uTorrent review

If you're looking for a good BitTorrent client, try uTorrent. It has what other BitTorrent clients have, such as scheduling, bandwidth management, and Mainline DHT, plus extras like a unique protocol that detects and corrects for heavy traffic. Animated ads for games and other software keep uTorrent free, but the developer warns of counterfeits that charge for the software or subscriptions.


Easy to set up: The setup wizard can automatically add an exception for uTorrent in Windows Firewall, though you may have to configure uTorrent manually in other firewalls or security apps. We could set uTorrent to start … Read more

You can limit the amount of data Google Music uses on Android

Google's music-streaming service All Access launched last month during I/O. The service, similar to that of Spotify or Slacker, allows Android users to create radio stations or stream entire albums directly on an Android device.

Streaming isn't a new feature in the Google Music app, as you have been able to stream music library stored in the cloud service for a while now. But All Access has increased the amount of streaming, and thus increased data usage.

Google on Thursday updated the Android Music app, which now allows you to choose the audio quality streamed through the … Read more

Use nettop command to check per-application network activity in OS X

While broadband Internet speeds let you do more online, if your system uses a lot of bandwidth, you might run into some limitations. In some cases, ISPs may throttle your network speed after you have reached a certain usage level, or may even charge you additional fees for the extra bandwidth used. In other cases, a constant upload or download from one system may saturate your bandwidth and greatly slow down Internet-based activities for the other computers that share the connection.

For the most part, programs will not use a great amount of bandwidth, but there are times when one … Read more

Watch international video stations with SopCast for Mac

Despite the Internet's ability to connect Web sites and other content across continents, finding video content from other countries can be difficult. SopCast for Mac allows users to view channels originating in many countries from one program on their computer.

Available as freeware, the program's channels are also viewable at no cost. The program is small, downloaded quickly, and easily installed. In terms of functionality, SopCast for Mac allows you to watch from a list of channels organized by country of origin. There is also a menu allowing you to directly paste links to other SopCast channels not … Read more

Monitor your PC bandwidth usage with NetSpeedMonitor

Unlimited data plans are being killed off by mobile carriers, one by one. Even home Internet connections aren't truly unlimited. Monitoring apps, whether for your smartphone or for your computer, can help you find out how much bandwidth you're actually using.

NetSpeedMonitor (32-bit | 64-bit) is a small Windows program that runs in the taskbar and displays your data usage at a glance. It's particularly useful for tracking your data usage if you tether your PC to your smartphone. If you're a Verizon customer, you may want to check out CNET's FAQ on Verizon's tethering settlement with the FCC.… Read more

Use YouTube Feather beta for low-bandwidth connections

When you load a video on YouTube, you're getting a lot more than just something to watch. There's an information panel that goes along with the video mentioning credits, keywords, and other interesting tidbits. Below the video and top comments, you'll find video responses to the one you're watching. On the right-hand side of the page, you'll see a long list of suggested videos that might be related to the one you're watching. All of these things, along with less obvious ones like buttons that interact with each comment for thumbs up/down, are … Read more

Twitter reveals the anatomy of its major mobile overhaul

What did it take to revamp Twitter for mobile Web? Lots and lots of man-hours.

Twitter completed the overhaul of its mobile site today, which aims to make Twitter available to anyone who owns a cell phone -- smartphone or feature. Now people in far away or rural places, and even those on low-bandwidth networks, can use the newest version of Twitter for mobile Web on their cell phone.

This is significant because it means that news on events like the Arab Spring, where Twitter played a major role in spreading information, will now be even easier to get.

Here'… Read more

Pay-per-use bandwidth? Not without some ground rules

Update: May 17, 2012 Do I get results, or what? Less than a day after this column posted, Comcast announced it would ditch its 250GB data cap in favor of a 300GB cap with the option to buy additional 50GB chunks for $10 each. Not bad, although it's amusing timing given their current fight over Net neutrality and cap-free Xfinity on-demand streaming.

Bandwidth caps, the death of unlimited data plans, throttling, "data hog" accusations...I get it. Pay-per-use bandwidth is inevitable: the end of unlimited Internet access is at hand. Bandwidth is a limited resource, especially on … Read more

Twitter for mobile Web gets standardized across the globe

Now people in far away or rural places and even those on low-bandwidth networks can use the newest version of Twitter for mobile Web.

The microblogging site announced today that "in an effort to give every person on the planet a consistent Twitter experience," it is standardizing Twitter for all devices, networks, and browsers.

This means that people in places where smartphones are inaccessible and Web access is slow can now use the same version of Twitter on their mobile device as anyone else.

The latest version of Twitter was introduced in December and included new features such … Read more

Apple reportedly cooking up new audio file format

Apple may be tuning up a new streaming-audio format that handle varying degrees of quality.

Citing an anonymous source, U.K. news site The Guardian reported yesterday that the format would offer "adaptive streaming" to iCloud users, automatically choosing between low-quality and high-quality sound based on the bandwidth and amount of local storage.

Users with lots of bandwidth could listen to a studio-quality recording, while those with minimal bandwidth would get more standard digital quality.

The source reportedly told The Guardian that Apple has reached out to a music studio in London to create audio files to tap … Read more