Techie Tools for the Internet and for Home Networks

Want to take control of your home network, share files more easily, and become a super tech? These downloads can help

Where do you spend most of your computing life? Probably on a network and online, either at work or at home. But while you probably know quite a bit about how to master problems with applications such as word processors, you may feel out in the cold when it comes to networking.

Downloads can help. This month, I've gathered four downloads that will help you take control of your network and of the way you use the Internet. With them, you can set bandwidth limits for individual users on your home network, easily share files with others, master the ping command, and become a networking troubleshooting pro--all without having to go to night school.


NetLimiter allows you to set bandwidth limits for certain applications, thereby leaving more bandwidth available for others.

Here's a familiar problem: You're downloading a very large file--such as an application--on your home network; and while that operation is going on, your Web browsing slows to a crawl. You'd prefer to slow the download and commit most of your bandwidth to your Web browsing.

That's exactly what NetLimiter is designed to do. It enables you to specify a maximum amount of bandwidth to devote to certain applications and connections, while letting other applications and users get as much bandwidth as they wish. You can fine-tune these limits to a surprising degree, even setting separate upload and download limits on a per-connection or per-application basis.

Aside from letting you allocate bandwidth limits, the program does a fine job of monitoring your network use and showing you current upload and download usage, bandwidth usage over time, and the like.

Be aware, however, that NetLimiter doesn't work properly with Windows Vista, though its developer says that a Vista-compatible version is in the works.

NetLimiter is free to try for 28 days; it costs $US30 to register.

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Preston Gralla

Preston Gralla

PC World
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