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48. Adding Network Activity Indicator

Recommended: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

Anyone who has used a version of Microsoft Windows prior to Windows Vista will be aware that an animated icon appeared in the notification area of your desktop. The whole idea of the animation was to indicate that information was being transferred between the internet and your PC.

With the release of Windows 7, Microsoft took it upon themselves to remove the animated icon and replace it with a static network activity icon instead. Microsoft's reasoning behind the removal of the animated network icon was that it used up valuable resources.

It is difficult to believe that such a small animated icon would make such a difference to the performance of one's machine that it needed completely removing, only to be replaced by a static icon which, fankly, gives the user no usable information whatsoever.

Fortunately, all is not lost. There are a number of network activity gadgets that one can download to simply replace the current, useless, default icon supplied by Microsoft Windows 7.

Which network activity indicator you eventually settle on will be your own personal choice. However, we have located one which actually fits in well with the Windows 7 desktop scheme.

Download the Network Activity Indicator

Once you have downloaded the Network Activity Indicator proceed as follows:

  1. The Network Activity Indicator is downloaded as a Zip file so the first thing you need to do is Right Click on the Zip file and, from the drop down menu, select Extract All.
  2. The Zipped files will now be extracted.
  3. Once the files have been extracted, Click on the Networkindicator application to launch the Network Activity Indicator.
  4. When you click on the Networkindicator application a Security Warning similar to the one in fig:1 below will appear.
  5. Fig: 48-1 Open File Security warning

    Fig: 48-1 Open File Security warning

  6. The Network Activity Indicator doesn't install itself, you simply Run the installation.
  7. Once the Network Activity Indicator is running you will see the animated icon in the notification area.
  8. Fig: 48-2 Network Indicator highlighted in notification area

    Fig: 48-2 Network Indicator highlighted in notification area

  9. Once the Network Activity Indicator is running you need to enable the application to run when windows starts. To do this Right Click on the Network indicator and, from the drop down menu, select Settings.
  10. Fig: 48-3 Select the Settings option

    Fig: 48-3 Select the Settings option

  11. In the Settings Windows place a Check Mark (Tick) in the box on the Left of the Load at Windows Startup option and then click the OK button.
  12. Fig: 48-4 Enable the Load at Windows Start Up option

    Fig: 48-4 Enable the Load at Windows Start Up option

  13. The Network Activity Indicator will now automatically load when Windows starts.
  14. As well as showing you that you are connected to the Internet the Network Activity Indicator can also give you details of the number of Kilobytes/Megabytes that have been both sent and received by your PC. All you have to do to see this information is Hover your mouse pointer over the Network Activity Indicator Icon. See Fig: 5.
  15. Fig: 48-5 Traffic statistics for your PC.

    Fig: 48-5 Traffic statistics for your PC.