After my unfortunate adventures with the bandwidth limitations of my Internet connection, I decided to search the Web for some sort of utility that would help me monitor and hopefully limit my downloads and uploads.
While I didn’t find anything that would actually limit my downloads and uploads (no utilities that would temporarily disable my Internet connection if I got close to my limits), I did find a really nice utility for monitoring my connection.
Freemeter is a free, open-source utility that keeps a log of your network activity. The program is highly configurable.
The nicest part of the utility is the “Totals log”. The totals log allows you to specify your maximum upload and download limits. In addition, you can specify whether those limits are daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. You can then view a matrix of your total upload, download and “both” in a variety of formats. It allows you to choose whether to show the totals in KB, MB or GB. It also allows you to choose whether to show your daily totals, weekly totals, monthly totals or overall total.
The totals log also has an option to alert you when you exceed your limit. Unfortunately, the “alert” is simply a fading pop-up notification in the “notification” area of your taskbar (similar to the notifications you get when you plug in new hardware, etc.).
Anyway, the utility is pretty nice, and should help me keep an eye on my connection. It’s nice to have real numbers to work with, rather than the unreliable percentages my ISP provides me with.
Note: There is a minor bug that I’ve discovered in this utility. If you turn off the “Desktop Meter”, which is little window that shows your download/upload graph on your desktop, then the program will refuse to start the next time you try to open it. You need to make sure you keep the desktop meter turned on.
You will probably also want to add this utility to your “Startup” folder. Obviously, it doesn’t monitor your network usage if you don’t have it running.
You can download Freemeter from it’s Sourceforge project page.