Bandwidth, as described in detail in my earlier article, can be explained differently in various other contexts. In computing, it is basically the amount of data that can be transferred in a specified time. In a shared or network environment, we can limit the bandwidth for different applications so that we can allocate more bandwidth to applications that are vital to meet the business needs and restrict it for other processes. There are many processes that run in the background which we may not know but consume a lot of bandwidth. To manage or control the bandwidth, there are a number of third-party bandwidth monitoring tools available, some are paid while many others are free. In this article, I am discussing a few outstanding bandwidth management tools so that you can get the best speed in your network environment.
Best Bandwidth Monitoring Tools [Free & Paid]
After installation, when you run this software, it will detect all the apps and system processes running on the computer. In the lower section, the Netbalancer screen shows a traffic chart depicting download and upload speeds. To limit the bandwidth of a particular app, just double-click it to open the application. Now you can either limit the bandwidth to pre-defined limits or customize it as per your needs.
In advance settings, you can also set a filter on the network adapter of the system and create rules as per your requirement. The net-balancer is a real-time bandwidth monitor that also allows you to protect the settings with a password so that no other person can change it other than you. The Netbalancer service lets you monitor and control all the systems remotely on a web panel via the sync feature. The taskbar tool is automatically installed which helps you monitor the bandwidth traffic with the ease of one click on the taskbar. The Netbalancer shows various charts and statistics to help you manage bandwidth in a better way.
2. TMeter Freeware Edition
It is a free network traffic monitoring software that is compatible with all Windows versions starting from XP to Windows 10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture). With Tmeter, you can measure the traffic with respect to various parameters that include the IP address of destination or source, protocol or port, or any other condition. The measured traffic can be immediately depicted in graphs or stats. In Tmeter, you can share the single IP public dress with other hosts in a local network with built-in NAT (network address translation) feature.
The other premium features that you get in this free version of T meter bandwidth monitoring software include a Firewall that protects the systems from cyber-threats and the traffic shaper feature that lets you limit the internet speed for specific users.
3. Site24x7’s NetFlow Analyzer
Site24x7’s NetFlow Analyzer is a cloud-based network traffic and bandwidth monitoring platform that helps monitor your source and destination devices, their interfaces, and the traffic that flows through them. Configure threshold values for all key metrics such as inbound traffic, outbound traffic, and bandwidth usage and receive instant alerts when traffic or bandwidth exceeds the configured threshold values.
You can obtain complete visibility into the network bandwidth with stats on peak traffic, top applications, and top conversations. Identify bandwidth hogs, fix them, and boost your network performance using Site24x7’s network bandwidth monitoring software.
4. ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
NetFlow Analyzer is a full-featured bandwidth monitor and network traffic analyzer. It is a flow-based software that runs on both Windows and Linux machines and supports a wide range of flow formats and devices. NetFlow analyzer offers in-depth monitoring features to analyze and manage your network devices, interfaces, applications, bandwidth usage, and network traffic. It comes with a multitude of reports including detailed bandwidth reports, capacity planning reports, and forensic reports that enable this. It also allows you to set custom threshold-based alerts based on utilization that ensure you are notified in real-time in case of any violations. This helps network admins better manage the network and troubleshoot network issues efficiently.
NetFlow Analyzer comes with two different editions (Professional and Enterprise) and multiple flexible versions of the licenses based on the interfaces to be monitored to small, medium, and large scale enterprises. It is also available as a free download with unlimited access to all features for 30 days. It reverts to a free edition that allows you to monitor and manage up to two interfaces. This free version can be used forever and can be upgraded to a paid license anytime.
5. Glasswire Network Monitoring & Security Tool
This is a paid tool that comes in various variants and with different price tags depending on the available features. The minimum requirement to run this software is Windows 7 and 1GB RAM. It is a multi-feature tool that comes with a simple user interface. By clicking on the graph, you can view the network activity of the current and the past period. If you click on the Usage tab, you can find out which app or host is consuming the more bandwidth. You can monitor the bandwidth on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
The remote access feature allows you to monitor the servers and systems remotely. By going to Glasswire’s Settings>Remote Server, you can log on to any server from your local computer provided the Glasswire software is installed on both server and local computer. Glasswire also helps you with a list of computers, mobiles, or other devices connected to your Wi-Fi Network. This helps you locate any outsider or neighbor who has intruded into your private network.
Netlimiter, as the name says, lets you limit the bandwidth of apps consuming high bandwidth. The moment you open this bandwidth monitoring app, it will show all the active applications on your system. To control the bandwidth in an optimum way, this tool has useful columns that include the real-time download speed(DL), upload speed (UL), and two additional columns to set(limit) the download or upload speed.
You can set quotas for high bandwidth-consuming apps and create rules to limit the bandwidth once the quota is reached. The TheNetlimiter tool is a paid software program that is available in Lite and Pro versions. The Netlimiter 4 pro offers many advanced features that include remote administration, user permissions, data transfer statistics, rule scheduler, connection blocker, and much more.
7. SoftPerfect Bandwidth Manager
This is a feature-rich tool to view, analyze and limit the bandwidth in a network. Unlike other tools, it is installed on the centralized server and is easy to manage via user-friendly Windows GUI. From a single location, you can set bandwidth for particular internet users. Furthermore, you can also set speed throttles on a particular IP address or even on the Mac addresses of systems in a network.
The SoftPerfect tool is compatible to use with Windows XP through Windows 10 and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture. The software is free for 30 days with full feature support and after that, you need to buy a license ($49) for a single device and $499 for the complete network site.
Use Bandwidth Monitoring Tool to Enhance Productivity at Work
Apart from these five best bandwidth monitoring tools, there are many other such applications available online. Windows 10 also provides an inbuilt bandwidth control option termed as a metered connection but you can only turn it off or on. There is not much to do as far as managing the bandwidth is concerned. So using one of the above-mentioned tools will give you a lot of flexibility. Do let me know which software tool you prefer to optimize the internet speed in a network.
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