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REVIEW: All-locations GPRS Traffic Counter 3.0.0
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 23.05.02 - 12:34:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 7086x
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Since this week, ALL-locations' Traffic counter is available commercially at PocketGear.com. Thanks to All-locations I was able to preview it 4 weeks ago in a test/dummy version so my question was for sure how the final release will looks like and how stable it works.

If you are a GPRS user you know the dilemma; if not today you will notify it any time: Pocket PC doesn't provides you any information of how long you are connected through a Dial-Up Networking connection nor how much bits and bytes you've sent or received. While the connection time is measurable with a simple wristwatch the sent and received data isn't countable so easy but it's even more necessary cause most GPRS networks bills per transmitted data, flat fees aren't common today. Also the Pocket PC doesn't gives you any information about the current connection speed like the Desktop/Notebook Windows versions. Not for fixed line modems, where you don't know for example if you are connected with 56k or 44k only nor for GPRS where it is a little bit harder in general to measure the connection speed because it varies.

So ALL-locations tries to close this gap with its GPRS Traffic Counter 3.0.0 where it not only counts the transmitted amount of data but also evaluate the costs for your GPRS sessions.

Features

  • Monitoring GPRS Traffic
  • Warns when reach a self-defined amount of traffic
  • Tracks multiple dialup-connection types
  • Graphical and textual overview of traffic statistics
  • Measure average connection speed

Setup and Usage

First the software can measure all kind of connections on your Pocket PC, this must not be a GPRS connection only but could be a W-LAN or even a ActiveSync connection too. This means that you have to define the connection type first. Here the Traffic Counter provides you all available connection types from the Connection Manager up to all other possible connection types like USB or Serial connections. This is fine until you you have two different connection types like one for GPRS Internet and one for GPRS WAP. In that case you have to switch between the connection before you dial-in. On the other hand I like it that GPRS Traffic Counter doesn't record all TCP/IP connections automatically but only the one selected. For example my GPRS operator here in Germany doesn't count the data amount on WAP connection but the clicks I've made (a tariff, I've introduced that time when I was working for that operator ;-). So it wouldn't be useful and fudge the result for me.

If you've selected the proper connection you can define some tariff and pricing parameters by entering the monthly fee and the inclusive amount of data in megabyte. That's pretty helpful as some GPRS tariffs already includes an amount of prepaid data which isn't counted by the last field, the non-included data costs per MB. All currencies depends on your regional settings - that's pretty good. So I can enter the € symbol also while the default currency was $ on my US American iPAQ. For the non-included data cost I would like to see different values in future versions. So some operator bills per 10 KB, others per 1 KB but the Traffic Counter gives price per MB only. Because some roundoff errors here the result could differentiates from you bill later. But anyway - beside this, that function will helps you to keep an overview of your connection costs.
After the installation you will notify a new icon in the top-bar. The functionality of this icon can be also defined and is divided into

  • Traffic/Speed: Which gives you an overview of the current speed of your connection
  • Inclusive Data: Which gives you an overview of how much data still left, depending on your entries above
  • Personal Counter: Which gives you the information how much data sent/received and the costs of this traffic

Specially the last option is pretty helpful as it gives you the information how much money you should save to give your operator later the month. Depending on the selected option this information is given to you with a typical Pocket PC 2002 bubble.

Back to the preview I made: since that release, All-locations doesn't changed to much for its commercial version, the only feature, which isn't included today is the synchronization with your Desktop PC

Statistics

GPRS Traffic Counter doesn't provides you an overview about your current connection only but also saves this information for later use. Therefore Traffic Counter provides you a graphical statistic which gives you information about the amount of sent and received data. This overview can be watched on a daily or monthly basis but doesn't gives you a clue about the costs per day or costs per month on this view but on the next page. There you can select the period by day, week or month or even the current session to get a more detailed overview of sent and received data and an indication of the approximately costs, depending on the time frame selected.
While the Beta I've preview allowed to export this data to a PC, that feature isn't available for Version 3.0.0 anymore but maybe added in a later version.

Final Conclusion

For me as a heavy wireless Internet user, GPRS Traffic Counter is an absolute "must have"! It gives me a clear indication of the costs/transferred data and the connection speed. For sure there are some features I would like to see or changed as mentioned above but this is nothing which makes the Traffic Counter useless today; on the contrary - it would enhance a 99 % perfect tool to 99,5 % ;-) No really - if you are using GPRS today or plan this in the near future All-locations Traffic Counter is a must have application for you too, if you have to pay your monthly bill by yourself. It gives you a good overview of the costs, transmitted data amount and current connection speed. It also worked great with different devices, I've tested. So I used it via Bluetooth and IrDA with a cellular phone as well as with the Compaq Wireless Pack and the Option GlobeTrotter PC card. Not without cause you will see this tool on a next coming Pocket PC Phone Edition too by default! ;-)

Beside this the introductory price of 10 US$ is more than fair and worth for every ¢!

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [Download Here]


 

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Comments
Posted by Anonymous on 29.05.02 - 00:00:00

A great tool which seems to work perfect with my GPRS connection! Everthing you'ce described here I saw later on my Bluetooth connection too.
Great review Arne, keep on you good work, my PayPal donation is in your box. .:.

Posted by smittyofdhs on 22.01.03 - 00:00:00

Arne,
I know this is an old review but I was wondering which app you prefer, All-locations GPRS monitor or SPB GPRS monitor. Please base your decision upon the latest versions, not betas that are in progress.

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