This tip is for Windows Vista, 2008 RTM, 2008 R2 and 7.
Your Internet Explorer download window may be lying to you. If so,how can you tell? Your Youtube video is taking forever to play, or is stopping.How fast is your connection? Sure, you can try one of the download speed tests,but do you really care how fast your connection is to some arbitrary site?Probably not; more likely you care about sites and files that you are actuallydownloading. This tip will show you how you can tell exactly how fast you aredownloading files off of the network. I use this all of the time as I traveland use a 3G/4G air card and like to check on how fast my file downloads reallyare since they can take a while and I am impatient.
A tool was introduced in Windows Vista, which at the time wascalled Reliability and PerformanceMonitor and now is called Resource Monitor. Using this tool, I will show you how to do a quick check of yournetwork download speeds.
Thereare many ways to open Resource Monitor, in Windows 7 and 2008 R2 you can go toStart and type resmon. You can alsoopen the Task Manager first and go to the Performance tab and click theResource Monitor button. You will want to do this while you are downloading soyou can see the real-time information that Resource Monitor displays.
To verify your download speed, click theOverview tab and look under the Network panel. This will show a list on all ofthe processes on your machine that are using the network. You can sort thecolumns, so click on the Receive (B/sec)column and sort by the highest bytes per second. In the image below you can seemy Internet Explorer downloads window is reporting that I am downloading thefile at 233KB/sec, wow! That would be great for my 3G connection.Unfortunately, the reality is a little different. Resource Monitor is reportingthat iexplore.exe is Receive (B/sec) is 75,039. For anyone that does not knowhow to convert bytes to kilobytes, 233KB does not equal 75,039B. ;) So InternetExplorer is reporting that my download speed is 233 x 1024, or 238,592 bytesper second and Resource Monitor is reporting 75,039 bytes per second. Hmm,something is not right here. Internet Explorer does recalculate while it isdownloading and the download speed did get closer to the correct number, butwas not perfect and it took some minutes before it was close. Another good useis when you do not have a nice download window with the download speeddisplayed, as in the case of playing an online video, this works well forplaying Netflix videos on your computer also. You can use Resource Monitor thesame way to track how fast your video is downloading.