Those of us who cannot afford very high speed internet connections, often resort to downloading large files during the night time. At night everyone is asleep (at least not many people are awake) and network congestion is at its minimum, resulting in better download speeds without interruptions. The ritual usually starts with starting the downloads, changing the Windows settings to disable hibernation and sleep modes, and switching off the computer screen before you can go to bed. But this makes the Windows PC run all night, consuming electricity and sometimes exposing your PC against intrusions. If you do not want to change the Windows settings every time you want all night download sessions, then you may want to use the freeware Coffee.
Coffee is an open-source Windows application that keeps your PC awake as long as your PC is downloading something. It observes your network adapter for download traffic and keeps it awake while the download traffic is above a certain level. When the download is complete, the traffic drops down and Coffee allows your PC to go into standby mode, sleep mode or hibernation – saving the electricity and helping the environment.
In the Coffee window, you can choose a network adapter that you are going to use for downloads. You can set download and upload threshold speeds for this adapter – if data transfer rate is equal or above these speeds, Coffee keeps your Windows awake. You should not set download threshold to 0 because some programs keep connecting to the internet for small chitchat and can easily raise download transfer speeds to 10 kbps. So you should set the download threshold to a little lower than your network’s full download speed. For example, if you have 3 Mbps connection that gives downloads up to 384 KBps, then you can set download threshold to 250 KBps.
Coffee also monitors selected programs and keeps Windows awake until these programs are running. This is great if you are downloading using a download manager with an option to close the download manager when download is finished. When the download manager complete the download and shuts down, Coffee can allow Windows to finally sleep or hibernate.
Coffee comes with some “Extra” tools that can help you auto-start it with Windows and launch “Sleep Blockers”. The Sleep Blockers option runs another program called Milk which shows different things Coffee is considering to keep your Windows PC awake.
Conclusion: Coffee is a great tool to prevent your PC from falling into sleep, standby or hibernation modes while you are downloading a large file or watching a movie over Netflix or Hulu. It monitors the data transfer traffic and keeps Windows awake as long as the transfer rate is above a preset threshold.
You can download Coffee from http://coffee-sc.sourceforge.net/.