With the introduction the QuickTime 4 Preview Release, thousands of folks will be checking out the new streaming media feature. Many of them may be wondering at what rate this data is being sent to their computer. Alas, when streaming media is being displayed via a browser plug-in, there is no way to tell the download rate. Several other Mac network applications present a similar dilemma. Time for IPNetMonitor!
IPNetMonitor goes beyond basic tools, like Mac TCP Watcher, in many ways. The most significant, which addresses the aforementioned dilemma, is a Monitor window which shows total bytes, maximum bytes/sec and average bytes/sec both sent and received. It also shows a real-time graph with send and receive rates for the last minute. A TCP Info window shows similar statistics, but only for TCP data.
There are several tools to test low-level network functionality. The Ping feature is similar to that found in other tools, except that you can specify the number of pings, and the delay between each. The Traceroute tool will show the path that a packet has to take to get from your computer to another computer, by sending out three requests for each hop, and showing the success for each hop, as well as the time it took.
There are also tools used to further identify a machine. The Finger tool, which typically requires a username and machine name, will make this request of a remote machine and report the results. The Whois tool will query an official database and tell you the owner of a specific domain. The Nslookup tool will perform a DNS (Domain Name System) lookup on a name, allowing you to ask for all DNS records, or only specific ones that you are interested in.
If you are really nosy, a Connection List window shows all active connections. If you feel like terminating one, you can highlight it and press the Delete button. You can also perform an Address Scan, which will perform a Ping and DNS lookup on a range of IP addresses you specify. Finally, a Subnet Calculator lets you fiddle with Mask, Network and Host values used for configuring an IP network.
Handy usability features include context-sensitive help available from any window, and the ability to use the result of one operation as the input for a future operation. For those who need to know absolutely everything about what is happening on their network, IPNetMonitor delivers.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at