Windows software of the day [April 25, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • NetSpeedMonitor: monitor speed and bandwidth in a great-looking toolbar next to your system tray
  • GmailDefaultMaker: make Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail your default mail link provider
  • WinHotKey: make hotkeys that can launch and control apps and documents

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About Windows Software of the Day

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for April 25, 2012

NetSpeedMonitor

Not satisfied with any of the many network monitoring tools we’ve covered this week? Try NetSpeedMonitor. It’s as simple as can be: you choose a network adapter and it shows you the current bandwidth in kilobits per second. (One kilobit is an eighth of a kilobyte, and you can change which unit it uses.)

When you right click on NetSpeedMonitor, you’ll get lots of options. You can see all the programs currently connected to the ‘net, look at the total amount of data sent and received for a particular network interface, and more. It’s quite a nice looking tool, and it’s useful too.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.5.4.0

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

Download size: 3.3-3.6MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 32-bit: 0/42 | 64-bit: 0/42

NetSpeedMonitor  homepage

GmailDefaultMaker

Email links can be an absolute pain if you use a webmail provider instead of an actual client. However, GmailDefaultMaker to the rescue! With this wrongly named program, you can set Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Google Apps, or even (!) Gmail as your default provider for email links.

After installation and set up, you’re done. Whenever you click on an email link, it’ll open in whichever email provider you chose in your default web browser.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.0.1.4

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 with .NET 4.0

Download size: 1.5MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/42

GmailDefaultMaker homepage

WinHotKey

The Windows key (this one) is an underutilized beast. Most people use it for one or two things, if that. However, you can create custom keyboard shortcuts to launch applications, open documents, open folders, and do more using WinHotKey, making it a much more useful and versatile key.

When you create a new shorcut using WinHotKey, you can use any combination of the Windows, Alt, Ctrl, and Shift keys, along with most of the other keys on your keyboard. Your newly created shortcut can launch applications, open documents, open folders, control windows, or even type text. Shortcuts created using WinHotKey are extremely useful and allow you to do pretty much anything!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.70

Supported OS: Windows all

Download size: 825KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

WinHotKey homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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10 comments

  1. Bruce

    I get all this and more from AutoHotKey.

    I have noticed that hotkey programs do tend to raise virus alerts because they intercept the keyboard interrupt, which of course is what keystroke loggers do as well.

  2. Janet

    Uh oh…It’s really only good for shortcuts using the Windows key. If you use a combination without the Windows key and it conflicts with an already existing shortcut, it will override the existing one without telling you there is a conflict! I was rather hoping it would list all present keyboard shortcuts, not just Windows-key ones……

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    Do other DotTechie’s have an interest in knowing whether a program is ‘No install’ ?
    If so, yell out, as my very broads hints to Locutus (as to telling us when a program is ‘No Install’) are falling on deaf ears.

    Regarding WinHotKey, is that ‘No Install’ ?
    I recently tried WinKey (from Copernic).
    My main interest was in finding a program that listed all existing Hot Keys that are set on my PC.
    I don’t think my WinKey did that.
    Does WinHotKey list all our current Hot Keys ?

    When WinKey first ran, there were about 10 hot keys listed, and I have a strong suspicion THAT IT CREATED THEM DURING INSTALLATION. If that was the case I am not amused. In fact very angry, as it defeats my main purpose, which is managing existing Hot Keys. I don’t want some program merrily creating Hot Keys, without my permission.

    The good news is, I went to the WinKey web page (Copernic), and discovered they have two other free programs.
    Desktop Search (not tried yet), and ‘Copernic Agent’ which I have tried.
    The reason that I tried it, was I am getting very annoyed with Google’s searches returning unwanted hits.
    Even if you use the advanced settings, you cannot insist that ALL hits, contain only your specified words.

    Copernic Agent, is very good.
    It is better than any other search engine I have tried.
    It does not do a goa’uld into any of your browsers.
    It is a stand alone program (meaning it is not integrated into your browser).
    It utilizes many search engines (behind the scene), and returns the results in the Agent program.
    It pays much better attention to your ‘I want these words’ instructions.
    The default view (Toolbars & panels) suffers from the ‘MS Ribbon’ disease.
    It does not have a Ribbon, but it has all sorts of Panels taking up valuable screen space to the detriment of how much space the list of hits has.
    I won’t ramble on much longer, but yell out if any of you would like to know how to get all of the crap hidden, so that the list of hits occupies the full width of your screen, and 90% of the height.