These days there are plenty of plans to choose from to get yourself on the Internet. Some offer various speeds, others impose a bandwidth cap, so on and so forth. Understandably, it is essential to monitor your connection to ensure you are getting the stipulated bandwidth and also keep a track of your usage statistics. This can be done easily with a simple, yet powerful tool – iTraffic.
iTraffic is a network monitoring and reporting tool. It lets you monitor your connection in real-time, providing you with plenty of information about your network connection. You can download and install iTraffic from here.
Once you install and run it, you are required to choose a network card that you would like iTraffic to keep an eye on. Once that is done, you will instantly see results in the form of a real-time graph, representing the current upload and download speeds. The monitoring and graphing options are fully customizable. You may visit settings panel via the tray icon to choose a different network card, set up graphing preferences like colors and units, etc.
iTraffic uses WinPcap for filtering network traffic so you can easily specify IP addresses to be ignored by iTraffic. Besides this, you can also tweak some general settings like starting automatically with Windows, tray icon and tooltips.
If you are looking for a precise speed rating, use the bandwidth stopwatch (right click on the graph). It allows you to measure upload and download speeds for a specific interval and shows you the results. Make sure you select a good server to upload to/download from for an accurate assessment.
A neat little trick that is worth pointing out is that you can double-click on the graph (or hit F8) and you will see the title bar and taskbar icon vanish, and boom you have got yourself a network monitoring widget. You can also right click on the graph and choose additional information that you would like to see.
iTraffic will also allow you to view past figures so that you can track what your network usage. I find it especially useful with the fairly stringent bandwidth caps here in India. You can easily keep track of your usage with the help of an overview report or you can dig deeper and analyze your weekly, monthly or yearly usages.
One potential drawback (can’t really blame the application) is that for people like me who frequently work in different operating systems you tend to loose track of the total usage. Maybe there is a similar tool that works across operating systems? Let me know via comments if you know of one. Nevertheless, if you would like to keep an eye on your connection on a single computer, iTraffic is highly recommended.