Using the cFos online counters for a month will let you know exactly how much time you have spent online and how much traffic you have generated, which will in turn tell you if a flat rate can save you money. You could use our free cFos 45-day trial version to do just that.
cFos offers an easy way of keeping track of monthly cost and time spent online, which may just spare you a bad surprise on your next bill. It will also help you decide whether a flat rate makes sense for you, or if you should be paying by the minute.
NEW: There is now a convenient way to configure your online counter on the cFos budget configuration page. Just choose "configure cFos" und "online counter" on the cFos context menu, which will bring up the configuration window described below:
|Click here to make changes to the respective online budget by setting the
time limit, volume limit and reset date.
|Click here to save any changes made to the respective online budget.
|Click here to cancel any changes made to the respective online budget.
|Click here to delete all data for the respective online budget (reset function). A word of caution though: This action cannot be undone!
|Click this check box to set hard caps, which will disable a connection assigned to the respective budget once the limits you set for it have been exceeded.
|By positioning these icons, you can assign a specific budget number to an Internet connection or choose the default budget or no budget settings instead.
cFos can manage up to 10 different time budgets, which allows users to track the time they've spent online and how many free minutes they still have left. cFos will automatically reset this counter once each month.
You can specify what budget to use as part of the phone number you dial:
Include =<budget> in the number, where <budget> value would be 0 for no budget, 1 to 9 for a budget of the corresponding number, and 'A' for budget 10.
Example:ATD=15551234 would dial 5551234 using budget 1, while ATD5551234=A would dial the same number but use budget 10 instead.
For ISDN you would typically choose the cFos modem "cFos ISDN, Internet, Sync PPP over HDLC", for DSL the "cFos DSL, Internet, PPPoE" modem. To use a budget, you would also have to add the command line ATS93L=b S93H=n S94=x S95=d S96=v in the Modem Manager under "Settings-> Connection -> More".
b stands for the budget number. For instance, enter '1' for budget number 1. cFos is capable of managing up to 10 different budgets. Remember that the default setting for the "cFos DSL, Internet, PPPoE" modem is budget 10. For this modem, you can just leave out the S93=b command.
n can have values 0,1, or 2:
(0 = show time countdown; 1 = show data countdown; 2 = show both)
x represents the number of free minutes available within a certain time frame (e.g., 3,000 for a T-Online Speed 50 and 6,000 for Speed 100). If you have no free minutes, just ignore the S94=x command altogether. In that case, cFos will only track time spent online. If you do enter a value for x, you will first see free minutes tick down, after which additional time spent online will be shown.
v represents free transfer volume per month in megabytes (e.g., for 1&1 DSL, you would enter 1,000). If you have no or unlimited free volume, just ignore the S96=v command. Otherwise, cFos will first track the amount of free volume left and then show how much has been used in addition to that.
d indicates the date on which the budget restarts (i.e., the day you will receive new free minutes or when your counter resets to 0). With T-Online this is the day the service was first provided. That is, if the Telekom set up T-DSL on October 14, you should enter '14.' The default setting is the first of each month.
Some useful hints:
Sadly, many online providers do not offer a detailed cost breakdown, but cFos allows you to simulate one. For example, if you add S66=60 to the modem command mentioned above, cFos generates cost impulses every minute. In the status window, this is shown as minutes spent online during your present session. In addition, it displays a timer tracking how many seconds remain until the next full minute spent online begins.
With the register set to S74.6, seconds are not rounded up to minutes for calculating your online budget.
With the register set to S75.5, the time budget starts with PAP/CHAP login rather than the instant a connection is opened.
The volume display is only available as part of the cFos Professional and Shareware versions.
Download the free key here to use the full range of budget management options.
The latest shareware can be downloaded here.