Propel, the company behind the most widely used Internet accelerator by ISPs has just announced an interesting new product for consumers who want to manage their own bandwidth usage. The Propel Personal Bandwidth Manager (PBM) could be especially relevant for people who use Skype or other voip services and have experienced voice quality issues with their existing set up. As David Murray, Propel’s president and CEO notes, there are many apps these days that use your network connection, and they don’t always play nicely together. It’s certainly in a user’s best interest to be able to prioritize things like voice or streaming video above file transfers, bit torrents, and other non-urgent network apps, and it looks like PBM could be a great tool for this.
Propel’s PBM has an automatic mode where it will make it’s own decisions about which apps should get prioity bandwidth and how much in the background, and Murray expects this plug and play mode will satisfy the majority of users. To keep current with the various apps that deserve some level of prioritization, PBM works with a continually updated definition file, much like anti-virus programs. There is also a Traffic Monitor feature that displays your current system network usage in a Task Manager-style window and gives users more information about what exactly is using bandwidth.
It’s amazing to me that this product doesn’t already exist. (I know there are plenty of ways for technical people to monitor their network connection and bandwidth use, but I’m not aware of any simple products for average consumers). Propel’s PBM was shown publicly for the first time this week at the prestigious DEMO conference. It’s still in an invitation-only beta right now, but the Windows version is expected to be released sometime this fall.