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10 great free downloads for your network

February 6, 2008 12:00 PM ET

NetLimiter Monitor

There are also for-pay versions of this software available. NetLimiter Lite costs $8.95 to $16.95, depending on the number of licenses; and NetLimiter Pro costs $14.95 to $29.95, depending on the number of licenses.

What's the biggest problem on many small networks? Bandwidth hoggers -- applications that suck up all or most of the available Internet and network bandwidth. Typically, it's tough or impossible to track down which applications or PCs are using all that bandwidth and harder still to do anything about it.

NetLimiter lets you set bandwidth limits on a per-application basis.
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That's where NetLimiter comes in. It monitors bandwidth use so that you can identify the hoggers.

The free version of the software, though, won't let you actually set bandwidth limits. For that, you'll need to buy one of the paid versions. The paid versions let you set bandwidth limits, including total amount of data downloaded or uploaded, on a per-application or per-connection basis. You can fine-tune it quite a bit, for example, by setting different limits for uploading and downloading.

There's a lot more to this application as well, including a firewall, bandwidth monitor and other functions. This isn't the easiest program to use -- at first, it seems as if there's no way to limit the bandwidth for any application. To do it, you need to click the Grants tab at the bottom of the screen and then, for the application you want to limit, click the Grant column, enter a value for the bandwidth limit, and click the check box.

There are three different versions of this program, starting with the free version, which only monitors network use and won't let you limit bandwidth use. The Lite version will let you set limits but won't do much more, and the Pro version adds a slew of features, including a firewall, scheduler and more.



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