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Software Reviews
Meta Products: Net Activity Diagram


I must start out by stating that Meta Products' Net Activity Diagram meets a need I don't really have. The product's purpose is to track network speed and file transfer quota. I do test internal network speed from time to time, but I only test Internet speed occasionally, using one of the many online tools available. I do not track file transfer quota as my ISP does not currently limit file transfer usage.

Based on the number of software packages available to measure this data, I must be in the minority. There are dozens, if not hundreds of these programs available. So Meta Products obviously decided to enter this market with Net Activity Diagram.

I will be reviewing version 2.3, which is not currently out for public release on Meta Products' website. The current version is 2.2.


The first thing you notice after you install Net Activity Diagram is this interesting diagram attached to your system tray:

Diagram in System Tray
Fig. 1 ... Diagram in System Tray

It's an unusual-looking transparent diagram. The text is surprisingly readable, even when overlaying other text. It's also not as obtrusive as it may look. The colors can be customized and the diagram can be resized or disabled if desired.

As the name implies, diagrams such as this one are the central idea behind NAD. This is NAD's default diagram. It monitors all incoming and outgoing connections and gives readouts of total data transferred in/out, plus maximum and average transfer speed. The time is displayed and the diagram scrolls continuously.

Below this is a tray icon representation of the current time period. Note that the default size of the graph above will display several previous time periods as well.

These are actually two different diagrams, the "Graph in the tray" diagram and the "Diagram Window". Each can be enabled or disabled and run independently.

Right-clicking either diagram brings up the following popup menu:

Fig. 2 ... Popup Menu

The top commands are for the current diagram, the commands below the horizontal bar are for the entire program. The "New Diagram" window looks like this:

New Diagram Window
Fig. 3 ... New Diagram Window