Installing a specialized software program that collects the rate of data transfer can allow the user to monitor bandwidth usage. PCWorld recommends BitMeter OS, which is available for free and can be quickly installed after unzipping its folder. BitMeter OS works on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Once unzipped, run the installation program for BitMeter OS. This program works passively to collect bandwidth data in the background while the user resumes activities as normal. No other type of data is gathered. Program shortcuts available on the desktop allow the user to check bandwidth in real time and modify settings. Once open, the Monitor tab displays bandwidth in one-second intervals in addition to showing download and upload speeds. The clock icon located in the bottom right corner allows the user to measure data usage within a certain period of time. Users can check bandwidth usage history by selecting the History tab or track usage statistics over a certain period of time in the Summary tab.
The Query tab can sort data through parameters set by the user, and the Calculator tab can estimate the duration of data transfers. Alerts warn the user whether a certain figure has been passed if they are configured, such as download or upload limits. Finally, the Preferences tab enables the user to modify how the program looks and behaves.