When your internet connection is served through a satellite provider you soon find out that you are at the mercy of a bandwidth cap. Exceed the cap and things slow to a crawl, limiting what you can do.
The provider often gives you a set amount of gigabytes per month, which is eaten up not only by normal internet browsing; but, is also eaten up by the behind the scene operations such as windows updates, security software updates, etc… Some providers will give you bonus gigabytes that can be used during off hours (such as 2 AM to 8 AM) and in that scenario I recommend you schedule updates to occur during these so called bonus hours (at night).
In the end, if your internet connection is served through a satellite provider it is important that you plan a strategy to take advantage of the bandwidth that you are provided; but, how do you see how much gas (gigabytes) is left in the tank or how much gas (gigabytes) has been used?
Most satellite providers track your usage and post the usage on the online account you have with the provider. This option, in my opinion, is quite lame. Another more viable option is to use bandwidth monitoring software that will give you real-time visual results that can generate daily reports of your total usage.
I explored various software options to perform this task and finally settled on a FREE software option called NetWorx.
NetWorx is available as a full install or as a portable app. To give it a try, I would download the portable version and if you don’t like it, simply delete it. I think you will be wanting to keep it once you see that it gives you the ability to easily track your daily data traffic amounts.
NetWorx is a simple and free, yet powerful tool that helps you objectively evaluate your bandwidth situation. You can use it to collect bandwidth usage data and measure the speed of your Internet or any other network connection. NetWorx can help you identify possible sources of network problems, ensure that you do not exceed the bandwidth limits specified by your ISP, or track down suspicious network activity characteristic of Trojan horses and hacker attacks.
- Clear graphic and/or numeric display
- Usage reports with export to a variety of file formats, including Excel, MS Word and HTML
- Permits close supervision of uploads and downloads
- Works with dial-up, ISDN, cable modems, ADSL, Ethernet cards, and more
- Includes network information and testing tools with advanced netstat that displays applications using your Internet connection
- Option to notify user or disconnect from the Internet automatically when network activity exceeds a certain level
- Speed meter to accurately time downloads and report the average transfer rates
- Dial-up session journal with detailed information about every session
- Absolutely free and does not contain any adware/spyware/malware
With NetWorx you can:
- Find out and monitor how fast your Internet connection is
- Find out and monitor how much Internet traffic you consume
- Verify whether your ISP charges your Internet usage fairly
- Detect a suspicious network activity on your computer
- Perform simple network tests such as ping and trace route
- Be notified about excessive Internet usage