I am used to connecting to the Internet using my ADSL router which conveniently displays the network and internet activity using a few blinking LEDs. But when I use a simple data card to use the 2G/3G/4G or Wi-Fi connections on my Windows computer, I am totally clueless as to what is happening. The data card is very simple and shows only the connection status. It does not show any indication about the data transfer. If you also have this problem, then you can make use of the free Network Activity Indicator software which displays all your network activity (both upload and download transfers) through an icon placed in the system tray.
You can download the Network Activity Indicator from the ITSamples website. The download is available both as a setup installer as well as a portable application. After the installation, it would place the same network activity icon in the system tray as was present in the Windows Vista machines. The icon is comprised of two computers (one local and one remote). The local computer lights up to indicate download and the remote computer lights up to show that data is being uploaded.
You can right-click on this icon to view many options like network traffic and network statistics. You can also open important Windows settings through the right-click menu, e.g., Windows Firewall settings, Network Connections, etc. In the Network Activity Indicator settings, you can choose to display the indication for one or all network interfaces, blinking frequency, using of Vista or XP style icons and more.
Network Activity Monitor is a great tool for those who want to know if the data is actually being transferred through their internet connection or you are just waiting in front of a loading webpage in vain. I have personally tested it for ADSL router, LAN, WiFi and 3G/4G connections and it works great in all cases.
You can download Network Activity Indicator from http://www.itsamples.com/network-activity-indicator.html.