With consumers tightening their broadband belts in the current recession, Thinkbroadband.com has launched a free tool which will allow you to effectively measure broadband usage by alerting you when you’ve exceeded your download limit. The tbbMeter tool (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/tbbmeter), is designed to ensure that users won’t be charged a additional fees by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for exceeding their monthly usage allowance.
The meter measures broadband speeds second-by-second so users can keep an eye out for how much bandwidth their Internet browsing is taking up in real time; it also allows you to check that you’re getting what you’ve paid for and that your ISP is delivering on promised speeds. As providers use ever more complex traffic management techniques (i.e. slowing users down) during peak times to ensure they have enough capacity to cope with ever more bandwidth hungry applications like video streaming, understanding our Internet usage patterns can help you to get the most from the connection.
Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of Thinkbroadband.com explains “When times are hard, any unexpected bills can be a worry. With many ISPs imposing limits on how much you can download every month, it’s likely you’ll incur a financial penalty or have speed restrictions placed on your account should you exceed this limit, but it’s hard to monitor usage especially with many households now owning multiple computers.
“If you’re thinking of switching broadband packages to save some money during the credit crunch, you can also use it to measure your usage and see what usage limit you could comfortably cope with should you choose to switch to a new ISP. You will also soon be able to compare your speeds with other users in your area or those using the same broadband service provider to make sure you’re getting the best speeds available.”
The advantage of using the tbbMeter is that it can be installed for free on all household computers, enabling you to track download and upload traffic. tbbMeter can also be set to sound an alarm to alert you when you reach a particular limit – ideal for family households where parents may be unaware of how much their children are downloading.
As the tool tracks downloads and uploads independent of other software on your PC, it can show you if other applications are sending/receiving traffic over the internet without your knowledge. It works on all common types of network connections (Ethernet, wireless, dialup, ADSL, cable and mobile broadband).
The tbbMeter tool keeps track of usage over the past hour, day, week and month within the application, but users can also log into the thinkbroadband.com website and plot graphs from multiple computers with tbbMeter installed (e.g. where a family has more than one computer.)
Users can also share alarms with others so, for example, an ISP could supply a set of alarm files that would sound as you approach their fair usage levels.
“This tool will help users to uncover the true speeds of their broadband connections which can often be significantly less than the marketed speeds which are usually prefixed by ‘up to’ as well as make informed choices on what packages and service providers are right for them.” concludes Lahtinen.
Thinkbroadband will work with global broadband benchmarking company Epitiro to improve the statistics and range of tests available for users to provide an in-depth understanding of their broadband connection quality for applications such as VoIP, gaming and peer-to-peer.
tbbMeter will protect users’ privacy and does not track which websites users visit or what they do on the Internet, just the amount of bandwidth used. Thinkbroadband.com will then use any data collated in order to help ISPs improve their broadband service to consumers in addition to allowing users to view their historical data online.
tbbMeter can be downloaded at: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/tbbmeter
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Notes to editor:
Key Features of the tbbmeter:
• Watch second by second bandwidth level on your screen. The tbbmeter plots both downstream and upstream data, it also has a stop watch facility so you can time downloads and track what speeds you are getting
• Set alarms daily, weekly or monthly to alert you when you are exceeding your limit. You can also share these alarms with other users online that may be on same package as you – ISPs can also distribute these alarms for new customers.
• The application works with Ethernet, wireless and mobile broadband connections. While mobile broadband cards provide you with a basic usage monitor the tbbmeter is more detailed
• The statistics in the application allow you to view your usage per hour, per day or per week in a variety of views. This data is held by the application for two months, longer term data will be viewable at thinkbroadband.com
• When full graph is displayed on screen, a scrolling graph of per second usage can be displayed, and/or a bar graph showing current down/upload traffic.
• Helps map out broadband Britain – the tbbmeter application sends data to thinkbroadband.com where it can be analysed to produce statistics to track how speeds and services improve
Thinkbroadband.com is the UK's largest independent broadband news and information site which has been operating since 2000. It started in the days when broadband services were bring trialled and its staff thus have some of the most comprehensive experience in this area.
Consumers can refer to this impartial website for independent advice and details on the services offered by Broadband Service Providers, enabling them to make an informed decision as to who to use as a supplier as well as troubleshoot problems they may be having.
• Comprehensive range of ‘plain english’ consumer guides and advice
• Access to bespoke interactive tools including a broadband speed tester
• Broadband hardware reviews
• Member forum with a community of like-minded people where you can share your thoughts and broadband queries
• Variety of ways to rank products according to individual priorities
• Detailed product information, availability checker and ISP search
• Up-to-date news on broadband industry developments
• Independent experts available to assist media with queries or interviews
• Focus on providing information and resolving issues rather than encouraging ‘switching providers’
For further information contact:
Louise Mapp / Rachel Lear
T: 0118 988 0501
E : firstname.lastname@example.org
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