There are times where everything so slow and nothing seems to load, at such time I always wonder if some activity is happening at all, sometimes thunderbird would be downloading the mails hence firefox takes time to load the pages, would it not be wonderful to have a traffic monitor which would show the upload and download speeds at that moment.

The traffic monitor applet for GNOME ‘netspeed’ provides just what I wanted, it shows the network traffic in Bytes or Bits per second (this can be set using the preference menu of the applet).

The netspeed applet updates the activity every N milliseconds, where N can be set to any value, I have set it to 1000, so it would update every second. This applet being in the gnome panel makes it easy to view and notice the network activity. There are a few customisation options which are available in the preferences, which could be used as per need so I would not discuss further on this, it is upto the user to explore.

To add the ‘netspeed’ applet to your gnome panel, right clicking on the panel and choose ‘Add to Panel’ option and in the list choose ‘netspeed’.

If ‘netspeed’ does not appear in the list then you would have to install it using the package manager provided by your distribution. For example in Ubunutu one could use Synaptic to install this applet.