Silent buddy on unstable networks.
As I travel, I am a big time user of different networks, hotspots and tethering (cellphone hotspots). Because these are often unstable, I often experience frustration when trying to load a page or submit something.
This led to the desire of a quick way to know whether a slowly loading page was the fault of an intermitted internet connection or just the server I am communicating with.
Together with Alex (who basically did all the coding), I designed a simple yet effective application to do so. It silently sits in your tray, showing a different icon based on the availability of an internet connection.
It works by pinging a public IP every single second and if it gets a reply in time it shows a checkmark (), and if it doesn't, it shows an exclamation mark (). This means your connection is either unavailable or unreliable. It does have false positives and false negatives, but in general it gets it quite right. I have been using it for years and it's pretty much installed on all my computers.
Free (as in free beer)
The application is available for free to anyone who desires to use it. I must admit, the user interface might be slightly not super serious. It will most likely never be updated (unless a future version or update of windows breaks it), and is available for use as it is. Also, it doesn't come with free beer. But if you find me and tell me how awesome/crappy it is, I might give you one.
Now without free toolbar!
To install, extract the zip file with your favourite zip-handler like WinZip (if you really hate your life, it will already automatically be installed on your computer) and run setup.exe. Follow the on screen installation instructions (click nextnextnextnext as fast as your mouse can handle) and it will automatically start with windows.
Windows 3.11 version
Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 version
Linux / Mac version
Stop whining and get mono. And a taskbar. Just shut up.