I’m constantly experiencing bandwidth issues with my Internet Service Provider. One minute it’s great, the next minute it seems like it’s squeezing all the data through the eye of a needle. In order to take control of this situation one tool I’ve found useful is BWMeter which is basically a bandwidth monitor and traffic controller which measures, displays and controls all traffic to/from your computer or on your network. It can eventually help you get to the root of any bandwidth problems that have been plaguing you.
The key feature is that it can analyze the data packets telling you where they come from, where they go and which port and protocol they use so it’s much easier to see, what’s coming through your router although you’ll need to do some research on the net to interpret exactly what the results mean for your system. BWMeter can also be used to control traffic by setting a speed limit for all kinds of connections or restricting access to certain sites. BWMeter is ideal for home users, although not really network administrators, who need to get an overview of how much bandwidth they’re using. At least it’s enabled me to determine that the problem is definitely coming from their end and not mine although try telling my ISP that!