For hard-core Net heads, merely having a broadband connection isn't enough. It has to be an optimized connection. Like mechanics tuning an engine, they readjust their system settings until they've squeezed out every last kilobit per second. And how do they know if they've succeeded?
By using a program like DU Meter, a simple but effective utility that provides statistics for Internet connections. In its minimized state, DU Meter displays a tiny window showing a traffic graph and the current upload/download speed. Clicking the system-tray icon provides concise reports on Internet usage on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. A stopwatch feature lets you measure traffic over a specific period of time.
The program can alert you when traffic exceeds a threshold or the connection gets too slow. DU Meter doesn't take much memory, and it basically just works. It's a good choice for bandwidth fiends, and may also interest users subscribed to tariff plans with traffic limitations.