NetWorx is a simple but effective tool for monitoring your network bandwidth usage. Sounds a little dull, but it's surprising just how useful this little program can be.

If you've ever wondered how fast your internet connection is, for instance, then NetWorx will let you know. And because it's monitoring all the time you'll see how speeds might vary throughout the day, which will give you a better idea of when it's best to download large files.

The program can also produce daily, weekly and monthly reports on your bandwidth use, both for the entire system and individual users, making it very easy to see who's using your bandwidth. If it turns out your kids are spending too much time online then you can use NetWorx to set them daily, weekly or monthly quotas.

The reports are also useful for picking up suspiciously heavy network activity, that might indicate a malware infection (or maybe someone making illicit use of your wireless router).

And NetWorx is equally handy when tracking local networking issues. You can use the speed monitor to check the performance of your wireless network, for instance, while built-in graphical troubleshooting tools like ping and trace route will help you diagnose problems.

Version 5.5.5 changes (see full changelog for more info): 

Fixed showing messages about blocked Internet repeatedly.
Apps in automatic reports are sorted by usage rather than name.
Added graph time stamps displayed when minute ticks are enabled.
Portable versions are restricted to one instance from one location.
Minor UI enhancements, updated traffic filtering drivers and DB engine.

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Packed with features, NetWorx has something for everyone, and is probably the best free bandwidth monitor around