How to use a network speed monitor in Windows 11

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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  • You can add a Windows 11 network speed monitor that provides real-time download and upload speed info to the desktop.
  • Feel free to choose a dedicated app that adds a network monitor to the taskbar.
  • You may also consider a network speed monitor that comes with numerous customization settings.
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Are you wondering what your PC’s Internet speed is? If so, a network speed monitor is what you need. These monitors show your Internet connection’s download and upload speed in real-time.

Sure, there are numerous Internet speed test webpages you can open in browsers. However, those web apps generally provide only a max speed figure for your connection. They don’t display real-time upload and download speeds.

If you want a real-time network speed monitor for Windows 11 that shows download/upload speeds on the desktop, you’ll need to check out some third-party apps. You can add taskbar and sidebar network speed monitors to Windows 11 by using our recommendations below.

Doesn’t the widgets bar include a network speed monitor in Wndows 11?

The widgets bar comes like a new gadget sidebar for Windows 11, which you can open by clicking its taskbar button. That seems an obvious place to include a new network speed monitor for the latest desktop platform.

The widgets bar windows 11 network speed monitor

However, that widget panel doesn’t include a network speed monitor. There are 11 widget options available there, and none of them add a network speed monitor to the panel. So, you’ll have to check out the third-party software below.

How can I add a Windows 11 network speed monitor?

1. Get Net Speed Meter

  1. First, you’ll need to sign in to your Microsoft account to download a UWP app from MS Store. If you don’t have such an account, set one up from the Microsoft account page.
  2. Click Start on Windows 11’s taskbar.
  3. Then select the Microsoft Store app on the Start menu to open it.
    Microsoft Store windows 11 network speed monitor
  4. Type Net Speed Meter in the MS Store’s search box.
  5. Then select the Net Speed Meter in the search results.
  6. Click the Get button for Net Speed Meter to install it.
  7. When installed, click the Open button on the Net Speed page.
    Open button windows 11 network speed monitor
  8. Select the Yes option when asked to keep Net Speed Meter on the taskbar. Then you’ll see Net Speed Meter on the desktop as in the snapshot below:
    Add gadgets option windows 11 network speed monitor
  9. You can drag and that meter around the desktop by left-clicking it and holding the left mouse button.
  10. To add that speed meter to the taskbar, right-click it and select the Keep in Taskbar button.
    Keep in Taskbar option windows 11 network speed monitor
  11. You can customize Net Speed Meter by right-clicking it and selecting Setting. Then change the options according to preference.
    Display tab windows 11 network speed monitor
  12. For further instructions, you can right-click Net Speed Meter and select the How to use option.

2. Get 8GadgetPack

Install 8GadgetPack

  1. Click the Download button on the 8GadgetPack webpage.
  2. Then press the File Explorer taskbar button.
  3. Open the folder that includes the 8GadgetPack setup wizard.
  4. Double-click 8GadgetPackSetup to open the installer window.
  5. Click the Install button on the 8GadgetPack Setup window.
    Install button windows 11 network speed monitor
  6. Select the Show gadgets when setup exits checkbox.
    The Show gadgets when setup exists option windows 11 network speed monitor
  7. Press the Finish button. Then the 8GadetPack sidebar will open on the right of the Windows 11 desktop.

Add Network Meter to the sidebar

  1. Right-click the sidebar and select Add gadgets.
    Add gadget option windows 11 network speed monitor
  2. Double-click Network Meter on the third page of the gadget list to add it to the sidebar.
    Network Meter gadget windows 11 network speed monitor
  3. To configure the Network Meter, right-click its sidebar gadget and select Options.
  4. Select the Display tab.
    Display tab windows 11 network speed monitor
  5. You can add or remove details the gadget displays by selecting ON or OFF drop-down menu options for them.
  6. To change the gadget’s colors, select the Color tab. Then you can click the codes there to open color palettes.

Can I check connection speed in Windows 11 without third-party apps?

Windows doesn’t have any desktop feature that displays connection speed details. However, the status window for your connection includes speed info. You can open that window via the Control Panel as follows:

  1. Open the search utility by clicking the magnifying glass taskbar button.
  2. Enter Control Panel within the search utility’s text box.
  3. Click Control Panel to open that window.
  4. Select the Network and Internet category.
    Network and Internet category windows 11 network speed monitor
  5. Then click Network and Sharing Centre.
    The Network and Internet applets windows 11 network speed monitor
  6. Select the Change adapter settings on the left of the window.
    Change adapter settings option windows 11 network speed monitor
  7. Then double-click your connection to open its status window, which displays the speed info.
    The status window windows 11 network speed monitor
  8. Click Close to exit the window

How can I speed up my PC’s download speed?

If your PC’s download speed is a little slow, there are various ways you can speed it up. Firstly, close as many background apps as you can on your PC. You can do that by turning off the Let apps run in the background option on the SettingsBackground apps tab.

Windows 11’s system updates can hog bandwidth, which slows down downloads. So, reducing bandwidth usage for updates might boost your download speed. You can limit bandwidth for updates via the Windows Update tab’s advanced options in Settings.

The bandwidth settings windows 11 network speed monitor

Also, turn off any other devices you have connected to the Internet, such as tablets, smartphones, consoles, etc. Select to disable their Internet connections if you can, and turn them off. By doing so, you’ll maximize network bandwidth for your Windows 11 PC.

As for your PC’s network adapter card, keep in mind that it connects your PC to the Internet. Learn how to check network card speed to see the speed of all your network devices right away. The steps from this Windows 10 procedure may be applied in Windows 11 too.

You can also try updating your network adapter’s driver if your PC’s download speed seems a lot lower than what it should be.

You can do that by scanning your computer with a third-party driver updater utility, such as DriverFix. Driver updater software enables you to download and install new drivers for PC devices in no time.

Moreover, don’t hesitate to use the best bandwidth limiter tools for those programs that use more bandwidth. Even if they are for Windows 10, you can also use them to see exactly what apps are more demanding in terms of network data. 

A Windows 11 network speed monitor is a nice addition to the desktop. Net Speed Meter and 8GadgetPack’s Network Meter are two freely available ones that pack in numerous customization settings.

8GadgetPack’s Net Meter gadget provides more network info than Net Speed Meter. With all the additional gadgets that software comes with, some users might prefer 8GadgetPack. However, you can’t add Net Meter to Windows 11’s taskbar.

Either of those network speed monitors on your desktop will make it clearer how long your downloads and uploads might take. With one of those apps installed, you can proactively monitor your PC’s network speed. So, 8GadgetPack and Net Speed Meter are two Windows 11 apps worth noting.

Even more, check out the best resource monitor software for Windows 10. Most of these tools can be enjoyed by Windows 11 users as well.

Which network speed monitor is your choice? Let us know in the comments area below.

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