you can access a lot of its options via the "Settings" section by using which you can change the Window opacity, make it display a very small graphs in your notification area, change graph colors, set what happens when you move your mouse over the Networx icon, etc are just a few to mention.
Networx has the ability to deal with simultaneous network connections + you can set it to ignore your LAN bandwidth monitoring as well. From visual alerts to shutting down the computer after a certain bandwidth limit is reach, disconnect your network connections and setting a master password ... it is certainly quite powerful.
|Although most of the users may not use these features but Networx has few advanced features such as Ping and Trace Route, etc which can come quite handy for network administrators ...|
If you want to give it a try, then please visit this Networx home page for downloading or getting additional information. Good luck.