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Don’t you hate when you’re downloading something (namely via BitTorrent) and it renders the rest of your computer nearly unusable. NetBalancer can fix this because it is a Windows program that gives you control over what apps are considered more important than others. You can, for example, designate priority to your web browser instead of your BitTorrent client. You can even specify download and upload priorities separately meaning a process can have a high download priority but a low upload priority.

The catch? The free version of NetBalancer limits you to setting upload and/or download priorities for 5 different processes. If you want to do any more than that you’ll have to buy the full version for $25, but generally I’d say there are only a handful of apps that I’d want to apply this to. So I’d say for personal use this limitation should be fine for most people.

Here’s a list of the things NetBalancer is capable of:

  • Set download and upload network priority for any process. Currently supported priorities are:
    • High priority
    • Normal priority
    • Low priority
    • Block traffic
    • Ignore traffic
    • Limit traffic
  • Set download and upload speed limits for a process
  • Show all system processes with their in and out network traffic speed
  • Show current connection for any process
  • Show downloaded and uploaded traffic for any process since NetBlancer’s start
  • View overall system traffic as a graph
  • Show last 15 seconds traffic in system tray
  • Fine tune priorities (see Level Severity setting).

This is one of the few traffic shaping applications out there that have a free version available, and being able to prioritize your traffic to ensure a quality of service (QOS) is pretty nice. Definitely worth the download if you’re in the market for such an app.

NetBalancer Homepage (Windows 2003 32/64-bit, XP 32/64-bit, Vista 32-bit, Windows 7 32-bit)
[via ShellCity]

There Are 4 Comments

  1. Abhijeet Mukherjee

    Hi Ryan, quick question – is the CyberNet Tips bookmarklet still functional? I remember sending you the tip regarding Netbalancer when I covered it last month here – []

    Could you please check and let me know if you got my tips? I’d use the contact form to send tips if you aren’t getting them.

    • It should still be working – With all the emails we get Gmail throws some of them in the spam from time to time, and we don’t always get around to checking it. I don’t see any email from you regarding this though, but the spam gets automatically emptied periodically by Google.

  2. Hmm, I’ve had wished I had known about this a couple months back when I was doing more ‘serious’ downloading. Nothing like having one application hog all of my Internet connection. Don’t really need this anymore and don’t have the Internet connection I use to have either.

  3. NetBalancer is a really good piece of software, and since I’m looking for a this one or a similar app to be able to shape traffic on a current-bandwith-percentage basis (appart from having to set it manually), for now I stick with it and recommend its usage to those in need of a -more- stable network traffic, specially when behind a junky modem-router.

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