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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]