Online User Manual
As an Internet connection monitoring tool, NetMaster lets you watch the apps using your Internet in real-time and control their access. Their activity is recorded, and you can choose to prioritise, restrict or block Internet access for certain apps. This will help you to use your Internet traffic more efficiently, improve your security, achieve better privacy, and become the master of your Internet connection.
NetMaster consists of two major components: the System Service that does all the monitoring work, and the Management Console that enables you to interact with the service. During the installation you can choose which components to install, and normally you would need both to get started. Additionally, the Taskbar Extension will let you have a small chart in the notification area to keep an eye on your downloads and uploads.
After installing and launching NetMaster, the main window will appear — this is where you can see the activity of your applications in real-time and choose what to do with them:
You may see some applications in the list immediately after the installation. However, to capture all applications, it is best to restart the computer. If you just want to know the Internet usage of each application, you don't need to do anything else.
Read on to find out what else NetMaster can do for you.
Prioritising important applications
All applications on your computer have to compete for bandwidth. This is normal, but some applications are bandwidth-sensitive and ping-sensitive, meaning they need the connection to be fast in terms of speed and latency. Examples of such applications include VoIP, games and collaboration suites.
This is where prioritisation is very useful: you can assign a higher priority to important applications, and their data will be sent and received ahead of any other applications. This improves latency, also known as ping time, which is the delay before data transfer. When a higher priority application is active, any lower priority applications will have reduced bandwidth available to them. This improves bandwidth available to important applications, also known as speed. For example, you could assign a higher priority to Skype or your favourite game, and they should perform better than when they have to compete with other applications.
Likewise, you can deprioritise unimportant applications by assigning them a lower priority. In this case, their data will be sent and received behind any other applications, with effects opposite to prioritisation. For example, you could assign a lower priority to cloud backup programs or Torrent downloading applications. They will still run at full speed until a higher priority application becomes active. Once that happens, the low priority activity will be throttled until the more important applications are no longer active.
Priorities are fully automatic and you don't need to know any specific numbers. Simply select an application in the list and assign a higher priority to important applications or a lower priority to unimportant applications, and NetMaster will do the rest.
Download and upload limits
Unlike relative prioritisation, bandwidth limits are exact and serve as data transfer caps for applications. This can be useful if you want to prevent less important applications from occupying your entire connection even when there is no higher priority activity.
You can set a hard limit, for example 100 KB/s, on a downloading program, and its download speed will stay under this limit. In the example below we set a limit to Firefox, so that its downloads are capped, while the uploads are not:
The limits apply on per-application and per-process basis. This means that if you launch several instances of a limited app, or the app is running multiple copies of its process, each of them can take up to the set limit.
Download and upload delay
It is possible to artificially increase latency for an application. This is mainly useful in online games, as some games give you advantage if your latency or ping time is high. If you play games a lot, you probably know that and will try this feature:
Blocking unwanted applications
NetMaster acts as a simple firewall allowing you to block access to the Internet for certain applications. If an application doesn't or shouldn't require Internet connection, or you don't want it to “phone home”, you can easily block it. This will save bandwidth and give you better privacy and security by preventing blocked applications from sending and receiving data from the Internet.
You can block an application by selecting it in the list and choosing Block access in its limits. NetMaster can also block an application before it makes an Internet connection and appears in the list: select the computer in the list, click the Blocking... button in the toolbar, and add the application file; or use Add Path... for blocking all files in a certain directory.
Usage reports over a time period
NetMaster collects per-application usage statistics and lets you see how much data was used by each app over a specified period:
The usage figures are recorded on a per-hour basis, allowing you to see how much data was used during each hour of the selected day.
Managing multiple computers
If you have more than one Windows PC, you may want to record the usage and manage applications on all of them. NetMaster components make this easy to do: you could install the System Service on all the computers you want to manage, and install the Management Console on the computer you want to manage from. Then you can connect from the Management Console to the System Service on those PCs and manage them as if you were sitting in front of them. This setup can be used to manage the computers of other family members, such as cutting off kids Internet when it's bedtime.
Tips & tricks
- De-selecting the Automatically start NetMaster Management Console option during NetMaster installation will prevent its console from loading at Windows startup and its taskbar extension from displaying the traffic data. You will nevertheless still be able to access the console by launching its file from NetMaster program folder.
- The All/Online switch changes the main window list between displaying the applications that have an active Internet connection at this moment, and all processes currently running in your system, including those that never access the Internet.
- To see which applications accessed the Internet in the past, simply click Usage and select the time period you are interested in.
- To make a certain application always shown in the Online list, even when it is not actively accessing the Internet, right-click it and choose Pinned. All pinned apps are displayed underlined.
End User Licence Agreement (EULA)
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