If you have ever used a Peer-to-peer (p2p) software like Bittorrent, to download files via torrents, you would know that you can control all aspects of file download, especially the download and upload speed limits. This and the ability to download chunks of file at separate times make torrents so popular with internet users for downloading huge files.
This functionality is limited to torrents and if you try to download a file from your browser or transfer files online for backup, many of these applications hog a lot of bandwidth and that results in slow internet speed.
Many of us would prefer if these download/upload activities go on in the background, using limited bandwidth and would not affect our regular surfing.
Netbalancer is traffic shaping tool with lots of useful features lets you combine browsing the Internet and downloading huge files without any inconvenience. With NetBalancer you can monitor internet traffic, set traffic rate limits and even network priorities for all applications.
NetBalancer Installation and Usage:
The download (link below) of Netbalancer is straightforward. However installation is a bit different from the usual software installs.
When you install Netbalancer, you would notice that as a precaution it automatically creates a Restore Point for your Windows OS. It does so, because it needs to install some network drivers to enable bandwidth control for all your programs and applications.
You might get a warning about the drivers not being digitally signed, but they are perfectly safe. We have used and monitored this software with 2 different Firewalls and there is no malicious activity.
Once install is done, the post installer window lets you know the status of the software. It might take about 5-7 minutes for installation. The good part is you can start using it without restarting your computer.
Netbalancer shows the current bandwidth usage in the main program window.
NetBalancer enables you to set bandwidth restriction for your Internet application. It allows you to set limits and priorities for upload and/or download speeds on a per-application basis and also block all Internet traffic for selected processes.
If you are using Dropbox to backup or sync files, you can limit the bandwidth usage. This is just an example, Dropbox does have an option to control upload and download speeds, but you can set this up for browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox.
One browser might be loading a video, and you are using the other one to surf the internet. You can setup the required limit on the video download if you have limited bandwidth, so that it does not interfere or slow down your regular surfing.
The program also provides detailed information about all programs that are using the Internet, how much data they have transferred and what IP addresses they are connected to.
It can show all system processes with their in and out traffic speed; downloaded and uploaded traffic for any process or application since the start of NetBalancer; overall system traffic as a graphic chart.
For continuous monitoring it is possible to view last 15 seconds traffic in system tray.
Besides traffic limits you can set download and upload priorities for all applications you work with. Applications with higher priority rank gain larger bandwidth, than those with lower priority.
NetBalancer does not limit low priority applications when high priority ones don’t use network. The limits are changing automatically according to priorities, and that is the main advantage of NetBalancer over other similar tools.
The free version of NetBalancer has some limitations, it only allows you to set restrictions or priorities for up to 5 processes at a time, however this should be sufficient for most users.