A smartphone without an internet connection is like a flower without fragrance. We have become so dependent upon internet that our real life has become completely entwined with our online life. Almost 90% of the apps on my Samsung Omnia 7 require (or at least can use) internet connectivity. Windows Phone 7 makes full use of the web, and if your net is not working properly for any reason, things can get really annoying. Bandwidth can not increase your download or upload speed, nor will it magically make internet connectivity available for you. The app will let you diagnose the problems bugging your network, thus making it more efficient. Bandwidth can also prove to be the perfect solution for some cursory network troubleshooting. The Bandwidth app has been around for quite a while in the Marketplace, but its new Mango-fied version adds some noteworthy and new features which we will be discussing after the break.
The pre-Mango app was pretty basic (albeit useful) and all you could do was to chose from a limited number of servers and test your speed with a pre-defined file size. Not in the 3.0 update! The latest Bandwidth update lets you customize your speed test in a lot of ways. But lets take it step by step.
Like it’s earlier version, Bandwidth can run under lock screen and uses your device’s GPS to pin down your current location to suggest the optimum server to be used for testing purposes. The farther away the server, the less your download and upload speeds will appear to be. But in the Mango update, you can turn off the GPS feature with a single toggle button located on the Settings screen. This version of the app lets you choose a file size of your choice from among 3 available options (1.5Mb to 6Mb). Your nearest server will be selected automatically by the app, or you can simply set the distance range within which you want the app to suggest servers. This can prove to be useful if you want to test how your network will react under heavy load.
Another new feature that has made its way into the update is result sharing. Simply long press on any particular result in the History tab to share it with your friends. Bandwidth is a free app and can be downloaded from the link given below, or by searching through the Marketplace hub on your device.